6.  EFFICIENT  WORKING PROCEDURES.

 

'Mr. Alexander thought that as the words now stood, they stated the duties of an architect as clearly as it was possible to define those duties  The surveyor was to prepare a design and submit it to his employers, he was then to make working drawings and specifications, and superintend the work in its progress, and make up the accounts.  he thus did the work of an architect.' 

 

                                     The Salisbury & Winchester Journal and General Advertiser, 20th February 1864.

                                      Debate at the Wiltshire General Sessions on whether the county needed to employ

                                      a county surveyor or a county architect at a higher salary.

 

General Remarks.

It is an inevitable consequence of a dearth of primary material that historians tend to gloss topics they are unable squarely to confront.  One such is what individual Victorian architects actually did, in their offices and on site, day by day and hour by hour, with the implication that analysis at this level of detail neither justifies nor is worthy of close study, and with the result that a vital opportunity is missed to understand precisely what gives an individual practice its critical form and characteristics.

 

 

This is where Mallinson and Healey's day-books are of especial value, for they record the minutiae that describe exactly what it meant to be a provincial architect during the years 1854-57, and the picture they paint is the more revealing due the almost complete absence of office staff, which ensured that even the most routine tasks were generally carried out at the partners' hands.  Moreover, since the commissioning, design and erection of six significant buildings fell entirely within these years, these prove particularly fruitful for study as all the processes involved in their design and construction are thereby described from start to finish. They are: (1) St. Mark’s church, Low Moor (figs. 6a(i) - 6a(ii)), (2) Bridge End Independent Chapel, Rastrick (figs. 6b(i) - 6b(ii)), (3) Haley Hill cemetery chapel, (4) Bradford vicarage, (5) Holy Innocents’ church, Thornhill Lees (figs. 6c(i) - 6c(ii)), and (6) Springfield Independent Chapel, Dewsbury [1].  A close examination of the raising of these buildings sheds light on Mallinson and Healey's business methods overall and the contribution they made to business efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs. 6a(i) - 6a(ii), the former church of St. Mark, Low Moor:

(i) above left, viewed from the south; and (ii) above right, viewed from the west.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs. 6b(i) - 6b(ii), Bridge End Independent Chapel, Rastrick:

(i) above left, frontispiece to J. Horsfal Turner's Independency at Brighouse (Jowitt News Office, 1878);

and (ii) above right, the building today after conversion to domestic use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs. 6c(i) - 6c(ii), Holy Innocents', Thornhill Lees:

(i) above left, the church from the northeast; and (ii) above right, the interior looking northeast.

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

From the Conception of the Project to the Laying of the Foundations.

 

Most of Mallinson and Healey’s commissions were initiated by the client [2], and few or none by any overt self-advocacy by the partners.  Competition entries, as has been seen, contributed little or nothing, and one further reason for this was doubtless that Healey especially was under far too much pressure from his many existing tasks and taskmasters to engage in purely speculative work.  Indeed, when a small space did open in the working week, the partners seem often to have preferred to fill it with something modest but guaranteed rather than something more ambitious and hazardous.  This provides a further insight into how maintaining good relationships with former clients could continue to pay dividends.

 

 

Once a new building had been mooted, one of the first tasks to be undertaken before any firm commitments were made was for one of the partners to inspect the proposed site.  In the case of a church, this might be the potential gift of a third party [3], the intended gift of the building's proposer [4], or a piece of land acquired or about to be acquired by purchase, although the relatively few occasions when this resort was necessary is witnessed by the rare occurrence of any record of payment for the site in the church building accounts [5].  Either partner might have undertaken this preliminary viewing but once there were levels to be taken or the projected position of the building needed to be staked out, the job usually passed to Mallinson, even in cases where the client was regarded primarily as Healey’s [6], as those within a two or three mile radius of Bradford usually seem to have been [7].

 

 

Meanwhile it generally fell to Healey to draw up the basic plans and elevations for the building, especially if it was an ecclesiastical one, for Mallinson only undertook this work for industrial or, occasionally, domestic projects - in the former case, sometimes in collaboration with his Halifax confrère, Charles Child of 56, King Cross Street, Halifax, the architect, among other buildings, of St. John’s church, Bradshaw (1839) and the Odd Fellows Hall in Halifax (1840) [8].  The day-books allow approximate estimations of the time spent on this phase of the design work, their accuracy constrained by the fact that as it was rare for Healey to be able to devote a whole day to a single task, one is obliged to attempt to apportion his days between his recorded activities, guided only by what seems reasonable.  With this qualification, some fifteen working days appear to have been needed to work up the plans and elevations of a fairly typical large church to a point where a client or building committee might be expected to approve them [9], reducing to around ten if the building was small. Where alternative designs were requested (for example, one in Gothic and one in classical style), Healey appears to have produced less finely finished sets of drawings and hoped they would suffice to enable a choice to be made [10].

