One of the activities taking place as part of the Town Hall Restoration Project is ‘Restoration Through a Photographer’s Eye’, 10 local amateur photographers came together for their first workshop with professional photographer Matt Emmett in September. One of the photographers, Rachel, tells us about the day…
On Saturday 3rd September a few selected residents from Brackley with a keen interest in Photography met with Sally Munday-Webb (Brackley Town Council) and Matt Emmett, Photographer (www.forgottenheritage.com). To say we were excited and enthusiastic about this project would be an understatement!
Sally explained that the project was costing £3.2 million with most of the funding being provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is the first time in 100 years that any work has been carried out on the Town Hall and this is going to be a huge project. The roof will be coming off, the staircase will be removed and a new staircase is being designed to include an intricate “lace” design made from wood as the town was once a lace town. The heating will be removed and replaced as will the floors, internal walls and windows. So it really is being stripped back to the basics. The front part of the town hall is actually a Victorian extension. So clever were the Victorians that they even managed to move the clock forward too, it isn’t until you get in the attic of the Town Hall that you begin to appreciate just how much work was needed in order for them to do that!
When the work is complete the South doors of the Town Hall will be reopened which will make the hall accessible from both parts of town and the window at the front of the Town Hall which has the best view of Brackley will be accessible to all.
The ground floor will have access to a café & toilet facilities, The first floor will become the Community and Civic Hall and the second floor which is currently the attic will become a self catering holiday let, which will provide an income to ensure there are funds to maintain the Town Hall once the project is complete.
It is hard to believe that this project started in 2006, but what an achievement for all of those involved.
It is our goal to create a detailed document of the restoration from before work starts to the completion.
You can be assured that we will be detailing everything that happens to the Town Hall and all of our work will be delivered in an exhibition at the newly restored Town Hall when the works are complete.
We look forward to sharing our progress with you and hope you will find it as inspiring as us and make you more aware of the history and heritage of this beautiful building in Brackley.