10 Jan 2021

Welsh slate on way to Cathedral

James Henry sm.jpg

The Southern Cross  |  December 2020

Welsh slate on way to Cathedral

Church roofing expert James Henry is hoping his Christmas wish this year will come true, with the safe arrival of more than 25,000 tonnes of slate which is currently on its way from Wales.

The 11,000 pieces of slate, which have all been specially hand cut and hand worked, will be stockpiled in readiness for the replacement of the eastern and western side of the roof of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

Mr Henry’s company was responsible for replacing the front section of the Cathedral roof about five years ago and this will complete the project.

The shipment of the slate, which comes from a quarry in Penrhyn, is due to arrive early next year.

“Welsh slate is the best in the world and this is the same slate that was used on the original roof,” Mr Henry said.

“Not only is the slate being imported but the battens are coming from Europe, the nails to fix the slate are from Belgium and the insulation and lead is from England.”

In what he described as a “massive exercise”, Mr Henry said the slate could only be cut when the quarry went into its Christmas shutdown and was able to change its machines from metric to imperial.

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