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We climbed the facade of the Danish Church (built as St Katharine’s Church in 1828 & transferred to the Danes after WWII) to see progress on its blue & gold clock – now being restored with a HOLT grant. The clock’s face will shortly be reenamelled and gilded and historic clock-makers Thwaites & Reed are working on its mechanism. The crumbling pinnacles and turrets are being restored at the same time.

There was a wonderful turnout for this morning’s unveiling of Cranford’s restored village lock up. The imam of Cranford’s mosque, the rector of Cranford parish, three Hounslow ward councillors, children from the local primary school, the Metropolitan Police, Feltham History Group, HOLT trustees and The Radcliffe Trust who supported our grant – all festooned with confetti! The project has been a great partnership with Hounslow Council who we have worked with over the last year, alongside conservators Taylor Pearce.

Cranford’s lock up was built in 1838 to hold local rogues caught by the parish constable. Once the Metropolitan Police built stations with holding cells, these small buildings – once found across the country – went out of use. Cranford’s survived when it was recognised as of special interest in 1939. It had been on the Heritage at Risk register and was in very poor condition.

Visit it in High Street, Cranford, TW5 9RG.

Click here to read a piece on Londonist.com

We had an excellent visit to Gunnersbury Park to see work on the Large Mansion and the south-east arch. The landscaping is looking wonderful – the park is set to be a gem in west London.

We had a great visit this morning to see work on the Union Chapel clock, Islington – including a climb up the tower and a demonstration of dry ice blasting. We were joined by the Director of the Wates Family Charities, Jerry Wright, HOLT’s President, Martin Drury and Christopher Butcher from the Radcliffe Trust.

HOLT’s project to support the Gillick Pageant in Chelsea completed in September 2017. We were delighted that this wonderful 1920s heraldic monument has been restored telling the story of Sir Thomas More’s riverside estate from 1524 onwards. We were joined by the Marquess of Salisbury, Viscount Chelsea, Professor Thomas Betteridge, the Chelsea Society and the descendants of the artists, Ernest and Mary Gillick. The Cadogan Estate and the Salisbury Pool Charity generously supported the restoration work.
The site is open to the public, do visit if you can: The Moravian Church, 381 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW10 0LP.

HOLT’s trustees visited RAF Biggin Hill in September to see this famous Battle of Britain site; HOLT is supporting the restoration of the 1930s gates and railings. We met trustees and director of the new Biggin Hill Memorial Museum – which will open in 2018 – and toured the WWII airfield. We were shown blast pens, original spitfires and restoration works in the heritage hangar, as well as the 1952 Memorial Chapel.

We visited two HOLT projects in Twickenham – the ornate 18th century banqueting house, The Octagon, Orleans House, and Alexander Pope’s extraordinary Grotto. Conservators were hard at work at both sites, preparing for a reopening this autumn.

Our HOLT conference this year – ‘Building on Philanthropy – the Modern Victorians’ – looked at the impact, example and legacy of Victorian philanthropy in London. Talks included the economics of 19th century housing; visionary Victorian projects; identifying historic value; heritage in a moral society and evolving philanthropy. Over 100 people joined us at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House.

For follow-up resources on the history of London’s social housing see www.socialhousinghistory.uk

If you attended and would like to contact any of our speakers, please let us know.

A recent project by DBR Conservation to restore the 18th century coat of arms over the entrance of the Apothecaries’ Hall, Blackfriars. The figures had very badly decayed with wet rot but were carefully reconstructed… the unicorn and rhinos received new horns and the whole was repainted and regilded. It will return to its place in the Apothecaries’ courtyard over the summer.

We were thrilled to bring our Patron to visit two HOLT projects in Barnet this week. One, the concrete Grade II water tower of Avenue House, built by Henry ‘Inky’ Stephens in 1880, is about to go under restoration. The second is the remarkable Barnet Physic Well, a 1930s well house over a 17th century brick vault. The vault was once visited by Samuel Pepys and is still in near perfect condition, filled with clear water. However the well house itself is in a poor state and needs urgent repair. After decades of local hopes for the building, HOLT has helped get the project off the ground. Our royal visit marks the launch of the restoration project, and Barnet Museum will now be taking this forward, building on their HOLT grant.

Group photo L to R: Jonathan Hardy, Urban Design and Heritage Manager, Barnet Council; Cllr Robert Cornelius, Leader of the Council; Elizabeth Whitbourn, Heritage at Risk Projects Officer, Historic England; Mike Jordan, Chairman, Barnet Museum; HRH The Duke of Gloucester; Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust; Mike Noronha, Curator, Barnet Museum; Chris Andrewes, Volunteer, Barnet Museum; Robert Langley, Volunteer, Barnet Museum; Dudley Fishburn, Chairman, Heritage of London Trust; Philip Davies, Trustee, Heritage of London Trust; Martin Russell, Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London & the Lord Lieutenant’s representative in Barnet.