Aging Timber Grid Recycled by Irish Boat Builders

by PLSN Staff • in
  • International News
• Created: July 31, 2009

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CORK, Ireland — The Everyman Palace Theatre’s original hemp flying system relied on a timber grid, fly floor and access ladders for more than a century, back when boats and their rigging were made with the same materials.

When the theatre underwent a technical upgrade starting in 2008, the old fly system was finally replaced. But not all of the timber was discarded. Some of it got a second life as a building material for Maitheal Mara, a traditional boat building and youth training organization.


"We were really keen to find a worthy use for this fantastic old ‘pitch pine’ and set about trying to find a genuinely sustainable use for the good sections of timber,” said Charles Haines, managing director of Hall Stage, and site manager for the Everyman project.


While it might have been easier to simple rip the grid apart, Haines and his crew took special measures to remove the wooden sections, some as long as 28 feet, in 12-inch-by-8-inch sections, with care. “As a Theatre Carpenter, I hate to see good timber go to waste,” Haines noted.


The re-use fits in with Ireland’s green goals, and it’s not inconceivable that some of the recycled timber may one day find its way back, full circle, into the theatre from where it came. Maitheal Mara recently completed an order for seven of the vintage boat replicas from the English national opera, for use in a production called Riders to the Sea.

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