 

 

Sometimes a prepared design would be accepted subject to a few changes to accommodate the personal preferences of the client, site donor, incumbent, or one or more members of the church building committee [11].  In such cases, it was rare for Healey to object unless he felt his reputation for architectural design was at stake, as he appeared to have done in a letter addressed to Sir Francis Sharp Powell in 1860 - a client with whose many unwanted suggestions for All Saints’. Little Horton Green, Healey was usually compliant - when he dismissed Powell’s proposed changes to the design of the clerestory windows, on the basis that they were 'too monotonous' [12].

 

 

Once the designs had been agreed, the next stage involved the production of the working drawings to enable the work to be put out for tender.  This was the partners' usual practice notwithstanding the letter sent by a 'Young Beginner' to The Builder in 1847 complaining that 'so few opportunities of tendering are afforded to young builders, in consequence of architects always sending to nearly the same set of men for estimates' [13], which was a habit Mallinson and Healey could easily refute. Healey spent about nine days on the working drawings for Bridge End Independent Chapel, which was about as long as he had spent on the design hitherto.  However, for St. Mark’s, Low Moor, he spent about eleven days, and Mr. Clarke, an additional four, which together was nearly twice as long as the project had taken previously.  Much of this would probably have been the preserve of apprentices and office clerks in a large metropolitan practice, with the work being merely checked by the principal, in the manner T.G. Jackson described in his account of his pupilage in Scott’s office in 1858 [14].  Indeed, there is occasional evidence of this way of working in Mallinson and Healey’s day-book entries also, earlier for Mr. Clarke and, later, for Healey’s sons, for although all three appear to have spent most of their time in the office duplicating or enhancing the partners’ drawings, there are occasional references to what could be construed as their independent work also, such as 'B.C. At working drawings Boroughbridge Schools till 5 o’clock' [15] or 'F.H. At working drawings Mount Pellon Schools' [16].  Contractors needed these if they were to be able to price a job with reasonable confidence, and accurate pricing was critical since the successful applicant was expected to adhere to his tender rigidly and financial penalties might be applied to give the client assurance against late completion.  Contractors were also expected to provide their own materials and to include the costs of stone, timber, etc., in their submissions, as a result of which these items rarely appear in the building accounts:  they were the business of the contractor and of the contractor alone provided they met the standards laid out in the building’s specification. This was usually prepared by Mallinson, who also drew up the bill of quantities, although this term was not used, reference being made only to the 'squaring [of] the dimensions'.  Invitations to tender were advertised in the local press, always with the caution, 'The lowest Tender will not necessarily be accepted' [17]. This runs counter to Michael Hall’s assertion in his study of Bodley:  'Bodley habitually recommended a single builder to a client, and advised against tendering[;]  while this seems curious in situations where money was tight, it was commonplace - Norman Shaw, for example, did the same.' [18]  That may have been true in London.  It was not true in mid-century in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

 

 

After tenders had been submitted, the choice of the contractors would be discussed at a meeting between Mallinson or Healey and the client - sometimes, indeed, at more than one meeting, especially if a building committee was involved [19].  Few projects seem to have employed a permanent, full-time clerk-of-the-works, or if one was engaged, there is rarely any evidence for it.  The most notable exception was one, Daniel Kershaw, himself a minor architect, who was engaged successively as the full-time, permanent clerk-of-the works at Holy Innocents’, Thornhill Lees, and at All Saints’, Little Horton, two of Mallinson and Healey’s foremost buildings, and whose brother, John, was appointed clerk-of-the-works at St. Paul’s, Thornaby-on-Tees - a church so geographically removed from the partners’ usual area of operations that a resident clerk was presumably considered essential [20].  Elsewhere, the absence of a clerk-of-the-works would not only have necessitated the partners' regular and stringent oversight of building operations, but would also have doubled the importance of a tightly-drawn, fully-inclusive specification that allowed no scope for the contractors to claim 'extras' to cover omissions [21].  Of course, having familiar and trusted workmen could provide significant reassurance.  

 

 

The focus shifted now from the office to the building site.  Mallinson and Healey were fortunate to have had the opportunity to design churches for a number of fine hill-top locations, where little ground preparation was required before building could commence and where a proud silhouette would show to all possible advantage.  Ironically, probably the most challenging site that Mallinson and Healey had to contend with was that for Healey’s magnum opus, All Saints’ church, Little Horton Green, where mine workings were discovered while the foundations were being dug, which eventually added £500 to the cost and a great deal of trouble and delay.  The immediate objective for churches and chapels at this stage of the proceedings was to bring the building to a state of readiness for the laying of the foundation stone.  This was an opportunity for committees building a church by subscription to draw attention to their project in the hope of obtaining additional financial contributions, and for sole patrons to gain the kudos they probably felt due for their extravagant liberality [22].  Here too was the opportunity for a nice little scene to be played out, as, for example, when John Hurst performed the ceremony at Clayton in May 1849, where, after being passed the mallet, he struck the stone three times, saying, 'Thus, and thus, and thus, I lay this as the foundation stone of the church of St. John the Baptist, Clayton' [23].  The Te Deum was sung and the vicar gave an address.  Similar pageants were enacted at the equivalent stage in construction at most of Mallinson and Healey’s churches and chapels, usually followed by a luncheon.  Mallinson attended most, irrespective of their denomination [24], and Healey, rather fewer, but when they did so there is not much evidence from contemporary newspaper reports that any special attention was paid to them.  Both men took part in the procession at St. Paul’s church, Manningham, in November 1846, little as that particularised them [25],  Mallinson was given the responsibility of passing the silver trowel to John Foster of Slack in the ceremony at St. Thomas the Apostle’s. Heptonstall, in May 1850 [26], and in what may have been his most significant appearance, in August 1857 he was charged with placing a bottle containing two contemporary newspapers, some coins, and a description of the building, in a cavity below the spot where the foundation stone was about to be laid at All Saints’, Salterhebble [27].

