Volunteers have been working on the building, since before Christmas, led by the Simons. The main task is to create secure access, remove the boardings over the windows to let the light in, whilst keeping the pigeons out, and clear out the pigeon poo – not a pleasant job. Also, we can now start more detailed design and planning work. The plans will be published here soon.
Working behind bars – there is only a narrow alley around the building for access.
Val Honeyben’s images of the condition inside give you a good impression of what it is like. The poo is being bagged and removed to a farmer grateful for free fertiliser. Apart from that, the place is dusty of course, but in reasonable condition. The roof has been secured against the pigeons but will need further work to make it fully weatherproof. There was some initial consternation about the pigeon removal and exclusion process, but it was carried out with great care, watched by Morrisons’ staff, and they have now gone off to find other homes.
Unfortunately, until funding is secured, it is not actually possible to go ahead with ‘added value’ work, so all that can be done is remedial work as nothing can be set against the funding until it is finally agreed; those are the rules of the funding organisations such as the Lottery Heritage Fund. Of course we can prepare for that day, by developing the detail plans.
The windows, and doors, with their round arches, are a beautiful example of Victorian industrial ironwork and will be refurbished and reglazed [probably with added anti-vandal protection]; they are a major feature of the building which dates from around the 1870 or 1880s according to Arthur Percival [see Part 10 of his history]. However, Dr Patricia Reid, Faversham Society and Community Archaeologist, has undertaken to document the history of the site and its archeology so if anyone has any information that they think would add to the pot, or would like to be involved in this work, please get in touch.
The only way is up….
The East Wing…..
Thank you Val for these, clearly you are multi-talented – Val is also the new Company Secretary – keep sending them in – I can feel a Photo competition coming on ……….