Children’s Convalescent Home, Brand Hill, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire

Messenger & Co., Ltd. 1925 Catalogue

In 1910[1], at the request of local architects, Messrs. Barrowcliff and Allcock of Loughborough, they built a 31ft. long, 10ft. wide veranda, with a glass wall at one end, at the Children’s Convalescent Home, Woodhouse Eaves. At the time it was part of the Charnwood Forest Convalescent Homes, of which Mr. G. H. Barrowcliff, the architect, was Honorary Secretary.

Whilst the firm took overall responsibility, they outsourced the roof glazing to a third party whilst the architects engaged Messrs. Barker & Son, of Loughborough, directly, to undertake the building work, to the firm’s plan.

Initially the firm tried to engage Messrs. Helliwell & Co., Ltd.; they quoted £19 (net cash) for “supplying and fixing our patent “Strong section” galvanised steel glazing bars fitted with detachable zinc clips and 3/16in. cut plate glass in panes about 24in. wide – Also ditto, ditto our special zinc top flashing”.

However, at the same time as the firm agreeing an estimate of £51 17s 2d., (subsequently increased by £1 10s. for teak posts) with Messrs. Barrowcliff and Allcock, they were in correspondence with Messrs. Helliwell & Co., Ltd., claiming that their estimate was too high. Even when Helliwell reduced the price by £3 to £16, they were still regarded as too expensive. Helliwell refused to lower the price any further, stating that “The clear bearing between supports is over 10-feet necessitating a “Strong” section glazing bar, and it would therefore be impossible to put in a cheaper bar unless you provided an intermediate purlin which we suppose you would not care about doing.”

Instead the firm approached Messrs. W.H. Heywood, with an idea of using “The Heywood Combination of Glazing”. Their estimate

“for 349 super ft. of Patent Glazing required at the above, with 3/16in. rough cast Glass, in panes about 21” wide, on “The Heywood Combination System of Glazing”, with bars of Bulb-Tee Section, comprising leaden glazing bars and caps combined, on rolled steel bars galvanised, pure asbestos packing, strong copper stops and metal covered condensation eaves bar, fixed to satisfaction of Architect or Engineer, and guaranteed for FIVE YEARS in respect of failure of systems, imperfect workmanship, or defective material, will be 7½d. per super ft., nett all glass measured.

9’ 0” cutting to bevils at hips, &c., charged at 6d. per purlin ft. nett.

This estimate is exclusive of lead flashing and woodwork.

We could complete work in 8 days after obtaining sizes.”


Messrs. W. H. Heywood & Co.’s Bulb-Tee Bar

This estimate being significantly lower than Helliwell’s was subsequently accepted and work subsequently completed satisfactorily. Inevitably, the final price rose to £96 18s. 1d., including brickwork undertaken by Messrs. Barker. The additions included the provision and fitting of wood lath blinds, painting the folding doors leading into the Children’s home (see photo), various pipe alterations, with the most expensive item being the building and glazing of the “end glass wall”.

The initial approach from the architects was on 6th April and the final payment was dispatched 5 ½ months later on 20th August.

Today (2018), now known as Charnwood House, it has been converted into apartments. The original veranda has been altered to form a first floor veranda.


Charnwood House, showing converted veranda


  1. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE 2121/185/2.