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

In Raising the Building.

 

Once construction work began in earnest, Mallinson and Healey’s rôle obviously changed.  The time taken to raise the walls and add the roofs depended on many factors, quite apart from the size of the building, and nor was there much correlation between the time it had taken to plan the building, prepare the site and lay the foundations on the one hand, and the period that would now prove to be required to take the work from there through to completion on the other (see table 6a).  Delays in the planning and preparation stages were frequently caused by difficulties raising money in the case of a church built by subscription, or by Healey’s inability to give the work his early or uninterrupted attention due to pre-existing commitments [28].  Delays during construction were most often the result of bad weather or some unpredictable contingency, for contractors were unlikely to take longer over a job than necessary - indeed, the danger lay in the opposite direction, and Mallinson and Healey both upbraided contractors from time to time if they thought they were short-cutting.

 

 

Table 6a:  Summary of the construction times taken and the number of site visits made

by Mallinson and Healey for six buildings designed and erected during the years 1854-57.

 

 

St. Mark’s,

Low Moor

Bridge End Independent

Chapel, Rastrick

Haley Hill

Cemetery Chapel

[1] Original proposal

1st February 1854

10th February 1854

19th August 1854

[2] Laying of foundation stone

19th November 1855

13th September 1854

21st April 1855

[3] Opening ceremony

11th March 1857

16th January 1856

24th April 1856

Planning days [1] to [2]

656

215

245

Building days [2] to [3]

478

490

369

Total days

1,134

705

614

No. of site visits 1854

2

16

16

No. of site visits 1855

11

48

63

No. of site visits 1856

27

1

33

No. of site visits 1857

5

0

3

Total no. of site visits

45

65

115

Building days/ site visits

478/45 = 10.62

490/65 = 7.54

369/115 = 3.21

Whether clerk-of-the-works

No

No

25th Oct. ’55 - 1st Feb. ’56

 

 

 

Bradford

Vicarage

Holy Innocents’, Thornhill Lees

Springfield Independent

Chapel, Dewsbury

[1] Original proposal

17th October 1854

c. 27th March 1855

3rd January 1856

[2] Laying foundation stone

work begun 7th Aug. 1855

work begun c. 14th Jan. ’56

25th March 1856

[3] Opening ceremony

finished c. 12th Dec. 1856

finished c. 29th Dec. 1857

26th November 1856

Planning days [1] to [2]

294

293

83

Building days [2] to [3]

493

716

246

Total days

787

1,009

329

No. of site visits 1854

0

0

0

No. of site visits 1855

57

0

0

No. of site visits 1856

21 to 7/4, then 56 = 77

24

22

No. of site visits 1857

0

19

1

Total no. of site visits

134

43

23

Building days/ site visits

493/134 = 3.68

716/43 = 16.65

246/23 = 10.70

Whether clerk-of-the-works

From 7th April 1856 only

Yes

D. Kershaw made 1 visit

 

 

 

Site visits now made the greatest claim on Mallinson and Healey’s working weeks For projects underway in the years for which the day-books survive, these can be counted up (table 6a again) revealing numbers that are sometimes surprising: thus one hundred and fifteen visits were made, almost entirely by Mallinson, to Haley Hill cemetery chapel during its construction, and one hundred and thirty-four, nearly all by Healey, to the site of Bradford vicarage. (This, of course, assumes the day-books record all of them.)  Both those buildings were within walking distance of the partners’ offices admittedly, but the cemetery chapel was a mile from Mallinson’s office, and mostly uphill [29].  However, at Bradford vicarage, when John Taylor was eventually appointed clerk-of-the-works, there is no evidence to suggest this gave Healey significantly greater assurance about the progress of the building, for the frequency of his visits scarcely changed.  These averaged one every 3.7 days (or one every 3.2 days if Sundays are excluded), while the equivalent figure for Mallinson at Haley Hill cemetery chapel was one every 3.2 days (or 2.8 days excluding Sundays). Yet when a reliable clerk-of-the-works was able to be appointed, as with Daniel Kershaw at Thornhill Lees, the frequency of Mallinson and Healey’s visits reduced dramatically, in this case to one in every 16.7 days (14.3 days excluding Sundays), and for a salary of £1.10s.0d a week, it seems strange there is not more evidence of men being taken on elsewhere, unless there was a shortage of qualified individuals.  Nevertheless, at Thornaby-on-Tees, where there was no possibility of either partner making anything other than a very rare appearance, and John Kershaw was allowed to get on with things, largely undisturbed, construction seems to have progressed to everyone’s satisfaction. 

