September 6th, 2016

Fancy buying a church spire?

Updated: 2:23 pm, Jun 19, 2015

NOTHING is beyond recycling for two South Warwickshire entrepreneurs – including a 50 foot church spire.

Architectural salvage experts Paul Busby of Source4You based at Bearley Aerodrome, and Jim Savage of Warwick Reclamation at Bishops Tachbrook, will be hoping for some divine inspiration  when they attempt to find a buyer for a limestone Black Country chapel spire.

The pair will be looking to sell the Gothic steeple at the Salvo Fair taking place at Henley-on-Thames on Saturday and Sunday June 26 and 27.

While they have not yet decided on a final price they are looking for offers over £130,000.

The spire came from a demolished grade II listed Wesleyan Chapel built in 1910 in Walsall which fell victim to subsidence in the 1990s caused by collapsed flooded mine workings. The chapel was abandoned for 17 years and its fate was finally sealed when arsonists struck in 2008.

Paul told The Observer: “Jim and I rescued the spire in 2011 in a moment of historic architectural empathy and probable financial madness when demolition became inevitable.

“This is a one off item, very rarely available, which hasn’t been cheap to rescue, and will cost a bob or two for us to re-erect for a discerning customer.

“We found lot of the history of the chapel in a time capsule under the foundation stone giving us an insight into life in Edwardian Walsall. We tracked the builders and architects, and the cost of the build which was £3,600.

“The capsule listed the names of the benefactors and described the activities of the chapel, news of the work of its missionaries overseas and the names of supporters within the vibrant community before the First World War.

“Many visitors came to look when we were taking the building down including elderly people who recalled attending the chapel and Sunday school with hundreds of kids and even a man who said he and his wife were the last couple to be married there.”

Paul and Jim believe the octagonal spire could make a striking monument, folly, or even a mobile phone mast.

The entire structure will not be erected at Salvo Fair but the top six metres or so will be, together with pieces of worked stone.

Salvo Fair is the world’s largest architectural salvage gathering, offering everything from fireplaces to brick, but probably only one chapel spire.

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