Trust Annual Report 1978
Chernocke Place - Nos. 33-39 Southgate Street
In the last Annual Report it was announced that the Trust hoped to adopt the restoration of the four missing porches as a Silver Jubilee commemoration project. Since then the necessary Listed Building Consent has been obtained, drawings have been prepared and various building materials investigated in detail to find the best method of construction.
Stone, which is the most expensive material, is not necessary in this case, where the original porches and other embelishments were always in stucco and probably painted from the outset. Fibreglass, which has been found suitable for similar repairs elsewhere, turned out to be almost as expensive because the cost of the initial mould is so high when only four porches are required. This left a choice between pre-cast concrete or traditional rendering on brickwork, and the former has proved the most economical with the added advantage of great durability, so that even if future owners should fail to maintain the porches, they would not deteriorate and become unsafe as they did before.
Concurrently with these investigations, historic building grants were applied for, it being recognised that the relatively high cost in relation to the lack of practical justification meant that there was no chance of the restoration ever being funded by the owners, even with assistance from the Trust. The two Local Authorities and the Historic Buildings Council of the D.o.E. agreed that the project was of sufficient historic and architectural significance to warrant financial assistance, and together have offered grants in excess of 50%.
Now that the final builders' estimates have been received, every effort will be made to raise the balance of about £2,000 still required, so that Owen Brown Carter's design can be properly appreciated again, and the full strength of the building's character can contribute to the appearance of Southgate Street.