 

 

inferior stone (or stone taken from an inferior horizon in the agreed quarry) or, in the case of carpenters and joiners, that the scantlings of timbers were less than those set out in the specification  In either case, Mallinson or Healey might demand that the work be taken down and re-done. This led to at least one altercation, between Mallinson and Thomas Walker, joiner at Bridge End Chapel, when Mallinson ordered some of the gallery timbers to be replaced with others, 2" thicker.  Walker was 'very insolent' and Mallinson went immediately to report the fact to Thomas Ormerod [30], as a result of which Walker was instructed to attend the next meeting of the building committee, due three days later [31].  The discussion at the meeting is not recorded but Walker retained his place and the following month, Messrs. Ormerod and Sugden asked Mallinson to pay him £50 'more than [the] contract', the implication possibly being that whether he had misread the specification or not, Walker had not allowed enough in his tender for what he may have regarded as an unnecessarily extravagant use of timber.

 

 

Site visits were not the partners’ sole responsibility at this stage of a project, however, for it is evident that Healey left many of the particulars of his designs to be prepared only when they were needed.  This may have been a time management stratagem or simply an insurance against last minute changes of mind by the client, possibly both, but it also begs the question of how contractors could feel sure they would not work at a loss if, at the time of tendering, a host of important matters remained to be worked out.  Nevertheless, at Thornhill Lees for example (figs. 6c(i) - 6c(ii)), where building was underway in mid-January 1856, Healey designed the aisle window traceries on 17th April, the bases of the chancel piers on 13th May, the chancel E. window on 10th & 11th July, the nave clerestory and chancel roof on 21st July, the string course around the tower on 23rd August, the 'clock room windows' on 30th August, the chimney piece on 27th October, the belfry windows on 1st November, and the spire lucarnes on 16th February following [31].  In this way, this work could be fitted between Healey’s other pressing commitments.

 

 

Moreover, one ever-present problem was the inevitability of wasted time.  Perhaps most annoyingly in this regard, it was common for Mallinson or Healey to travel to see a client or meet a contractor only to find on arrival that the client was 'not in' or that 'no-one [was] working' on the site, and the fact that such instances are regularly recorded bears witness to their significance [33].  As for delays in construction itself, it was not unusual for Mallinson or Healey to be confronted by a client impatient about the rate of progress.  Client and architect might then go together to see the contractor thought to be responsible, to demand that he 'push on', but it is difficult to believe all these demands were reasonable.  For example, at Christ Church, Barkisland, the Rev. James Sanders and the Rev. William Tatlock, perpetual curates at Ripponden and Barkisland, complained about slow working to Mallinson on 10th January 1854 and the three went immediately to see the carpenter, who was presumably considered at fault [34].  Yet it seems unlikely he would have delayed any longer than necessary, for his contract dated 14th January 1854 but almost certainly intended to be 14th January 1853, stipulated that he was to complete his work by January 29th next (which may have been the reason for the muddled date), failing which he would forfeit £10 for every week he overran [35].  Taylor's signature was appended below.  Still more punishing was the contract with John Wild, slater at the same church, drawn up six months earlier and signed only with a cross, for since work on the building had scarcely even begun at that stage, the contract could only stipulate that Wild should begin his work once the roof was 'ready to receive the slates' but then went on to state that for every day he fell behind his unspecified schedule, begun on an unspecified date, he was to forfeit one pound [36].

 

 

As a church or chapel finally approached completion, Mallinson and Healey usually found it necessary to make two or three visits in quick succession to ensure everything was prepared and ready for its consecration. This ceremony provided another opportunity for patrons and local clergy to gain credit for their efforts and to raise money to cover any outstanding debt, for collections would be taken for this purpose at the consecration service itself, and at the services on the Sunday following, and no-one could afford to leave these events to chance, and not only for this reason but also because such occasions commonly attracted detailed attention in the press, where an exhaustive description might be given of the new church’s architecture (then a subject of deep interest to all the cognoscenti), together with the names of the architects, a complete list of the contributors and contractors, and a verbatim account of the bishop or archdeacon’s address, typically running to two thousand or more words.  Here, potentially, was a free advertisement for architects and contractors alike, especially since the reporters for the Bradford Observer and Leeds Intelligencer appear to have been predisposed to be thoroughly delighted by any ceremony of this kind. 

