If walls could talk

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

MORE than 30 his­toric prop­er­ties in the city of Derry in North­ern Ire­land have been re­stored thanks to the work of the Foyle Civic Trust, which formed the Walled City Town­scape Her­itage Ini­tia­tive and is the over­all win­ner in this year’s His­toric Eng­land An­gel Awards.

Launched in Eng­land in 2011 and sup­ported by the An­drew Lloyd Web­ber Foun­da­tion, the awards cel­e­brate peo­ple across the coun­try who have made ster­ling ef­forts to bring his­toric places back to life. Since their in­cep­tion, sim­i­lar awards have been founded in Scotland, North­ern Ire­land and Wales.

The peo­ple’s favourite, the only award to be cho­sen by pub­lic vote, was Wil­ton’s Mu­sic Hall, which has sur­vived nu­mer­ous in­car­na­tions plus a fire and the threat of de­mo­li­tion be­fore staff and volunteers brought it back into use.

Other win­ners in­clude the Bul­mer Brick & Tile Com­pany, Suffolk, whose hand­made bricks have sus­tained the likes of Hamp­ton Court Palace and the law courts at Lin­coln’s Inn Fields; the Florence In­sti­tute (or ‘the Flor­rie’) in Liver­pool, the old­est sur­viv­ing pur­pose-built boys’ club in Bri­tain, now trans­formed into a com­mu­nity hub; and the re­gen­er­a­tion of an 80-acre site at the Royal Dock­yard at Chatham on the River Medway, where Nel­son’s HMS Vic­tory was made. Visit www.his­tori­ceng­land.org.uk for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

The ‘Flor­rie’ in Liver­pool has been re­vived

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