Dear Friends It has been a fair while since the last update. A lot has happened in that time, much of it for the worse. Clearly the pandemic has meant that we were closed for nearly 4 months, but we are now open again, albeit on a limited pre-booked schedule. During the closedown however the fund raising and work to complete the drawings on the extension has been underway. I am pleased to report that the Trustees had a virtual meeting last month and based on the monies we now have in the bank and the reports from our quantity surveyor and architect, have decided to go out to tender this month for the construction. Dependent on the response we are planning to start on site in the autumn. As with all capital projects there will be unknowns and we continue to ask for funds in order to limit the risks. We were bolstered considerably by a single contribution of £25,000 from the George Cadbury Foundation which enabled Northampton Borough Council to release the remainder of their promised £200,000. We have also successfully applied for a ‘Bounce Back’ loan from our bank which also underlines our need to fund raise at every opportunity. Thanks to all who have made this possible and we look forward to better times. Les Patterson Co. Sec., Update no.3 November 2019
Two milestones reached
Dear Friends, At the beginning of November, the Trust received the planning permission and listed building consent for the extension to the Atrium of 82 Derngate. I’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to write in support of the application, the planners say they had never seen such support and made their decision making easier. There had to be a few compromises to the design in order to comply with Historic England’s observations and the final plans can be viewed on Northampton Borough Council’s planning portal. As you are no doubt aware, we have a funding target to match the £200k pledged by Northampton Borough Council towards the scheme. I’m pleased to report that in under a year we have reached the halfway stage and raised just over £100k. This is due to a combination of donations, trading, reserves from past years and fund raising like the raffle and Pims and pudding evening. We continue to actively seek donations and will be making applications to a variety of sources now that planning permission is in place. The Trustees will be instructing the architects to proceed with the detailed drawings in the new year ready to go out to tender. Thank you once again for all your support. Les Patterson.
Update no.2 July 2019:
Dear Supporter As you are no doubt aware our efforts to build an extension on the back of 82 Derngate continue, but for once this message is not asking for monetary support (phew). Earlier this month we submitted our revised plans to Northampton Borough Council for planning permission and listed building consent. This is now the subject of public consultation which closes on 8th August 2019.
The Trustees and the Friends committee are urging all our supporters to write into the council backing the revised proposal. We hope that this will demonstrate and reflect the passion and esteem in which the house and organisation is held and improve our likelihood of success.
The easiest way to send a comment – and it need only be a sentence or two - is by using this link and clicking on "Comment on this application". As always thank you for your time, efforts and support.
Les Patterson, Secretary to the Trust.
Update no.1 July 2019: The appeal is going well – we are now at £75,000 – but, we still need more. We've now launched our exciting Summer Raffle with many spectacular prizes and tickets can be bought from Reception and if you wish to sell tickets on our behalf, please contact Liz.
As you may already be aware, a grant of up to £200,000 has been pledged to us by Northampton Borough Council to enhance the visitor experience here at The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House & Galleries. We plan to enlarge the existing atrium to facilitate an increased shopping area, a new reception area and tearoom and provide a new exhibition/performance space at mezzanine level. At the same time it will provide better permanent disabled access. The increased storage will free up rooms in 78 Derngate, enabling them to be open to the public for the first time. The opportunity also exists to reduce our carbon footprint by lowering heating costs.
As a self-funded charity, we depend on trading in order to survive and believe that this plan will produce greater income and lower costs, making the venue much more sustainable. An architect’s illustration of how it may look (subject to planning approval) is available to see here.
Our aim is to match fund the £200k by the summer and so we are asking Friends and supporters to donate in units of £100. For each unit of £100 the donors’ names will be recognised on engraved glass panelling located in the new atrium. So, if you wish to add 2 names, this will cost £200 and so on. We do of course welcome donations of any amount and individual groups could potentially donate money through their own fund-raising activities.
To donate, click on the link below which automatically takes you to our secure fund-raising page. All donations are commission-free so the whole amount comes to the Trust.
After four years of asking visitors to 'keep a lookout' and scouring auction house listings David from our team recently spotted details of a washjug designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich on Ebay. Apparently identical to the jug which W.J. Bassett-Lowke had purchased for the Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate around 1917 - this was an exciting moment. These jugs don't come to the market very often. Some swift action by Barbara on behalf of The Friends of 78 Derngate and the jug was purchased and on its way from Germany. It is now displayed in the Guest Bedroom and can be viewed by visitors to the house. The fate of the original jug is known from family memories, it was broken many years ago. Having its replacement here further completes the stylish ensemble of Mackintosh - designed furniture and Olbrich ceramics in one of Britain’s most unusual and avant-garde interiors for the period. Staying as a guest at 78 Derngate would certainly have been a memorable experience. Further details of the jug can be found in our online archive.
