Best of Lime began in 2014, the culmination of three passionate, but different perspectives on the use of traditional materials.
Martin Brown’s background is in building conservation, particularly the use of traditional materials with medieval timber frames in his beloved Suffolk. His life has moved from the use of Limewash, distempers and handprinted wallpapers, decorating with his father in the late ‘80s and early 90’s, through to using the most innovative, ultra modern ingredients in the production of lime plaster. Attending a SPAB weekend on the care of historic buildings in 1997 was the first pivotal moment, becoming aware of the climate crisis and the need for drastic change in what we build and how we build it, the second. Fortunately, the two obsessions are perfectly bonded with the use of lime!
Duncan Cowper is a ‘time served’ plasterer in the traditional sense, he achieved a City & Guilds in plastering at East Ham College in 1989/91, learning the ‘proper’ way to plaster including running arches in situ, mould making and fibrous work. Duncan has a flair for plastering perfection, straight, flat and beautiful, but his real talent is his attitude to unwritten rules and conventions, easily summed up in his usual response to “That can’t be done” being “Well why can’t it be done?” Duncan’s other speciality is building and driving very, very fast cars; a quick search on YouTube will give you the idea.
The third of our team is Hilary Westgarth, our fabulous ‘Business Angel’. Hilary was there right from the start, with a property that we were able to experiment on and fine tune mixes and space for us to set up our first and second mixing facilities. Hilary is a big advocate of lime and all matters sustainable, she has been a constant source of encouragement as well as running the office with Jessika for us until early 2019. Hilary has now retired to concentrate on her first love, dressage. She runs clinics from her fabulous arena just outside Braintree in Essex as well as the luxurious Hotel De Chat, cat hotel.
A few years later and we have a team headed by Claire running the office and Graham managing the factory, Ricky heads up production and logistics. Martin is meeting architects, conservation officers, Historic England, The National Trust, home owners and surveyors. Duncan is running workshops, liaising with merchants, demonstrating and carrying out on-site training.
Together they are constantly looking at and working on ways to improve the on-site workability and accessibility of Lime, not only in the field of traditional, historic or listed buildings, but as the low-carbon, sustainable alternative to modern, rigid, high embodied energy cement and gypsum based products.
It is our ambition to produce ‘game changing’ materials that not only compete with the ‘Big Boys’, on project cost, site friendly use and workability, but are a generation ahead on the new bottom line of low carbon, low embodied energy and sustainability.
Game changing, next generation lime plaster.
"Limecote and Warmcote are ideal products for use on timber framed buildings and low strength substrates with their excellent flexibility, bond, and light weight compared to sanded plasters. Being dry bagged makes it easy to transport and store, with the added advantage of being able to adjust the mix to suit thin or very thick coats without compromising the product, or the quality of the finished work."
"Best Lime plaster system on the market!! I found this accidentally due to the coronavirus pandemic as stocks of everything ran out, and it's changed the way all of the plasterers in our area are now plastering conservation listed buildings as well as new builds... due to its unique formula and characteristics of extremely quick application, drying, workability and breathability. It's rare to find such a great product and more importantly a great level of customer service in the build industry."
"As self-builders of a very large community project, Limecote has been an outstanding product, making all the difference to our progress. It keeps well in sealed bags even outside; it mixes easily and safely; being half the weight of sand-based products, it is easy to carry and apply to the walls; excellent adhesion mean that less is dropped and wasted... and not having to constantly limewash going forward make it a no-brainer."