Renovation Diary for 2019
We got the keys on 2nd February 2019 and got stuck in fairly shortly afterwards. As well as special volunteering events, the Weekday Warriors along with Professionals have been renovating The Swan. The first phase was the pub itself and also the School House. This allowed the pub to open in July but work progressed throughout the year. This page documents the renovations week-by-week during 2019.
This was the week that not only did the drains get a full clear-out, but after a camera inspection the professionals lined the pipework to prevent further blockages.
In parallel the Workday Warriors fireboarded the kitchen ceiling to take it to the next stage. They also took down the old ceiling in the upstairs toilet (some might remember it from the BBQs).
Gallery for the 20th December.
There was a lot of work in the back office to try and get it complete before Christmas. A tall order. Plastering done. Door mounted. We're getting there.
Side windows have been externally prepared for painting but weather is slowing us down here. And the kitchen ceiling was sound proofed too.
Gallery for the 13th December.
Lots going on this week.
One of the chimneys was reduced in height by our professional team. And Bes came to the rescue to clear-up the dust inside the pub too.
The stable roofs were repaired by a professional team, the pigeons evicted and the stables were made water tight.
Finishing work was done in the office so that the bar team an move in next week (hopefully).
And the courtyard and outbuildings were made ready for our impending Winter Fayre and W&E Living Advent Calendar.
Gallery for the 6th December.
The security cameras were completed and now feedback to a central location. This offers excellent protection for the building, contents and the community.
The temporary solution for the floor at the foot of the internal staircase was replaced with a longer lasting solution.
The professional roofers started on the roofs of The Stables whilst clearing went on below.
Gallery for the 29th November.
Although it sounds simple, it wasn't - tons of waste, building rubble and materials were removed. The behond the scenes storage area was cleared out.
Work started for The Stables to make them water tight and to improve the overall appearance. This was in readiness for the forthcoming Winter Fayre.
And we added toilet roll holders too .... :D
Gallery for the 22nd November.
Colin (aka Jock) donated a gorgeous bell for the bar, to make the call for for last orders authentic. This has been mounted in the bar and Matt has checked it out. Thanks Colin.
The guys have been up on the roof again this week mounting the new soffits and fascias. They have also been in the kitchen making good the back wall that previously had rot. And they have tidied up the storage behind the doors taking much debris to the dump.
Gallery for the 15th November.
We've had a small hiccup with the front wall. As a temporary measure we have had to do some shoring-up. That allowed us to actually fix the gates so they open and close properly.
The GRS have started to tidy up the stables ready for the Christmas Fayre. They have been scraping the doors down and washing down the walls removing all the loose paint.
The fruits of the sewing bee have started to arrive with the new Swan cushions being put out for display. There are more to come!
Gallery for the 8th November.
Due to heavy rains, we had some small issues with the roof. Pete and the team got stuck in to make the necessary repairs to the gullies, slates, etc to protect the building. It was succsessful.
Doing that identified the need for new soffits and fascias. The timber was ordered, arrived and painting started immediately.
Gallery for the 1st November.
Baby changer units, toilet signs, and a few other finishing touches were done this week. Also boarding part of the office to allow the sparkies to finish their phase 1 work.
And we got a second TV working for the rugby too!
Gallery for the 25th October.
A relatively quiet week due to holidays and other commitments.
There was further painting of the external doors to the side. Also Pete built the two bench seats in the window alcoves.
And it was the week the safety notices were removed from the main gates.
Gallery for the 18th October.
A relatively quiet week due to holidays and other commitments.
That said, Rob and Scott our plumbers were in and connected up the radiators. Also the team were doing touch-ups and painting within the bar area.
Gallery for the 11th October.
Busy week with special call to action for painters and cleaners so we could get ready for the impending visit of BBC Radio Berkshire.
The bar was closed on the Tuesday and there was a lot of painting of: skirting, remaining walls, internal & external doors, behind the bar itself, and window frames.
Also clearing courtyard of debris and the great unveiling of the wooden floor.
Gallery for the 4th October.
