Stealing lead from a church roof is no longer the victimless crime traditionally portrayed.
Record metal prices have resulted in regionally and nationally organised gangs methodically stripping vulnerable sites, with the lead easily distributed through the UK network of metals reclamation merchants. Increasing demand worldwide for lead acid batteries has also spawned large scale thefts by the container load to be shipped directly abroad from UK ports.
With thefts increasing, demands for the skills of the experienced lead craftsmen also increased to the extent where LCA members undertook to work to an agreed schedule of rates and an organised system approved by Ecclesiastical Insurance which meant the rapid response by a leadwork specialist when a theft occurred. It also meant an installation carried out in accordance with the UK Code of Practice (BS6915) and which was sympathetic with the demands of the original roof design.
In the hands of a skilled and experienced craftsman, lead sheet can be shaped by hand to fit the most complex and ornate details which are found on our historic properties, in order to provide comprehensive and maintenance free weather protection that (untouched) will consistently perform for more than 100 years.
For more information on the Lead Contractors Association: www.lca.gb.com.
LSA: Experts in lead
The Lead Sheet Association (LSA) is the foremost independent technical authority on lead sheets and has been supporting the construction industry for over 85 years, through the provision of high quality technical advice and training expertise. During its time working in and with the industry, the LSA has built up a huge wealth of information which has proved invaluable to contractors, specifiers and architects.
All of the LSA’s information is free of charge, with further details available via the association’s website. In addition, the LSA provides important health & safety information on what to do when using lead sheets, from wearing the appropriate protective clothing to the application of a hand barrier cream whenever possible.
A spokesperson for the LSA said:
“The LSA is at the forefront of technical training and expertise for those working in construction using lead and hard metals. At its purpose-built training centre in Kent the LSA runs a range of courses for metal workers, specifiers, surveyors, contractors and conservationists.
“The LSA has recently worked with some key organisations in the construction industry to examine more closely the properties and benefits of using lead, particularly in relation to its economic, technical and environmental characteristics. The research identified some key points which might often be overlooked. It also produced a short film called, ‘The truth about lead’, which encapsulates some of the findings in a succinct and entertaining way.”
For more information about LSA, or to take a look at the association’s short film, The truth about lead, please visit: www.leadsheet.co.uk.