John Seddon mentioned in Miss Watt’s birthday book 1878
from letter 5/6/1867 from Geo Whitley
And also tracing
of elevation &c and copy estimate and think this, if approved of, ought to
be proceeded with as it will be a permanent improvement.
Atherton’s farm 244.10.0 329.0.0
Byron’s 212. 0.0 287.0.0
£763. 0.0 £999.0.0
a difference in favour of Hill of £236 and as he is a responsible man I should
give him the preference.
from letter from 19/11/1867 from Geo Whitley
I think we ought to accept Mr. Leyland’s liberal offer & have given directions to Mr. Shelmerdine to prepare the plans on a reduced scale & with a view to economy. I hear a most favourable account of our Tenant and that he and his lady have expressed themselves well satisfied with the Hall, if they are so now they will be delighted in the summer.
from letter 6/1/1868 from Geo Whitley
By book post I send plans & elevations. We have not got the estimates
until the plans are decided on but in round numbers No. 1. will cost £300 and
No. 2 £320. I am afraid therefore we can scarcely expect Mr. Leyland to build
one of them though the proposition was his own.
from letter 11/1/1868 from Thomas
Lodge Nr. Speke Hall
I don’t think the effect would be spoiled by lowering the pitch of the
roof; say 3feet in vertical height and proportionately for the porch, more I
would not recommend.
I have not sent the tracings as I thought they would not be required to accompany this.
from letter 21/1/1868 from Thomas
answer to yours of the 16th inst. it is quite a mistake in supposing
that roof tiling, say with Staffordshire tiles is as cheap as slating with best
Welsh slates, the difference in favour of the latter is about £3.0.0. in every
rood of 400 square feet, in the lodge this would make a sum of £6.5.0. that is
to say, if tiles such as you propose, the
cost would be £27.10.0.
is no doubt tiles would look the best & the difference in cost would be this
amount. Will you be kind enough to let me know if I shall obtain Builders
estimates, or what is to be done.
from letter 6/2/1868 from Geo Whitley
I will see Mr. Leyland and explain your terms as to percentage &c.
from letter 10/3/1868 from Geo Whitley
Shelmerdine says that Hill of Woolton is fairly entitled to the contract for the
Lodges as his estimate for those according to the first plans was correct
from letter 14/3/1868 from Geo Whitley
Mr. Shelmerdine has written for estimates from Hill (Woolton) Peter’s
and Ball (do) Nicholson (Toxteth Park) & Laurie but they will not be in
until the latter end of next week. If you are therefore only making a short stay
in London you might perhaps take Liverpool in your way home again. Mr. Leyland
also wishes for a few days longer that he may show you his improvements
The estimates for the lodges will not I fancy be much below the former ones.
from letter 20/3/1868 from Geo Whitley
from Builders for Lodges Speke
from letter 6/4/1868 from Geo Whitley
Leyland desired me today he should be glad if you could have stayed 2 or 3 days
with him as he was anxious you should have seen his improvements, he is now in
London he much wishes the Lodges to be proceeded with to prevent trespassers.
Laurie has been obliged to increase his estimate by £30 as he had made a
from letter 20/8/1868 from Thomas Schelmerdine
beg to inform you
1st. that the tiling for the lodge next to the Hall is completed and as a whole looks well; the darker or strawberry colour tiles having been picked out from the rest, the tiles so far as the work has progressed for the upper lodge do not look quite so satisfactory, though they are all well burnt, and appear a little too red, but not, to my taste, disagreeably so. I expect in a short time the red colour will be destroyed by the dripping from the trees, which surround both lodges. I had a letter from the tile agent in reference to the colour of the tiles, in which he states that is impossible to get all the tiles of a uniform strawberry colour as they all vary in shade.
from letter 24/10/1868 from Geo Whitley
The Lodge gates
I send tracings Nos. 1 & 2 of the proposed ones. Mr. Shelmerdine says
they are such as Mr. Leyland has hinted he should like, they appear to me
appropriate, the only objection being as usual in such improvements, the
expense, the 3 gates are all similar, will cost upwards of £100.
Mr. Leyland wished for a single gate only but this I thought would be so
heavy & clumsy to open and shut that I desired sketch No. 2 might also be
prepared shewing double gates. If you recommend a much more inexpensive style, a
mere wooden gate somewhat in the style of the paling shewn in No. 2 or an iron
gate, not however so appropriate, might be substituted. I shall be glad to have
your opinion. The ground round the lodges is being levelled and they are now, or
will be immediately occupied. We shall have to make a drain, rather a long one
from the West Lodge as there is no old one deep enough to turn into.
from letter 30/10/1868 from Geo Whitley
The Lodge gates
I send herewith an amended drawing which will reduce the expenditure most materially please to say if it meets your views. Mr. Shelmerdine has fixed to meet Mr. Meredith tomorrow and arrange as to the drainage of the West Lodge and I have desired him to examine the tree alluded to in your letter and see if it will be suitable for gate posts. Meredith has no available timbers cut for the proposed palings but they can be easily obtained at any of the timber yards. Mr. Leyland called on me yesterday and is desirous that the gates and lodges should be completed and the land straightened up as early as possible as he has got rid of all the workmen out of the house and will then prevent all trespass. He is quite reasonable in his demands and much pleased with the old house but says as the wind howls rather dismally in the large rooms the family use the new rooms in the corridor which are very warm and comfortable. He is opposed to open gates as closed ones tend much more to privacy of the place and the Contractor is decidedly of the opinion that a single gate 12 feet wide would be so heavy & unmanageable in blowing weather in such an exposed situation that there would be great difficulty in opening it.
from letter 13/5/1869 from Geo Whitley
A difficulty has arisen in settlement of this account in consequence of
the cisterns made to contain the roof water being empty and the occupants being
without such a necessary article. This is attributed to the boiler being porous
and absorbing all the moisture. Whether this is so or not remains to be proved.
You will recollect that the tiles are of the same quality as were sent to you at
Spott and I shall be glad to know if you have discovered a similar defect. The
specification contains the following clause
roofs & bow windows to be covered with the best Staffordshire Square tiling
of a strawberry colour and of pattern to be approved of and with bands of 3
ornamental and 3 plain with proper lap and the whole fixed on strong battens”
The manufacturer asserts that the tiles were of the best quality but that
all tiles are porous and the Contractor also maintains this doctrine. The
remedy is 2 coats of Canadian paint which will cost £5. Do you think it would
be the best plan to avoid a dispute to offer to pay one half the sum?