Thursday, 23 February 2012
HISTORIC RAMSGATE BENCHES BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE
A major restoration project has seen historic seafront benches in Ramsgate, that had been vandalised and burnt, brought back to life.
The 12 benches, located just above Winterstoke Gardens, are believed to be the original benches from the memorial created by Helen Wills for her mother Dame Janet, who was the first female mayor of Ramsgate. They were part of the original scheme and are therefore believed to be around 90 years old.
Over the last six months, the council’s open spaces repairs team have completely refurbished nine of the benches, with work now underway on the final three.
Local specialised contractors have been used to shot blast and spray paint the metalwork. The council’s teams have replaced the wood with new, locally sourced and sustainable wood, before primer and undercoat were applied to the benches.
Each of the 100 bolts in every bench has had to cut and adjusted individually. Despite the amount of work required to each bench, the total cost for the project has been just £6,000.
Cllr. Alan Poole, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “These are essentially completely new benches, thanks to the extensive restoration that’s been carried out on them. They were in such a sad and sorry state before work started, with wood missing and the paint blistered. No-one seeing them would have had a clue of their history and I doubt anyone would have wanted to use them in that condition. I think the work that’s been done by our open spaces repair team is nothing short of miraculous and at a relatively small cost, considering everything they’ve done. I’m sure that residents of and visitors to Ramsgate seafront will appreciate what’s been achieved.”