Today, Accrington Townscape Heritage Initiative began conserving the town’s historic shops. This shop on Blackburn Road was built as a printers a few years after 1900 and now houses AYA, a firm of accountants.
As seen in the old photo, there was originally a sunblind which pulled out from behind the shop sign. The sign was rounded to accommodate the roller and the result cleverly emulates a classical pulvinated or ‘cushion’ frieze.
When the modern box sign was removed, we were delighted to find the timber frieze was still intact. It is beautifully joined to stone cushion friezes atop the pilasters at each end of the shop.
We exposed Edwardian paint layers which will be sampled before overpainting. By doing so on each THI project, we can build up a record of the various historic colours used on Accrington shops. The stone pilasters were overpainted brown followed by red and other colours. However, we could see smoke blackening beneath the brown paint indicating that the stone was not originally painted. We will therefore clean back to restore the original stone surface using Torc equipment.
Unfortunately, the underside of the cornice has almost completely eroded but there is just enough of the original moulding to create a template for new stone indents.
Other work includes further stone repair and a traditional styled replacement shop front.
The contract administrator is Craig Buck, IDC Architects, and the contractor is Rosslee Construction. Both are local Accrington firms.