Restoration of St Leonard's Church, 1883-89 Committee Meeting no 5
Again at 2-30 on the 2nd of June in the year of our Lord 1883 did the Committee meet in the office of Messrs Longmore & Sworder in Castle Street Hertford and there came Revd W. Wigram: Rural dean – Richard B Croft RN – Charles E Longmore & Gerard J H Gosselin Secretary who laid before the Committee Messrs Ekins & Sons estimate for the work of restoring the Chancel according to the plans of Mr Micklethwaite & Somers Clarke. Messrs Ekins state they will do the work for the sum of £374”0”0 this being £114”0”0 in excess of the Architects estimate Mr Wigram had asked Mr Ekins to reconsider his estimate, which he declined to do.
Mr Gosselin informed the Committee that having shown Mr Ekins estimates to Mr Mickelthwaite, he said it was preposterous – “the estimate of a man who did not know what the work would cost and so had left himself a large margin” – and that he considered his (Mr Mickelthwaites’) estimate was ample, that it was not a haphazard guess, that he had carefully gone into it and that it was calculated at London prices, so that in the country it should be cheaper.” ( N.B. this last idea of Mr Mickelthwaite showed that he was a stranger to Hertford & its tradesmen), also Mr Mickelthwaite said that if Mr Ekins would not come down that he was sure he could find a London man to do the work, one to be trusted. Capt Croft thought he would have to eat his words. Mr Wigram said, do not have any local jealousies , go to London; we have given the local men a chance and unless Mr Mickelthwaite is wrong they have as usual stuck on their price. It was suggested that Mr Hunt of Ware might do the work cheaper, however it was determined that as Mickelthwaite said he could get the work done at a reasonable price he should be asked to appoint a builder and ask him to estimate . Mr Gosselin was instructed to write to him.
6th July Confirmed W Wigram