During the pandemic of 2020 The Ironbridge Coracle Trust repaired and conserved Harry Rogers’ Old Coracle Shed. We have also conserved many of the tools, nets and other objects from the shed.
Conserving the objects
Many fascinating objects from the old shed were rediscovered in an old barn many miles away (long story!) When the Trust managed to bring them back to Ironbridge they needed conservation. After being sorted, photographed and prepared for storage they need to be frozen to kill any woodworm.
Repairing the Coracle Shed
In 2020, with funding from the Heritage Fund, we have been repairing and conserving the coracle shed to ensure it survives for another 100 years.
It has been a challenging time with the prolonged period of flooding back in March 2020, swiftly followed by the lockdown restrictions of Covid 19.
However we are nearing the end of the work, which has been carried out by specialist conservation contractors Messengers.
We were lucky that we managed to replace the decayed wooden props that supported the Coracle shed, before the floods struck. The flood waters rose nearly 20ft to just below the floor of the shed, but the new timber props stayed firm.
The roof was repaired to make it watertight. The damaged roof boards were replaced and covered with sheets of marine ply covered with heavy duty rubber. The old corrugated iron sheets were securely placed on top and replaced with locally sourced identical sheets where they could not be repaired.
The conservation philosophy was to make the shed safe and secure, using materials and techniques that Harry Rogers would have used himself. Also to take care to preserve the patina and character built up over 100 years, to disguise the extensive and skilled programme of repair that has taken place.
The work to the stone retaining wall and brick and stone steps has been carried out by skilled stonemasons. Interestingly when they were digging out the old wall footings they discovered an old toilet cistern and mangle that had been dumped among the hard core used to build up the platform that the shed was built on. Perhaps they came from the original family cottage?