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

In the Design of Furniture and Fittings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figs. 6c(iii) - 6c(vi), Holy Innocents', Thornhill Lees:

(iii) above left, the font and tabernacle cover; (iv) above right, the pulpit;

(v) below left, the altar table; and (vi) below right, the choir stalls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healey’s work for an Anglican church was not always finished at the time of its consecration, however, for sometimes not all the furniture or fittings were complete and/or installed, not least because Healey was dependent at this stage on the progress of the craftsmen who were actually making the items [37].  Furnishings Healey recorded himself designing at one time or another include tiling patterns, altar tables and rails, fonts and font covers, pulpits and reading desks, reredoses, screens, stalls and general ironwork, and the more expensive the commission, the greater the number of these pieces for which he usually took responsibility, with the probable implication that a cheap church was expected to make do with an item produced to a standard pattern [38].  The most complete, extant set of Healey’s bespoke furniture is to be found at Thornhill Lees (figs. 6c(iii) - 6c(vi)), and two now apparently destroyed sets formerly existed at St. Mark’s, Low Moor, for which the only evidence today consists of drawings of the organ case, font, and rood screen, the first and last of which are signed [39],  and at St. Thomas's, Heptonstall, where Healey designed the screen [40], pulpit and reading desk [41], altar rail [42], stalls [43], font [44], and sedilia [45].  There are also, perhaps, twenty or thirty surviving fonts, among them those at Wyke, Cundall, Manningham and Barkisland, and a few scattered items of real significance, probably including the very fine pulpit at Welburn (fig. 6d).  The lengths of time spent designing furniture and furnishings at Low Moor and Thornhill Lees can be estimated from the day-books in the same way as the time spent on the building designs themselves (table 6b), and with the same reservations about accuracy.

 

 

 

Fig. 6d, St. John's, Welburn:  pulpit.

 

Rather more reliable, since the errors will tend to cancel out, will be the total estimated times spent on furniture design at the respective churches, and here it can be seen that at a relatively inexpensive church, Healey spent about nine days (or a week and a half) on this work, while a moderately expensive one required at least twice as long.  Figs. 6c(iii) - 6c(vi) illustrate the font and font cover, pulpit, altar table, and choir stalls at Thornhill Lees respectively [46],  and although it seems unlikely that the time taken to design the last two is fully reflected in table 6b, they allow some concept to be formed of what Healey could accomplish in five and a half days working on a pulpit, or in three and a half days working on a font and tabernacle font cover.  Still more useful is the insight the table provides into the overall significance of furniture design in Healey's working life for, clearly, this was not an inconsiderable matter.  As seen above, Healey spent about fifteen days working on the original building design at Thornhill Lees, and this compares with about nineteen and a half spent on furniture and furnishings, while at Low Moor, the corresponding figures are ten days and nine.  Such work was, therefore, a major undertaking, representing around a doubling of the original workload.  It was probably also indicative of a developing trend for whereas it was only really Pugin and Butterfield who viewed the fitting out and decoration of their buildings as central to their artistic vision in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, as at St. Giles's, Cheadle (1840) and All Saints', Margaret Street, Westminster (1849), respectively, by the third quarter it was encountered everywhere, as illustrated in the work of Street, Burges, Seddon, Bodley and Sedding among others.

 

 

Table 6b:  Church Furniture and Furnishings Designed by Thomas Healey

for St. Mark’s, Low Moor, & Holy Innocents’, Thornhill Lees.

 

Item of Church Furniture

Days Spent, Low Moor

Days Spent, Thornhill Lees

Altar rail

1

½

Font & font cover

1½

Tiling patterns

1½

1

Altar table

½

1

Stalls

-

½

Reredos

-

Pulpit

3

5½

Reading desk

1

½

Gates (unspecified)

-

1

Sun-dial

-

Ironwork to doors

½

-

TOTAL

9

19½

 

 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

 

In Arbitration Disputes and appearing as an Expert Witness in Court Cases.

Other work undertaken by Mallinson alone, not itself a direct part of the design and construction of buildings, included appearing as an expert witness in court cases, valuing and surveying, and arbitrating in building and land disputes.  The discussion hitherto has had most to say about Healey.  Mallinson’s working days seem frequently to have been longer, however, often exacerbated by a slow journey home after a late evening meeting [47], and when his full range of  activities is examined in detail, so it also becomes evident that his work ranged wider and did not always fit readily into the present-day notion of an architect’s portfolio.  In particular, his rôle as an arbitrator or expert witness in legal disputes involving land or buildings, stepped outside those bounds and brought with it the complication that there was often no readily predictable length of time these cases might require.  Around three dozen legal cases are mentioned in the day-books, although these reduce to two dozen when those that seem to have come to nothing or were settled privately are excluded.  The remaining twenty-four are listed in table 6c.  So far as one can tell, they are notable for an absence of any really serious vitriol - a situation suggested by the apparent readiness of the parties to accept Mallinson’s arbitration decisions and/or by the number of occasions when Mallinson was able to arrange to meet both disputants together - raising the possibility that some men at least went to law as a first resort rather than a last, perhaps to satisfy themselves they had had the benefit of an independent judgement.

 

 

Table 6c:  Land and building disputes for which James Mallinson gave evidence.

(§ indicates a case requiring Mallinson to stay away from home.)

