Receipts dating back more than 100 years prove the firm which originally fitted Glasgow School of Art’s roof is the same company which has been contracted to install its replacement a century later. The incredible discovery was made when industrial and commercial roofing company, BriggsAmasco, was commissioned to build the new roof at the school’s historic Mackintosh Building which was severely damaged in a fire last year.
This astonishing coincidence came to light when BriggsAmasco had to make good the repairs by using many materials used in the construction and design of the original one, such as 265m2 of mastic asphalt roof. During a meeting with staff at the art school it was revealed the original roof was built in the early 1900s, leading to the intriguing thought BriggsAmasco may have fitted it as the company celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. BriggsAmasco was founded by William Briggs who established his own roofing company in Arbroath in 1865. He created an asphalt works in the same year and was appointed agent for the original Limmer and Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company.
A trawl through Glasgow School of Art archive for work undertaken by BriggsAmasco unearthed three receipts marked with the following dates: 16th July 1909; 17th March 1909 and 18th September 1908. The receipts are almost identical in that they state the ‘Limmer Asphalte Paving Co. Ltd’ carried out work for the Glasgow School of Art, with the main variation being in date and price.
A spokesman for Glasgow School of Art, commented: ‘’It is quite amazing that we have a receipt for the work of BriggsAmasco which is now more than 150 years old. It is particularly significant as the company is returning to work on the iconic Mackintosh Building.’’
The fire at the school’s Mackintosh Building in May 2015 was started when flammable gases from a foam canister used in a student project were ignited. The category-A listed building was engulfed in flames as students were preparing for their final-year degree show. Much of their work was lost, along with the building’s famous library, one of the world’s finest examples of art nouveau design, which housed many rare and archival materials as well as original furniture and fittings.
With work already underway to restore the building, it’s estimated the majority of its spaces will be open in time for the 2017-18 academic year.