A lot of painting this week. Walls, windows, skirting ... the lot. We had a call for help on the Friday which was answered and helped greatly. Even a visitor from California even got involved!
The bar front was added, a new serving bridge too. The bar is really taking shape. We also have some new additions to the staff as others return to university. Kelly got stuck into the painiting too!
Site clearance was also a priority for The Windsor Fringe which was taking place at the weekend. Big strides forward but there is a lot more still to do.
Gallery for the 27th September.
This was the week the pub opened from 9.30am offering coffee, tea and cakes. It was also the week when the rugby world cup started so we had a TV up and running.
Other highlights include the urinal in the gents finally working, WiFi and the radiators have been mounted on the walls.
And most significant of all .... the Green Room School opened for their first pupils!
Gallery for the 20th September.
Scott th Plumber was a very busy lad this week installing and commissioning in the school room and bar. The highlight was probably getting the first of the ice from the new ice machine - a cheer went up fron the rest of the team.
Also there were a number of paint trials going on in the bar. Various shades of green (yes, green) were being trialled over the fireplace and certain walls in the bar. This is continuing.
The front windows were tackled ... again. And more boron to the rear wall in the kitchen and room of doom.
Gallery for the 13th September.
The school entrance was finalised and tidied up. The iron work and fencing was re-welded back into position and Warren came and took down the first of the scaffolding.
The sparkies were hard at it connecting up in the bar and in the cellar. The fire system was also installed and commissioned.
Gallery for the 6th September.
The school room was the focus of attention trying to get it ready for the new school year. Tables and benches were crafted. Lghting was finalised. Mains plugs and floor control units installed and commissioned.
In the bar, the gents was a focus of attention with the toilet being installed and the tiling completed ready for grouting. The sparkies were busy in the bar too with their second fixing - lights, sockets, etc. The ladies was updated with new lighting and the right hand dryer.
Out in the year, more sanding and paitning of tables and chairs.
Gallery for the 30th August.
This was the week when the bar moved back into the coach house to allow the floor to be laid and the actual bar to be built.
More painting was doen, more plastering and more pointing too. The bar was a real hive of activity.
And then on Saturday 24th, the new bar re-opened. We are only a few weeks away now from fuly opening the bar.
Gallery for the 23rd August.
More lighting in the bar was added. Most of the sectors now have lighting. A positive step forward.
The new side door was progressed with eh addition of glass above the door and the threshold added. This will be completed early next week.
The two redundant chimneys have been boarded up and plastered. Boarding is being carried out around the gents toilet.
Further painting has been done to the ceilings and the walls. All magnolia for now.
Gallery for the 16th August.
We have mains power in the building now! Whahey!
We also have some lights that work too!
And the radiators are starting to be installed - what excitement!
More misting was done, school room floor sanded, rest of kitchen pulled down, and more misting in the bar. And a lot of chairs were painted too!
Gallery for the 9th August.
Bar was closed for two days to allow the temp bar area to be plastered. During this time, we pulled the kitchen ceiling down and created a new side door too.
The windows in the school room were re-stripped ready to be neutralised and re-painted. Guttering was added in front of side doors to prevent any possible flooding issues. New mains distribution boxes were added.
Chairs were painted, cats too. And more wire stripping in the sun whilst putting the world to rights.
Gallery for the 2nd August.
After the excitement of the opening, Monday came back with a bang. Lots still to do to allow us to move from an outdoor pub to a fully fledged one.
The two walls were completed where we used to have doors. The cellar hatch was completely renewed and made secure. The ladies loo got some undercoat.
And there was also a delivery of beer as trading had been good!
Gallery for the 26th July.
A lot happened this week with completing the plasterboarding of the ceiling and pillars and then getting most of it actually plastered.
Key was adding back the temporary bar and kitting our the cellar so we could operate as a pub. This took to 11.30pm on the night before opening.
Sinks were reconnected in the kitchen to allow glass washing. The ladies loo was made good for the opening so it could be used.
The courtyard was also cleared to allow benches, tables and seating.
Gallery for the 19th July.
