Thomas Field Hall: Roof Slates

The builders are doing their best to keep up the pace of work, despite setbacks and delays. The roof slates are one problem (more on them below) and another is that delivery of the glass for the Ambulatory roof has been delayed by two weeks by the manufacturers. It will not now be installed until the middle of October, which will hold up the installation of the underfloor heating.  However, there is other work which can be done to try to mitigate the delay.

Photo of roof slates
Slate, but not too late…

The roof slates are a problem as the quarry supplying the bigger slates we need (Delabole) will not be opening until mid October with slates not available until the New Year…and there’s no guarantee even of that. We feel that this is an unfortunate and unacceptable delay, and so we have looked around for other slates which we could use instead.

The photograph shows the original Delabole slates on the left with two Spanish slate samples and an Argentinian slate, and also with a small sample of a new Delabole slate. It is clear that new Delabole slates will be a different colour from the old, weathered ones, and they could not be blended in. So we are thinking of using the Spanish slates which are a similar colour to the new Delabole. The Argentinian one has a greenish tinge which makes it less suitable.  The Spanish ones come in two sizes which the roofers can blend together to give the slating a more random look to resemble the original roof. We did try to find reclaim Delabole slates but they were not available in sufficient quantity or the right sizes. 

We now have to wait while our architect gets  permission for the proposed change from the conservation officer at Dacorum, which we hope will be forthcoming, so that the slates can be ordered and the roof finished off.

Barbara Sheard and Michael Carver