Restore your home and garden with reclaimed materials from Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 June 2019
Suffolk bricks among the building supplies salvaged by local company
If, on your journeys around our beautiful county, you see a recently restored church, farmhouse, barn or hall, the building materials used may well have come from Cobar Services.
Andrew Cook, director of the company, says they have supplied reclaimed building materials to "countless" churches as well as other private and public restoration projects, including Kentwell Hall, Helmingham Hall, Heveningham Hall, Market Hill in Bury St Edmunds and the Buttermarket in Ipswich.
When old buildings in the county are demolished, the team at Cobar Services painstakingly salvage and clean the building and landscaping materials that are left behind.
A wide range of the traditional East Anglian building and roofing materials, including bricks, tiles, roofing slate, oak beams and York stone, are available from the company's yard in Ringshall.
These include reclaimed Suffolk white bricks, Cambridge stocks and Tudor bricks as well as French and Belgian pan tiles. Reproduction flagstones and paving bricks are also available.
There are many landscaping materials, both reclaimed and reproduction, to choose from, such as York stone flags, and garden features like stone troughs, chimney pots, urns and bird baths.
Cobar Services, which was established in 1979 and is based on the knowledge of five generations of brick makers, also supplies flooring products - bricks, floorboards, limestone flagstones, travertine, sandstone and slate flooring for example.
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One of the benefits of using reclaimed materials is that they have wonderful variations in colour.
"The nature of being hand made locally, in local kilns, is that the bricks vary in colour, you don't get that with new bricks," explained Andrew.
They are also in imperial sizes. "The bricks are nine inches long, so you get four in a yard," he added. "Bricks are a different size now, so it's a job to use new materials with old ones."
As well as working in Suffolk, Andrew lives in the county.
"What I love about living and working here is that Suffolk is so easygoing, relaxed and pleasant. The people are friendly and you can chat to people," he said. "There's lots of fresh air and open space."
Andrew, who is a keen amateur historian and has written six novels, is fascinated by the wood near the Cobar Services yard.
"There's an ancient woodland at the back of the yard that's been a wood since before Roman times. The timelessness - that's what I love about Suffolk," he concluded.
If you're carrying out a building or landscaping restoration project, or you're looking for a unique garden ornament, pay a visit to Cobar Services on Stowmarket Road, Ringshall.
The yard is open from Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and on Saturday from 8.30am to 12.30pm.
For more information, click here or call 01473 658435.