Search and rescue
THE VICTORIAN SOCIETY celebrates a decade of its endangered buildings campaign this year and, today, it announces its 10th annual Top Ten list of buildings most at risk. ‘We’re very proud of its continued success over the past decade,’ says society director Christopher Costelloe. ‘Out of the 100 buildings that have appeared on the list since 2007, only four have been completely demolished and more than a quarter have been saved and are now thriving back in the community. Many others are on their way towards salvation.’
All of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings on this year’s list have been neglected for some time and are now critically derelict, requiring urgent care; all but one of the 10 are listed Grade II or Grade II*.
Included this year are two cemetery chapels designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the architect behind London’s Natural History Museum, at Ince-in-makerfield, near Wigan (below right); the former Chance Glassworks, ‘one of the most important industrial sites in the West Midlands’, which produced glass for the clock faces of the Elizabeth Tower, as well as some 2,300 Victorian lighthouse lanterns used around the world; a Huddersfield church designed by W. H. Crossland, currently for sale as a commercial space and surely deserving of more than its current use as home to nesting birds and a Costa billboard; an abandoned Edwardian seaside pavilion, in Folkestone, Kent, which was used as a tearoom, theatre and snooker club; and an enormous former railway warehouse on the outskirts of Derby (top right), left derelict for almost half a century and frequently subjected to arson attacks.
‘Over the years, we have seen what a difference [the list] can make to the future of Victorian and Edwardian buildings in peril,’ adds Griff Rhys Jones, Victorian Society vice-president. ‘All of the buildings on this year’s list have local, even national, importance. To have let them fall into their current state is deplorable, but there is still time. Many of the buildings have committed community groups rallying behind them, but funding can be difficult to secure. We need local authorities and private investors to recognise the potential of these buildings and take steps to secure and revitalise them before it’s too late.’
Not all endangered buildings can make the Top Ten, but the society has a useful campaigning guide on its website for local groups (www. victoriansociety.org. uk/about/campaigningguide).