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We were delighted to visit the new RAF Biggin Hill Memorial Museum to see two completed HOLT projects – the 1930s RAF gates and a poignant memorial stone commemorating RAF support for the Netherlands during World War II. 300 Dutch airman fled to Britain after the Netherlands were invaded in May 1940 and Dutch squadron 322 flew from Biggin Hill. The stone marks the close alliance between the two nations at this critical point in European history. We were joined by our Dutch patron and supporter Annie Mackeson-Sandbach, our President Martin Drury and trustee Edward Benyon.

We had a fabulous festive evening with the BFI team switching on the National Film Theatre sign… now restored on Waterloo Bridge. Masterminded by our President Martin Drury and Vice-President Dudley Fishburn. A cascade of light from the 1950s Southbank.

We had a fabulous drinks party in the Covent Garden Hotel for our wonderful supporters – with huge thanks to Kit & Tim Kemp. It was a chance to highlight some great projects and also launch our brand new Patrons’ scheme…

Out-and-about, this time to St Andrew’s Church in Stoke Newington where a HOLT grant is helping to address water damage to a 19th century mural. We met with the paint conservator Mark Perry on a chilly November morning to see how it’s progressing.

Something a little different today: a visit to Newman’s Displays to see work in progress on the BFI’s 1957 National Film Theatre sign. Designed by Norman Engleback for the west side of Waterloo Bridge this is a brilliant piece of 1950s London. Its light panels, housing and typography are all being restored – and by the same team who manufactured it in the 1950s! We had a great time looking around film props and West End billboards from decades of London’s nightlife.

A fascinating visit to the Altazimuth Pavilion in Greenwich to see the new telescope and the restored interior. Many thanks to Brendan and the rest of the Royal Greenwich Observatory team for their talk – and a chance to see amazing lunar images, captured that day!

A visit to one of our latest projects, the Leaning Woman statue, commissioned by the LCC in 1958, by the 20th century Czech artist Dr Karel Vogel and currently shrouded in undergrowth. We were delighted to meet the Chairman of the Hammersmith & Fulham Historic Buildings Group, the Chairman of the St Peter’s Residents Association, London Stone Conservation and even a local resident who remembered the Great West road being built in the 1950s. Watch this space for more information!

A wonderful (if slightly wet) visit to Pimp Hall Dovecote in Chingford to see the magnificent restoration work a major repair to the structure at both levels, new shutters, stairs, etc. Its a fabulous Waltham Forest gem in a picturesque nature reserve, soon to be fully open to the public. HOLT supported the restoration of the glover.

A fantastic celebration at St Marys, Bow, to mark its exquisitely restored clock tower: with new timber & copper casing, repointed brick and a gilded dial. Over a hundred people came together for a clock tower cake, East End songs, speeches from the Rector and John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets. There was even a Pearly Pup!

This project was generously supported by Delancey who joined us to visit the project as it happened.

A great day in the sunshine today as we saw the return of the freshly gilded weathervane to the top of the Altazimuth Pavilion. The weathervane dates from 1901 and is based on the depiction of Halleys Comet in the Bayeux tapestry (Sir Edmund Halley, Astronomer Royal, predicted the return of the comet in 1758). HOLT also supported restoration of the sunburst lanterns around the Pavilion.

The Pavilion has now reopened as a working observatory for the first time in 60 years!