Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Up on the Roof

Those of you who were in Tenbury last week would probably have spotted one of the Regal's cranes looming over Teme Street. As you might have guessed, this is because the work happening at the moment is the work to fix the rooves above the cinema.

Both the auditorium roof and the roof over the front of the building had to be looked at, as both had been suspected of leaking at various points in time.

The roof at the front of the building is covered in tiles on wooden batons, as you can see here:

To get a good idea of the work that needed to be done up there, the contractors started by taking all of the tiles off the roof. Then the roof was re-covered, with new wooden batons added, then the tiles all replaced back on the top again. As you can see, this is a work in progress!

The roof is unusual in ways that you can't see from the normal view down on the street. Have a look at this picture:

Here, Teme Street is to the right of the photograph, and that central valley runs parallel to the road. All of the roof in the photo from the camera over to the scaffolding covers the front of the Regal, over the shop units. That's right; there are two peaks across that roof, as well as a raised section in the centre . All of this dates to before the time of the cinema, from when the buildings at the front were houses. It's most likely that the roof was raised to make the top floor a more usable space for rooms within the houses.

Over on the other side of the building, the auditorium roof is being replaced entirely. Old asbestos sheets have been taken away and the crane that you might have seen has been putting in new panels that will protect the auditorium from wind and rain.

In the two pictures below, you can see the auditorium roof on the left and the back of the shop unit roof on the right. There's lots of interesting features to see here; the little door in the left hand picture was the old access to the auditorium roof space. Would you like to have to walk across the roof to change the auditorium light bulbs?

The windows in the right hand picture look into the projector room, and the box shape you can see in both pictures (in the middle) covers the central vent in the auditorium roof. There are two more of these, one on either side of the back section of roof (you can see tiles stacked on one in the left hand picture). These allowed air flow from outside in the original cinema ventilation system.

From here, our roof-tour takes us back to the front of the building. The flat front of the Regal was added before it became a cinema, possibly some time in the 1800s. Behind the top of the parapet you can see the pitch of the original roof, as shown in the two pictures below from both ends of the building (Teme Street is on the left in the first image, and the right in the second).

If you've looked at some plans for the Regal you will have seen that some architectural detail from the original 1930s facade is being put back onto the building frontage. We'll be looking at that a little more in later posts, but for now here's a top level detail to look out for; these little house-shaped areas with their mini roofs will be getting some three-dimensional additions to help them echo their 1930s counterparts.

We hope you've enjoyed your trip up onto the Regal roof today! We'll have more from behind the scenes at the restoration next week!

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