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Group leads battle to protect history
WORCESTER is leading the way in a project protecting historic buildings up and down the country.
English Heritage is launching a project working alongside councils and other organisations recruiting volunteers to survey the country’s 345,000 grade two listed buildings – with Worcester hosting one of the 19 pilot studies.
The Heritage at Risk Register aims to identify any problems with historic buildings to preserve them for the future.
Worcester Civic Society chairman Stephen Inman said a team of about 40 volunteers from the group had taken part in the survey, examining buildings thr-oughout the city in blocks of ten.
“The civic society works closely with the city council when it comes to the historic buildings in Worcester,” he said. “We have about 1,000 listed buildings and we have been very pleased to be of assistance. We enjoyed the work and we hope we’ve made a useful contribution to maintaining Worcester’s heritage which is very valuable.
“We’d love to do something similar in future years.”
Worcester City Council’s archaeological officer James Dinn said a team of volunteers had surveyed not only grade two listed buildings around the city, but also those on a register of those important to the area but not listed.
Buildings and structures surveyed in Worcester included the former infirmary on Silver Street – one of the first hospitals to open outside London – the mediaeval city wall, the old lock cottage in Diglis basin and a derelict telephone kiosk on Bath Road.
English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley described the scheme as “win-win”.
“We will eventually get, for the first time, a complete picture of the condition of all England’s listed heritage,” he said “We can use this information to decide how best to deploy our national expertise to help owners and all those tackling heritage at risk on the ground.
“And we'll have a grass-roots network to spread understanding and appreciation of local heritage so that less of it becomes at risk in the first place.”
The full register will be launched next year. To get involved with the project – which is due to start next year – call 0870 333 1181 or visit english-heritage.org.uk.
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