Toothing was done on the soon ex-ladies toilet door and ex-alcove door. This is required to mesh in the new brickwork.
The beams were prepared by adding the appropriate boxing and noggins to allow the fitment of the fire retardant plasterboard.
Frank who is one of the main electricians from New Leaf, almost completed the first fitting in the bar. There is a heckuvalot of wires hanging down now.
The heating system was connected up with the appropriate controls and tested. We briefly had hot water :)
Both toilets had their floors levelled ready for tiling.
Gallery for the 12th July.
Insulation, insulation and more insulation. Good news was that the entire bar floor was insulated and the subfloor laid. We can now walk in the bar!
Sparkies were in doing first runs for the bar lighting. They have a lot to do in the coming week or so.
Plumbers too doing work in the cellar, connecting up the upstairs loo, and lots of stuff behind the scenes. Keith joined us, a sparky specialised in heating systems.
Ailish, our local film producer/director popped down and ended up giving some of the benches a quick sand. A dirty job.
Gallery for the 5th July.
Building inspector visited and gave a thumbs up for the new steels. Immediately the volunteer team got stuck in and started laying the insulation. We found it wasn't as easy as it looked.
Side entrance got a new slate roof. The cellar was re-tanked. Door frames in the two toilets were inserted. All-in-all a pretty busy week!
Gallery for the 28th June.
A bit of a disaster in the cellar when all the new tanking failed to adhere properly and could be easily peeled off. The ceiling was replace as well as taken the opportunty to insulate it.
Of note, Alan and Gerry have been doing their magic in re-pointing certain bar walls to make them a feature. Results are impressive.
Gallery for the 21st June.
This was the week that the Fire Brigade came to The Swan and rescued the old pub sign for us. The Crown Estate Forresters also donated a huge wooden plank from a fallen 300-year-old cedar tree from the Great Park.
Gallery for the 14th June.
A week of work in the cellar and pulling down ceilings on the first floor. This is taking us significant time and manpower to achieve./
The school room is starting to take shape with the ceiling now repaired and all the sripping out done with repairs started. We now have a good plan for the way forward.
Alan and Gerry have made good progress making the feature walls in the bar by cleaning and re-pointing them.
Gallery for the 7th June.
Preparation for the bar floor was completed including the steel under the floor which was given a protective coat.
Most of the subfloor for the bar was actually laid. Note this is the footings, joists and damp proofing.
Once the electrics and plumbing are done, insulation and a layer of tongue and groove will be put down.
Further tidying work was done in the school room with it being readied for replacement of any faulty boards.
We had a lot of weekday volunteers - we still need more. Come down!
Gallery for the 31st May.
Trenches in the courtyard and outside the main building were completed. The electricity supply was then upgraded to three phase.
The final bits of the ceiling were removed.
The footings for the floor were tidied up. And a skip filled in less than a week.
Bricks were distributed in preparation for the brickie on Saturday.
The raw materials for the subfloor were delivered.
Volunteers sanded important bits of the school room walls.
Gallery for the 24th May.
Steels were delivered by It's A Steel and were installed by our professional building team.
Most of the bar ceiling has been taken down being readied for the new fire resistant boards.
Last of the bar floor is being removed.
Trench has been started in the courtyard for the new electricity supply.
Our plumbers are making great progress on the heating system.
Gallery for the 17th May.
Work to the bar area and toilets has continued apace this week, and the concrete pad stones which will support the structural steels have been completed. This is an important milestone for the project, and is the result of a lot of hard work and skill from our builders and volunteers alike.
There are myriad small jobs which need to be undertaken across the site, which would suit volunteers of all shapes and sizes! This week we had hardy volunteers removing barrow loads of unearthed rubble, others preparing for the heating engineers to come in, while up in the school room preparations for decorating have continued.
Gallery for the 10th May.
Footings completed for the concrete padstones required for the new stel supports.
Started plastering gents toilet.
Prep work for new boiler and water tanks carried out.
GRS were clearing rubble and prepping their school room.
Further scaffolding was put in place.