 

Litigants

Where held

Mallinson’s Rôle or Nature of the Case

Appleyard ats. Lord Scarborough

Halifax County Court (7/5/56),

White Swan Hotel, Halifax (8/5/56),

& later, Halifax County Court  (26/6/57)

Dispute over flooding from the Hebble Brook

Bailing v. Nicholson (Morning Post)

Chancery Lane (12/7/54)

? Settling an affidavit only

Bott v. Aspinall; Bott v. Overseers and Surveyors of Kirkheaton (Halifax Courier, 8/4/54)

§ Liverpool Assizes (4 - 6/4/54 = 3 days)  Subpoenaed to appear, 24/3/54

Claims for services rendered in the defendant’s capacity as a civil engineer

Bott v. Aspinall (appeal); Bott v. Helliwell; Bott v. Pitchforth: Bott v. Smith; Bott v Overseers and Surveyors of Kirkheaton

§ Fendall’s Hotel, London (13-18/5/54 = 6 days)

(As  above)

Child v. Douglas (Bradford Observer, 3/8/54)

(May 1855)

Dispute about encroachment; settling affidavit

Crossley ats. Atkinson

White Lion Hotel, Halifax (25/4/55), arbitration adjourned & resumed, White Swan Hotel, Halifax (9 & 10/5/55)

arbitration adjourned & resumed 2nd time, White Swan Hotel (23/5/55).

Dispute over mason’s work

Crossley v. Lancs. & Yorks. Railway

White Swan Hotel, Halifax (8 & 10/4/57)

Appearance as expert witness

Earnshaw v. Fielding

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Gay ats. Miller

Skipton County Court

Defending against dispute over building work

Haigh ats. Stocks

§ Liverpool County Court (19-21/8/56 = 3 days)

Defending claim against stone taken from quarry

Haigh ats. Stocks, as above - case sent to arbitration

White Horse Hotel, Leeds (28 & 29/10/56);

sent to arbitration 2nd time, White Swan Hotel, Halifax (16-17 & 19/10/57);

case adjourned to Leeds (20/10/57)

Defending claim against stone taken from quarry

Hellliwell v. Styring

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Helliwell v. Titterington

§ York County Court (13 -14/3/54 = 2 days)

Dispute over watercourses

Ibbotson v. Halifax Corporation

? (May 1856)

?

Murgatroyd v. Robinson (York Herald, 19/7/56)

§ York County Court (15-17/7/56 = 3 days)

Complaint about choked river at Hebden Bridge

Perkins & Watson v. Denton

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Pickles v. Turner

(Place & date unrecorded)

Subpoenaed to appear, 9/4/56

Rainskill v. Hill

Halifax County Court (12/11/56)

Unspecified compensation dispute

Rudd v. Jagger

Halifax County Court (28/2/55)

County Court had asked Mallinson for opinion

Sharp v. Allen

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Smithies v. Brier

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Sutcliffe v. Davis

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Swaine v. Bairstow

N.A.

Mallinson appointed as arbitrator

Taylor v. Mills (Halifax Courier, 23/9/54)

Halifax County Court (7/6/54)

Claim for professional fees

Whitworth v. Crossley

Halifax County Court (7 & 8/11/56),

case adjourned & resumed (14 & 15/11/56),

case adjourned & resumed 2nd time (25/11/56),

case adjourned & resumed 3rd time (13/1/57).

Dispute over watercourses

 

 

 

Three typical examples can illustrate the way these cases might develop and the implications for Mallinson’s working life.  The case of Appleyard ats. Lord Scarborough appears to have originated in a complaint from Lord Scarborough that bad management higher up the Hebble Brook was causing flooding to his property downstream.  Mallinson was engaged by Joseph Appleyard who was then Mayor of Halifax, owned the land upstream and seems to have accepted there was a problem.  He spent one day 'taking the levels' before the hearing of the case at the County Court and the White Swan Hotel, Halifax, on consecutive days (the change of venue possibly representing a referral to arbitration), but thereafter, he made more than a dozen supervisory visits to the site over the course of six months, as workmen carried out the work agreed under the settlement.  The total demand on Mallinson’s time appears to have been about seven working days.

 

 

The case of Haigh ats. Stocks was a very long, drawn out affair that seems to have involved a dispute over how much stone had been taken by the defendant from Clough Hole Quarry, Hipperholme.  Mallinson appears to have been given the nigh on impossible task of making an assessment of this by surveying the excavation!  The arbitration was continually adjourned but by the time it was concluded, it had required about three and a half days surveying work and a further two, drawing up plans and liaising with Mr. Haigh. The hearing itself, which began in Leeds, transferred to Halifax and then returned to Leeds, occupied another six days.

 

 

That was still less than in the case of Whitworth v. Crossley, which involved another dispute about water courses, on this occasion concerning the Hebble and Ovenden Becks at their confluence at Dean Clough, Halifax.   A conservative estimate of the time Mallinson spent on this would be three days on site taking the levels (comprising six half day visits), six days drawing up plans in the office, and six days attending the court, amounting to fifteen days in all.

