The Buildings Trades’ Exhibition was formally opened on Saturday, 20th March, 1897, at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, by the Lord Mayor (the Right Hon. G. F. Faudell-Phillips) and closed the following Saturday, 27th March.
Among the exhibitors was Messrs. Messenger & Co., Ltd., together with their subsidiary, the Cameo Woodworking Co. Both exhibits were described in The Surveyor on 2nd April 1897, as part of their wider review of the Exhibition:
Messrs. Messenger & Co., Midland Horticultural Works, Loughborough, had on view a section showing open stove house, 15 ft. wide, with iron imperishable sill and oven tins, condensation rafters and bars, with patent lever opening apparatus to front and roof. We also noticed an ” iron imperishable stage” and a “Loughborough” boiler, which seems extremely well adapted as a heating apparatus for small greenhouses. It was fitted with elastic-jointed pipes, and we were informed that as many as 400 have been sold in the course of a month. A plant protector, with iron framing and wood lights, is constructed so that the lights may be set open or lifted out. In the valves on view, including the full-way syphon valve and the improved throttle valve, the working parts can be removed for repair without disturbing the pipes. There were also on view iron walk and kerbs, for vineries, allowing for the vine border under the walk being top dressed. Among the radiators were a single and a double oval-tube radiator, a linen-fold ventilating radiator, and the Roberts ventilating radiators. Before concluding our notice of Messrs. Messenger & Co.’s exhibits we would draw attention to a new development upon which they have entered, under the name of The Cameo Woodworking Company. The decorations supplied are suitable for dados, cornices, mantlepieces, architraves, chair rails, ceilings, picture rails, picture frames, finger plates, screens, and for a variety of other purposes in house furnishing and ornamental enrichment. The designs employed are good, and the work comes out clearly and vividly, presenting a rich and attractive appearance at a moderate cost. It should certainly attract the attention of builders, decorators, cabinet makers and others. The makers claim that this woodwork is waterproof and weatherproof, and thus equally applicable for indoor and outdoor ornamentation, as it may be washed or scrubbed without injury. The whole of the work is produced by special patented machinery. The process adopted for the treatment is the exclusive property of the company, and is designed to prevent the crushing on the burning of the fibre, so that the wood after leaving the machine may retain its natural colour and remain perfectly solid. The manufacturers consider that this new woodwork ornamentation might appropriately be used for fitting up steamship or yacht cabins, railway carriages, tramcars, hotel lifts, billiard-rooms, banks, and business premises generally. The exhibits of this cameo work included, in addition to panelling, a chimney-piece, a door in dark oak, electric wire casings and picture frames. The new departure looks very promising.
Another review appeared in The Builder on 26th March, again as part of a wider review of the exhibition:
Messrs. Messenger and Co., of the Midland Horticultural Works, Loughborough, Leicestershire, Victoria-street, Westminster, exhibit an open stove-house, fitted with their iron sill and iron imperishable stage, with rafters grooved for carrying away condensed moisture, which is conveyed from the glass by specially cut joints at the laps. The opening apparatus, shown in action, by which the side and upper lights are opened, we lately described. We have seen nothing so effective as the motion of the lever which actuate the sashes; long lengths of roof and side lights can be operated by this system. The iron sill is an excellent substitute for the perishable wooden sill.
Adjoining this stand, the Cameo Wood-Working Co.’s exhibit ought specially to be noticed. The very effective and beautiful ornamentation which this company show deserves attention by all architects, builders, decorative artists, and the public. The pattern is pressed into the grain of the wood by rollers, and the surface slightly apparently burnt, so as to assume a rich brown colour, which gives the effect of a cameo-like relief to the ornament. We saw several panels of various shades of colour, friezes, dadoes, enriched mouldings, doors, and chimneypieces treated in this manner, which were very decorative in effect. For electric wire casings it is admirably adapted, as the covers can be enriched with ornament along ceilings and walls, and for the cuing of girders or beams no better decoration can be obtained. For picture-frames and rails, the cameo treatment is also inexpensive and effective.