Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Update - Workhouse Bricks Campaign

For all those interested in the Group's "Save The Bricks" Campaign, we would like to share with you an update on the situation. Our Secretary wrote to Watford MP Dean Russell, who had conveyed an interest in what we were trying to achieve and the following is the response we received: 

"I’d like to reassure you and the members of the West Watford History Group that as an integral part of a listed building the workhouse bricks are not under threat of demolition or removal by WHHT.

 We are still at an early stage in our Outline Business Case (OBC) and still a long way off from considering our Full Business Case (FBC) which is the point we need to reach before any work on the redevelopment of our buildings at Watford gets underway.
 
We would be happy to talk to the group at some point next year to explain this and I’ve copied our redevelopment communications leads into this email so they can add the group into our stakeholder communication plans.
 
Many thanks for raising the concerns of the group with us and please be assured that we would not wish to damage a listed building in any way."

In the New Year, Dean would be pleased to facilitate the meeting mentioned. 

Best wishes,

Gideon Benedyk

And our response to him:

"Dear Gideon

Thank you so much for forwarding the WHHT's response to your recent message concerning our Save the Workhouse Bricks campaign.

We appreciate that they have a long way to go before any redevelopment of the hospital site goes ahead, but one of our main concerns is that the walls of the building containing these bricks may eventually be demolished.  The building is Grade 2 listed and, therefore, does not qualify in the same way as a Grade 1 listed building which would be saved in its entirety.  Perhaps only the facade fronting Vicarage Road would be preserved.  

However, we look forward to next year when perhaps the the Trust is further ahead with its plans and could meet us to discuss a possible solution to ensuring the preservation of these artefacts that are of historic significance in Watford.

In the meantime, we will keep an eye on the erosion problem that is inevitably damaging all of the brickwork on these buildings and will pass to Sarah Priestley, our Museum Curator and Sian Macdonald, WBC Heritage Officer, an outline of the recent correspondence we have had.

Please extend our gratitude to Dean Russell MP for his interest and for his offer to facilitate a meeting with the parties concerned.  

A copy of all correspondence has been passed to Lynda Bullock, Chair of West Watford History Group, who has asked that this matter be placed on the agenda for our next WWHG meeting."

Kind regards

Sue Ettridge (Secretary WWHG)

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