B3Living unveiled its finished conservation work at the former Pulham & Son factory site on Friday 3 February in a special launch event with partners; Lowewood Museum, Broxbourne Borough Council and The Heritage Lottery Fund.
The event, which was based at restored factory site, was attended by B3Living staff and residents, partners Broxbourne Borough Council, Lowewood Museum and avid historians from across the borough.
The newly refurbished Grade II listed brick kiln and horse-drawn puddling wheel were restored by conservation experts Szerelmey Conservation, with all iron work completed by the Heritage Blacksmiths. The land adjacent to the site has now been landscaped as a feature garden, with a seating area and permanent interpretation boards telling the Pulham & Son story.
The firm is most well-known for its beautiful artificial rock landscapes most notably be found in Buckingham Palace, and its invention of an artificial rock, ‘Pulhamite’ and wide range of terracotta ornaments created in their Broxbourne based factory.
Valerie Christman, who was involved with the new landscaped area around the kiln is a descendant of the Pulham family and attended the launch. There were also speeches from B3Living Chair, Sandra Royer, Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council, Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop and Heritage Lottery East of England Committee Member, Phil Rothwell.
Sandra Royer, B3Living’s Chair of the Board said: “It’s unusual for a Housing Association to take on such a restoration project but we have a duty to our community and, especially to the residents of Courtfield Close who have lived adjacent to this site for many years.”
B3Living acquired the factory site in 2006 during the transfer of council housing stock from Broxbourne Borough Council. It was restored thanks to a £55,200 contribution by the East of England Heritage Lottery Fund.
Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop, Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council said: “I applaud all those involved in this project and all those who care to care about our heritage and our environment; especially in this, the Borough's Year of the Environment. Thank you to the many partners involved in making this important part of our history what it is today."
The works were finished to coincide with a special exhibition at Lowewood Museum, ‘Romance in Stone – The Pulham Legacy of garden design’. The exhibition features history about Broxbourne based factory and examples of the stoneware and gardens they created. The exhibition is due to run until 29 April 2017 and entry is free.
For more information about the exhibition visit www.broxbourne.gov.uk