 

 

Cases such as these, therefore, could represent a serious commitment, and although only between six and eight generally came up in a given year, between them they could easily occupy several weeks.  They also brought the additional difficulty that much of this work was not transferable from one day to another in the way that most of Mallinson and Healey’s other activities were, but had to be done on set days at set times.  Mallinson also did other work as a surveyor or valuer, not connected with legal disputes - in the second case, often on behalf of the rating officers - but it is difficult to assess how much time this took, still less how much income it generated.  Just as Mallinson tended to collaborate with Charles Child in industrial work, however, so he frequently worked with William Armitage of Castle Hill, Mirfield, when surveying, probably for the very straightforward reason that some of the tasks required two pairs of hands.  

 

 

*    *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Conclusion.

 

The day-books allow a full picture to be drawn of Mallinson and Healey's working practices and a detailed understanding to be acquired of how they passed their individual days.  From these it becomes evident that the partners developed an extremely busy professional enterprise that recognised few fast boundaries and heaped all its disparate activities together, in no obvious hierarchical order, prioritising those where client pressure was most intense over others that were more significant but which, with judicious time management, could be undertaken later.  Every job bringing a commission was important, for payments for small jobs could sustain the business during the unpredictable periods that large jobs often took to come to fruition.  Success was built upon long hours and constant work, coupled with an appreciation that care taken over a small job today might bring in a bigger one tomorrow.  A wise provincial architect took care to provide a local service and knew he was unlikely to build his business by standing too readily on his dignity.  It was unsurprising in these circumstances that competitors were few:  few others came to be held in such confidence in the region or displayed the same range of skills or willingness to work so relentlessly for such a comparatively unspectacular reward. 

 

 

NOTES:

  1. Holy Innocents’ church, Thornhill Lees, was closed during the course of this study and its future status is uncertain;  St. Mark’s, Low Moor, and Bridge End Independent Chapel, Rastrick, have been converted to domestic use but can still be viewed externally.

  2. Thus for example, D/B 1st February 1854, 'Mr. Hardy called respecting a church for £500 at Low Moor and a parsonage', or nine days later, 'Rec. letter from Mr. T.T. Ormerod respecting intendednew [Independent] Chapel at Bridge End [Rastrick]'.

  3. As at Thornhill Lees, where Frank Wormald of Hague, Cook & Wormald  hoped to build a church for his work force directly opposite Dewsbury Mills on the other side of the River Calder, on a site he believed Lord Scarborough was willing to donate. (See D/B 13th & 18th April, 1855.)

  4. As at 'Mr. Hardy’s church' - St. Mark’s, Low Moor.

  5. Exceptions include St. Philip’s, Girlington, where the ICBS schedule gives the cost of the site as £120 (LPA,  ICBS 5395) and St. Mary’s, Lower Dunsforth, where the cost recorded on the balance sheet is £169.10s.0d (LPA, ICBS 5447).

  6. One exception to this general rule occurred when Healey took the levels at the proposed site for Bradford vicarage.  (D/B, 16th April 1855.)

  7. The outstanding example was again Charles Hardy, whose personal dealings with the firm were almost exclusively with Healey.  Yet although both partners (unusually) carried out the initial site inspection together (in company with Hardy - see D/B, 24th November 1854), the subsequent task of staking out the church fell as ever to Mallinson (D/B, 12th March 1855), who acted, therefore, both in this and all other cases, truly as the combined 'architect and surveyor' he had first advertised himself to be when he originally set himself up in independent business in Brighouse in 1839.

  8. White, Directory of Leeds & Bradford, 1854, p. 573, and  Linstrum,  West Yorkshire Architects, p. 374.

  9. As, for example, at Holy Innocents', Thornhill Lees.

  10. Thus for example, for Bridge End Independent Chapel, Rastrick, Healey spent about five days on a preliminary design in Gothic style, followed by another four on a classical alternative, and after the latter had been chosen, he then spent a further five days bringing this up to the standard he thought necessary at this stage.  However, a more time-saving case is illustrated at St. Mark’s, Low Moor, for here Healey produced what must have been two very rough sets of designs, in Norman and geometric styles, in barely two days each, and when the second was decided upon, he then spent a further six days working it up to a reasonable finish.  Conceivably, the reason this seemingly rough and ready approach was able to be adopted here was due to the fact that Healey already enjoyed an established relationship with Hardy, who himself was a very busy man and would have understood perfectly the constraints Healey was under.

  11. Thus at Thornhill Lees, Lord Scarborough agreed to donate the site for Holy Innocents’ church on condition that  the tower was surmounted by a spire, the roofs were covered with grey slates, and (most curiously of all) six steps should lead up to the entrance (D/B, 18th April 1855).  The only explanation for these stipulations that comes easily to mind is that Lord Scarborough was anxious that a church with which he was in some way associated, should make a suitably grand impression.

  12. Thomas Healey to Sir Francis Sharp Powell, Ilkley, 12th June 1860.  Bradford WYA, B-P papers.

  13. The Builder,  5, 1847, p. 561.

  14. Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, Recollections - the Life and Travels of a Victorian Architect  (London, Unicorn Press, 2003 (written 1915, published 1951)), p. 57.

