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News article created on 14 June 2013

Restoring historic structures

Heritage at Risk? Not for much longer...

As the days are getting longer and the temperatures are warming up it feels like everyone’s energy is suddenly bursting, just like the vegetation around us. Projects and queries are coming in thick and fast. It looks to me like we are heading for a busy summer and autumn.

The ‘Friends of Hanwell Flight’ (Grand Union Canal, Ealing, London) are organising and managing their first season of events. This is very exciting for me. When I first walked the flight the side-ponds were barely visible as so much vegetation was growing inside and around them. Now, with the support from English Heritage, the Hanwell flight has its own ‘Friends’ and volunteer lock keepers and things are looking much better. This site offers so much potential and has a very unique atmosphere; I would urge anyone to take a stroll along its towpath or to navigate the flight.

The pumping station at Three Locks (Grand Union, Soulbury) is another ‘at risk’ building that is on the programme to be repaired as is Lady Capels Bridge (Grand Union, Watford). This latter will be undertaken this summer with volunteers looking at helping us.

That’s three ‘Heritage at Risk’ structures in my patch alone that are being worked on. It can take a few years to build a sustainable programme and gain the support that will ensure their long term preservation, but the reward is immense. To see a building or structure being transformed from a desolate structure into one that’s well-cared for, is certainly one of the nicest aspects of my work.

By Florence Salberter
Heritage Adviser for London and the South-East

About this blog

Heritage team

The work carried out by the heritage team is extremely varied, covering all sorts of structures and a wide variety of projects. Not one week is the same and we keep learning all the time, meeting some fascinating people and visiting stunning places along the way. We are hoping that through our blogs we can share some of our passion for the amazing industrial heritage of the inland waterways.

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