A project begun in 2015 with the purchase at auction of a ceramic washbowl has been completed almost four years later. When Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed the Guest Bedroom of 78 Derngate a washstand for the use of guests was included in the scheme.
W.J Bassett-Lowke’s photographs of the room which were published in ‘The Ideal Home’ in 1920 show that the washstand was replete with distinctive ceramic ware in a secessionist style. Research has shown that Joseph Maria Olbrich, indeed the very designer of the Secessionsgebäude (Secession Building) in Vienna is the designer of the washbowl. Mackintosh and Olbrich met on several occasions and his sympathies with the Secession and Wiener Werkstätte are reflected in the design of the Guest Bedroom - a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ and the other Mackintosh work at 78 Derngate.
The beautiful washstand made by Professor Jake Kaner from Nottingham Trent University was completed with the addition of the final component, the oak, glass and silk splashback panel just before Christmas. Funded by The Friends of 78 Derngate it’s a splendid recreation that can be enjoyed by visitors to the house this coming 2019 season and beyond.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate has a further and beautiful new addition that can be seen by visitors to the house this Autumn.
Thanks to the generosity of The Friends of 78 Derngate, we've been able to commission Professor Jake Kaner from Nottingham Trent University to make a replica of the second component of the Mackintosh-designed washstand which originally stood in the corner of the room. This joins the base cabinet and washbowl which both arrived in 2015. The washstand is made of oak veneered ply with an adjustable tilting mirror and locking vanity side cupboards. A blue and black stencilled checkerwork detail frames the mirror. The design matches the other furniture in the room and shows Mackintosh's use of the square in both a decorative and structural manner. The original washstand is on display at The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow [ online catalogue information ] where a replica room setting of the Guest Bedroom has been created. The third and final part of the washstand set, a silk and glass splashback is planned for installation before the end of 2018.
Jake has made all of the replica Mackintosh furniture at 78 Derngate and has worked with us from the start of the restoration and we're delighted that he has been able to create another piece of exceptional quality for our visitors to enjoy. The re-creation of this piece further completes Mackintosh's strikingly modern vision for this unique interior and gives a sense of the experience enjoyed by the guests who stayed in this room 100 years ago.
Visitors to 78 Derngate are now able to view the new washstand on display.
Chris and Barbara from The Friends of 78 Derngate were at Abington Park Museum, Northampton recently for their Collectors Day event. Chris's huge collection of Bassett-Lowke catalogues - [ surely one of the largest such collections in the world ] - was of great interest and attracted a steady stream of visitors.
The day was a great success, helped along by many Friends supporters who stopped by, the presence of a great model railway layout from a fellow collector and substantial amounts of chocolate which sadly ran out too soon.
Further images from the day - and the chance to let us know about your own collection - are on our Facebook.
A group of Friends of 78 Derngate recently took a walking tour of houses designed by the talented architect Alexander Ellis Anderson in the Abington area of Northampton. Anderson did the preliminary architectural drawings for Mr Bassett-Lowke at 78 Derngate. The walk was led by our own Anderson expert Rob Kendall. For more information about becoming a Friend of 78 Derngate click here.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed designed Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate has an exciting new addition.
Following our recent appeal, and thanks to the generosity of The Friends of 78 Derngate, we've been able to commission Jake Kaner from Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe to make a replica of the washstand which originally stood in the corner of the room. The washstand is made of oak with a blue and black chequer decoration on the edges. The design matches the other furniture in the room and shows Mackintosh's use of the square in both a decorative and structural manner. The original washstand is on display at The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow where a replica room setting of the Guest Bedroom has been created.
Jake has made all the replica Mackintosh furniture at 78 Derngate and has worked with us from the start of the restoration. We were delighted that he was able to create another piece of exceptional quality for the house. In Mr Bassett-Lowke’s time a Joseph Maria Olbrich - designed bowl stood on the washstand. Pictured on our new washstand is an identical bowl acquired at auction in Edinburgh last year.
Visitors to 78 Derngate are now able to view the new washstand on display.
The Friends of 78 Derngate have always been keen to add new objects and artefacts into 78 Derngate. In recent years we have purchased original Bassett-Lowke designed pieces for the main bedroom and dining room and replica furniture for the kitchen. Now we are looking to commission a replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s washstand for The Guest Bedroom. The original Mackintosh furniture for this bedroom survives and is on display at The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. The washstand, in keeping with the rest of the suite for this room, is made of oak with a blue and black chequer decoration on the edges.
The Trustees and Friends have commissioned Jake Kaner from Buckinghamshire New University to make the replica pieces for the Mackintosh designed Guest Bedroom. Jake has previously made the other Mackintosh replica furniture on display at 78 Derngate.
To pay for this we have now launched an appeal and donations can be sent to us at 82 Derngate, Northampton. NN1 1UH. Thankyou.