  15. D/B, 15th February 1854.

  16. D/B, 7th April 1857.

  17. As, for example, in the invitation to tender for the work at All Saints’ church, Richmond Hill, Leeds, placed in The Leeds Intelligencer on August 11th 1849, p. 1.

  18. Hall, George Frederick Bodley, p. 261.

  19. For example, at Bridge End Chapel, Rastrick, Mallinson attended two meeting of the Chapel Committee to discuss the tenders and the committee only succeeded in deciding upon the mason and joiner even then.  (D/B,10th & 14th July 1854.)

  20. See The Leeds Intelligencer  for 24th May 1856, p. 2, where Kershaw is described as an 'architect and  land agent' of Westgate, Halifax.  Other men known to have been engaged in this capacity were a Mr. Mawson at St. Matthew’s, Bankfoot, Thomas James Shaw at Christ Church, Barkisland (for whom see chapter seven), and John Taylor at Bradford vicarage (as mentioned later in this chapter).

  21. M.H. Port, 'The Office of Works and Building Contracts in Early Nineteenth-Century England', and especially pp. 100-101.

  22. One exception appears to have been Holy Innocents’ church, Thornhill Lees, where there is no record of such a ceremony ever having taken place.

  23. The Bradford Observer, 31st May 1849, p. 8.

  24. Thus for example, Mallinson also attended the ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone at Springfield Independent Chapel, Dewsbury.  (D/B, 25th March 1856.)T

  25. The Bradford Observer, 5th November 1846, p. 8.

  26. The Leeds Intelligencer,  25th May 1850, p. 7.

  27. The Leeds Intelligencer, 29th August 1857, p. 8.

  28. The design of Holy Innocents’, Thornhill Lees, was particularly protracted for this reason, notwithstanding Frank Wormald’s periodic attempts to hurry things along.

  29. In fact, John Knox, described as 'Thompson’s foreman at [the] Railway Station',  was engaged as clerk-of-the-works at Haley Hill on a short-term basis from the 25th October 1855 to 1st February 1856, initiated, no doubt, by Healey’s month-long absence for ill health during October, when Mallinson was rushed off his feet.  Knox was paid  the handsome salary of £2.10s.0d per week during this period, which contrasted with Daniel Kershaw’s salary at Thornhill Lees of just £1.10s.0d, but presumably, the urgent and sudden nature of Knox’s engagement meant it was necessary to offer a premium.

  30. D/B, 16th March 1855.

  31. D/B, 19th March 1855.

  32. D/B for the relevant dates.

  33. A particularly bad day was 7th July 1857 when Mallinson caught the 6.30.a.m. train to Liverpool to see Peter Thompson at his office, to find he was not in and not finally to catch up with him until 3.25.p.m. at Lime Street Station.  Meanwhile, Healey took the train to Thornhill Lees, met Frank Wormald and Gomersall, the joiner, at 3.15.p.m., and went with them to call on Mr. Ingham, only to find he was not in either.  (D/B.) 

  34. D/B, 10th January 1854.

  35. However, it is possible, perhaps, that the mistake may have provided Taylor with an opportunity to adopt a relaxed approach!

  36. Wakefield, WYA, WDP21/252.

  37. See chapter 10.

  38. There is no evidence that Healey designed stained glass for his churches.  However, in most casesthere would have been very little or no money available for such a relatively expensive item during the initial stage of a church's construction, and glass would have been left to accumulate down the ensuing decades as wealthy donors commissioned individual windows, usually in commemoration of the deceased relatives.

  39. London, Victoria & Albert Museum, RIBA Archive,  PB432/18, 1-6.

  40. D/B, 11th & 12th April 1854.

  41. D/B, 22nd & 24th April, 25th & 26th May and 5th July 1854.

  42. D/B, 27th April 1854.

  43. D/B, 10th & 12th May, 1854.

  44. D/B, 11th July 1854.  The font survives and is still in the church.

  45. D/B, 12th & 13th July 1854.

  46. Ruth Harman says that the design for the pulpit was not executed until 1877. (Nikolaus Pevsner & Ruth Harman, The Buildings of England - Yorkshire: Sheffield & the South, p.  200.)

  47. Thus to consider January 1854 alone, Mallinson spent the night at Wakefield on Monday 2nd, eventually returning home the next day on the 7.10.p.m. train.  On Wednesday 4th he returned from Bradford on the 7.45.p.m. train, on Monday 9th he returned (also from Bradford) by the 7.05.p.m. train via Mirfield, on Friday 13th he spent the night at Elland, on Monday 16th he spent the evening 'casting measurements of quarries', on Tuesday 17th he spent the night at Leeds, on Thursday 19th,Friday 20th and Saturday 21st  he got home at 6.00.p.m., 7.15.p.m. and 8.00.p.m. respectively, and although he got home at the exceptionally early hour of 5.00.p.m. on Tuesday 24th, this was more than reclaimed by the fact that he only got home at 11.45.p.m. on Monday 30th and by the last train from Brighouse on Tuesday 31st.  (D/B.)

 

CHAPTER 7.  ►