The Tuberculosis Chalets Conservation Project
The two chalets were rescued over twenty years ago by forward thinking conservation architects when the Salvation Army took ownership from the Crown of the land they stood on. They were temporarily relocated adjacent to Karingal while a decision was made about their longer term future. Concern by The Friends of the Orphan Schools about their continuing degradation led to an onsite inspection with Heritage Tasmania in late 2011.
Robert Vincent, who is both a conservation architect and a long-time supporter of the Friends, developed a conservation plan which was approved by Heritage Tasmania. A copy of the report is available here. The Friends noted the urgency of preventing further water damage and allocated $1,000 of its scarce resources to immediate conservation activities. Committee member Simon Cocker agreed to take on management of the project and these pages record the exciting progress of the project.
To do as little as possible and as much as necessary to conserve the Alan Rogers Chalet and the Rechabite Chalet including:
- improved drainage
- internal and external painting
- roof painting
- repair of foundations
- repair of water damaged timber
- re-puttying of windows
- replace filial
- possible relocation to new foundations
- A heritage report for conservation and maintenance has been written by Robert Vincent and advice received from Heritage Tasmania that the plan is exempt from requiring further approvals.
- Expert advice and management to come from Robert and Brian Webberley.
- The plan has been discussed with the Department of Health and Human Services and approval to proceed given. A subsequent discussion established further cooperation and assistance from DH&HS.
- Simon Cocker appointed by Committee to manage project for Committee who approved up to $1000 for the project.
- Approval given by DH&HS to run power from Karingal if access is available. Team welcome to use storage facilities on site.
- Members were emailed and invited to join working bees.
- Next member newsletter to include detailed information on history of huts and project.
- The work will be conducted by working bees 10.00am to 12.00pm on Sunday mornings.
This web page records the progress of our volunteers.
Working Bee 1: 29 July 2012: Robert Vincent, Brian Webberley, Simon Cocker
- Discussed plans and determined priorities.
- Dug out soil from around the wooden base and dug trenches to run rain water way from the chalets.
- Collected paint samples.
- Brick paving discovered running under Alan Rogers Chalet.
- Preparation and undercoating of Rechabite Chalet. Laying out of markers for the foundations. 450mm holes to be filled with concrete with stirrups for supporting beams to be laid across. 10 posts for the chalet and 8 for the hut.
Working Bee 2 - 5 August: Robert Vincent, Brian Webberley, Simon Cocker
- Measured up roof flashing and decayed barge board for replacement, commenced scraping and sanding to prepare externals wall for painting
- Removed degraded putty from windows.
- Repaired damaged wooden fancy work.
Working Bee 3 - 12 August:Robert Vincent, Brian Webberley, Simon Cocker.
- Continued scraping and sanding to prepare external wall for painting
- Removed degraded putty from windows
- measured and cut flashing timber
- Repaired front foundations by jacking up wall
- removing blocks, inserting 60x60 concrete pavers replacing blocks and thus providing more solid base and straightening bowed wall.
- Swept out inside.
- Pavers donated by Robert Vincent, portable power supply loaned by Bob Gordon.
Friday August 17
- Excellent discussion with DH&HS. They are very happy about what we are doing and most supportive of all the plans including some relocation. Has indicated potential for some financial support including payment for painting of the rooves
Working Bee 4 -19 August: Robert Vincent, Brian Webberley, Simon Cocker with new volunteer Kerry Brehens.
- Installed and painted the flashing boards on the roof of the Chalet.
- Measured up for the filial to be repaired.
- Continued with sanding and scraping of external walls, oiled some dry wood, re-puttied the windows.
- Started discussions on the possibilities of relocation around the current site
Working Bee 5 - Thursday 23 August .
A bonus, a work experience team from Hobart College with teacher Peter Hicks.
- Did four hours work supervised by Robert.
- They scraped and sanded and achieved a great deal mainly on the chalet.
- Pruned back the brambles and bush in front of the chalet.
Working Bee 6 - 26 August: Robert Vincent, Brian Webberley, Simon Cocker, Kerry Brehens
- Replaced and painted front facia decoration
- Replaced and painted rear filial.
- Cleaned down front wall.
- Considered further plans for relocation.
Working Bee 7 - 9 September:Work proceeds on the two chalets.
- We now have undercoat on half of the Alan Rogers Chalet and some final coat on parts of the front so people can view the intend colour scheme that has been derived from paint scraps and photographic indications.
- There is more to be done of course. More help would be good..
- The opening panel on the Alan Rogers Chalet copper sign is fully operational.
- We are now thinking about the future foundations and setting them out. That is, proposing were they could go. We realise this needs agreement from all and sundry, but if it is set out on the ground then people can look on site and think about what exactly is proposed.
Working Bee 8 - 16 September
- We have nearly finished undercoat on the Alan Rogers Chalet and part of the top coating.
- Further discussion about relocation options
Working Bee 9 - 30 September
- On site Committee meeting agrees with colour scheme and considers possible relocations position for the chalets. It is agreed that they should be facing NNE as per the original location and that they should be placed to maximise impact on approach from the Old Vicarage. They should be placed on concrete footings. A 34 tonne forklift that can do the moving has been offered.
October 1 - DHHS approves relocation plan.
Working Bee 10
- Dug test holes for footings
- continued with painting rear and side walls.
- Cleaned linoleum.
Working Bee 11 Elizabeth College Team
- Preparation and undercoating of Rechabite Chalet.
- Laying out of markers for the foundations. 450mm holes to be filled with concrete with stirrups for supporting beams to be laid across. 10 posts for the chalet and 8 for the hut
- Continued with preparation and painting of the Chalet.
Working bee 12 and 13
Peter Gaggin has joined the team.
- Continued with the painting.
- The bricks under the Alan Rogers Chalet have been identified as a drive way that extended from the end of St Johns Avenue to the car park at the Old Rectory.
- It was decided that it is best for both longevity and safety to create solid footings for the Chalets. This would consist of dug, footings of 600 mm filled with concrete posts and with stirrups fitted and supporting beams laid across. This will require written permission from the owners DH&HS, both heritage and planning permission from the Hobart City Council, soils testing and Engineers/Building Surveying certification. Submission will be made to HCC for assistance with the fees.
- An alternative footing system is being explored which several advantages over concrete and post including being cheaper and transportable if we ever want to move the chalets in the future. Robert is currently revising plans and working with a building surveyor to lodge the Council applications. Unfortunately we are unlikely to get the approvals in time to complete this year.
Working Bee 14
- Tina Curtis has joined the team. Painting continued with the Rogers Chalet nearly finished and the Rechabite Chalet about 80% complete
Working bee 15 and 16
- Painting of the Alan Rogers Chalet is completed and the Rechabite hut is now 99% done.