First round of paint matching tests against The Swan colours completed.
Some more wire stripping completed.
Gallery for the 3rd May.
The toilets are ready for plastering.
The footings have been dug out but do need extended.
The electricians have done the initial wiring for school room, more to follow.
The rotten part of the stairs to the school room (hall) have being replaced.
Front window frames in the bar and the first bedroom have been prepared with paint stripper.
Gallery for the 26th April.
Some walls in the bar were demolished and Acrow Props inserted.
The electricians have done the initial wiring for the bar area, more to follow.
We are waiting for planning approval for the "steels" that will open up the bar area.
The new stud partition walls and electrics are now in place in the toilets.
Selco made a special delivery of building materials on Good Friday.
Gallery for the 19th April.
Final decisions have now been made on the bar layout, and relevant restructuring work for this is underway.
Peter, the builder, has made good progress on the interiors of both pub toilets, with stud work already being installed. That has allowed some design decisions to be made and some vital testing of some standing room space!
Electrical work is due to start next week starting with the toilets and the school room.
Gallery for the 12th April.
On Monday, the building committee held its first meeting inside The Swan, a dusty affair around a temporary table and some of the old pub chairs. The venue was fitting though, as some important decisions were taken regarding the future layout of the bar area.
The committee has also continued to focus on getting the design finalised for the ladies and gents toilets.
Final plans are coming in for electrical work to commence and the process of putting the premises through a thorough fire risk assessment has begun, to ensure we are adopting best options for fire safety.
Gallery for the 5th April.
The favourable weather has enabled the roofers to get up the scaffold and start work this week.
Designs for the upgraded and improved toilets have now been finalised and will incorporate wheelchair accessible cubicles in both the male and female toilets.
Our structural engineer has drawn up plans for remodelling the bar area, with a cost effective solution, balancing the need to create a bright, open space befitting the communal ethos of the project, whilst retaining some quirky nooks and crannies.
We have ordered some premium engineered oak flooring for the bar.
Gallery for the 29th March.
We are still very much in the early stages of works. Basically, we are getting the building to breathe again. We are also dealing with problematic areas such as leaks, dry and wet rot, blocked gutters, broken down pipes and so on.
Inside the structural engineer has been working with the team. They have been discussing how to remove the pillars in the centre of the bar to create a bigger open plan area. The solution will need steel beams to be inserted and Planning Department approval.
With aid of the scaffolding, the team removed the plants and vegetation that has accumulated on the roof and walls over the years.
Gallery for the 22nd March.
It's the end of the second week, and here's a summary of progress:
Students from The Green Room School came and removed and recycled the planters.
With the help of Jeff the plumber, they emoved the sanitary wear from the hall.
Good progress is being made replacing the roof over the laundry.
We've found dry rot behind the panels at the stairs to the hall.
More scaffolding was added by Warren to help the roofers who are expected next week.
Gallery for the 15th March.
The team have really got stuck in during the week:
Most obvious is the erection of the scaffolding.
Removed the rotten joists in the bar.
David, our structural engineer, was in during the week looking at the bar area.
Roof of the gents will need to be replaced.
First part of the new laundry roof was completed.
“Lino Len” met the team and will provide all our flooring and carpet needs.
Gallery for the 8th March.
Sootbusters cleaned several of the chimneys already.
Yesterday we found another that was hidden from view.
The office ceiling has been taken down.
Removed the rotten floor boards in the bar area.
Opened up several airbricks that had been sealed.
Worked out how to replace the roof in the gents loo.
Gallery for the 1st March.
The "For Sale" sign has gone. Sootbusters cleaned several of the chimneys already. Yesterday we found another hidden one. The office ceiling was taken down.
Taken more of the walls in the bar back to the brickwork plus removed all the radiators and sinks from the bar and stopped several pipe leaks.
Gallery for the 22nd February.
The first step of the renovation programme started this week. The team from the Green Room School went in and tore down the canopy in the courtyard that was at the side of the main pub. It was completely rotten and dangerous.
Gallery for the 8th February.