PLANS TO BE REVEALED FOR MAJOR EXPANSION
OF BLOCKLEY HERITAGE CENTRE

After over 10 years in preparation, exciting plans will be revealed by Blockley Heritage Society over the next few weeks for the development of its premises adjacent to St George’s Hall to provide a permanent museum and exhibition hall, a heritage library and research centre, more space for the storage and conservation of the Society’s collection of artefacts and documents, and a Parish Council office.


Architect’s impression of the enlarged Blockley Heritage Centre

The museum will illustrate life in the Blockley parish from early Jurassic times – when Blockley was mainly under the sea and plesiosaurs were often to be seen - through the Iron Age, the medieval settlements, the industrial revolution - when 13 water mills were producing flour, throwing silk and even making pianos - to more recent times when General Patton prepared and addressed his troops on the Batsford estate prior to the Normandy invasion.

More recently Blockley has become famous as the location for the BBC TV series “Father Brown”.

The plans go on public display over the weekend of July 19-20 at the Blockley Heritage Centre in Park Road, Blockley. Society members will be invited to a preview during the preceding week.

The proposals have been created by designers JDM & Company and heritage architect John C Goom, supported by an extensive research exercise carried out by Society members.

The existing Jubilee Hall at the Heritage Centre is being retained for public use and will also serve as a lecture room and heritage activity centre for visiting school parties. Short-term themed exhibitions will be staged there to provide additional opportunities for the public to see artefacts and documents that are not on general display in the main museum.

“The museum will bring to life eight discrete strands of Blockley history [see above] - each remarkable in itself – in a lively and engaging manner”, explained Society chairman Robert Willott. “With financial assistance from The Summerfield Trust our designers and architects have created some really appealing drawings and models to show what the Heritage Centre will eventually look like.

“Now we want comments from as many people as possible so that these can be taken into account as the plans are finalised. Indeed we want more than that. We want the Centre to become an asset of the community in which everyone can take pride.”

Everyone who views the plans and gives their comments by July 31 will be entered into a draw for a magnum of Champagne.

Every house in the parish will receive a leaflet explaining the plans in greater detail and inviting residents to show their support by completing a simple voting form and placing it in a box provided in the Village Shop & Café or in the letterbox in the front door of the Heritage Centre, or by posting it to the Society.

“We need as many tangible expressions of support as possible to show potential funders that their money will be well spent”, said Society treasurer Chris Boddington.

The project depends on obtaining a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of about £423,000 and the application process is already under way.

“We shall need to have supplemented this with another £215,000 from the local community, local businesses and charitable trusts”, Mrs Boddington said. “We have already raised almost half this amount.


LOCAL DESIGNERS APPOINTED FOR BLOCKLEY HERITAGE CENTRE DEVELOPMENT

Blockley Heritage Society today announced the appointment of local architects and exhibition designers for the proposed £0.5m development of the Blockley Heritage Centre.

The architect will be John Goom and the exhibition content will be designed by JDM & Company.


Left to right: Designers Miranda Melville, Jamie Leonard and Dora Leonard and architect John Goom discuss the Heritage Centre project with Society members Paul Ensch, Roger Thornburgh, Chris Boddington and Robert Willott.

The JDM team of Jamie Leonard, Dora Leonard and Miranda Melville, has been brought together especially for the project and includes an exciting theatrical element. Between them JDM have designed sets for films, such as Tom & Viv, Into the West, Mona Lisa, costumes for Comrades and We Think the World of You, created props for Game of Thrones, The Muppets, Downton Abbey, sets and costumes for contemporary dance and theatre productions, and project managed exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery and Southbank Centre including Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms.

Jamie and Dora Leonard live in Batsford. Dora is already well known in Blockley for her design of the sets and costumes for the Blockley Mystery Plays performed there in 2004.

Architect John Goom is a Blockley resident and member of the Heritage Society who has specialised in the care and conservation of historic buildings since his student days in Bristol. He is retained by the National Trust to look after properties in the Wessex, West Midlands and Thames and Solent regions, including projects at Snowshill Manor and Croome Park. He has acted as a commissioned architect for English Heritage in support of their Joint Scheme for Churches, and as Honorary Technical Advisor to the Wychavon Building Preservation Trust.

The development of the Blockley Heritage Centre is expected to include a dedicated permanent exhibition hall, a heritage library and a Parish Council office, in addition to the existing public hall that will also serve as a lecture room and heritage activity centre for visiting school parties. The exhibition will bring to life eight strands of Blockley history - each remarkable in itself – in a lively and engaging manner.


THE JUBILEE HALL
in the
BLOCKLEY COMMUNITY HERITAGE CENTRE

AVAILABLE FOR HIRE

This is a light, bright, recently refurbished hall seating approximately 80. There is a kitchen and toilets, a drop down projector screen, and effective central heating. Good parking facilities.

The Jubilee Hall is situated a short walk from the village centre, has plenty of car parking available nearby, and is ideal for workshops, parties, meetings and events of all sorts. It is available at very competitive rates, with discount for regular users.

Enquiries to Laurie Clayton on 01386 701528 or bcclayton@btinternet.com.

Jubilee Hall Exterior
Jubille Hall Exterior

Jubilee Hall Interior
Jubilee Hall Interior


Copyright © 2014 Blockley Heritage Society