|Green Plaque Restoration Award
The Guinness Heritage Partnership President, the Marchioness of Douro, unveiled the first plaque, at the Railway Station, on the 13th September. The Railway Station fully deserved the award, as the quality of the restoration is superb. The Station has been resurrected from dereliction and now provides affordable housing to buy or rent, together with some office space for small start-up businesses.
On the 14th October, Alderman Chris Carter, the Mayor of Gosport, unveiled the other two plaques: the first at the Superintendent’s House, and the second at the Granary and Bakery, both in Clarence Yard. These two buildings also richly deserve recognition for the quality of their restoration. The date of the14th October was chosen, as on that date in 1844 Queen Victoria and King Louis Phillipe of France took their lunch in the Superintendent’s House.
In 2012 the the Royal Engineers' Mews in Weevil Lane, Gosport was awarded a Green Plaque Restoration Award. The unveiling was on 27th July 2012.
No award was made for 2013, and 2014.
As it is two years since we made a Restoration Award I am delighted to announce that in 2015 we have found a worthy recipient: Rowner Cottages, now renamed Church Cottage.
The owners, Mr and Mrs Stickland, have achieved wonders in a very difficult task to rescue this pair of dilapidated cottages and have taken great pains to incorporate contemporary materials and to retain historic features. It has been a long process but at last the building has been restored to its ‘former glory’. Structural work is complete and internal fitting-out is aimed to be finished in time for occupation Christmas 2015.
Award ceremony photo gallery
The Green Plaque Restoration Award to Church Cottage Rowner was presented at a ceremony on 24 October 2015 by Canon John Draper, the Rector of St Mary the Virgin Church, who carried out the unveiling and praised the preservation.
Blue Plaque 2015
New Blue Plaque 2017
Lady Wakefield House
This house in The Crescent at Alverstoke housed many famous people, initially Robert Cruickshank who built it in 1826-30. It was named Uxbridge House after Lord Uxbridge who laid the foundation stone for the development. In the late 1800s. The house came onto the market at the end of 1929 after the death of Mary Blake (one of the brewing family) who had lived there for over 30 years. It was bought with some funding contributed by Lord Wakefield, £8000, as a seaside lodge (part of the Chidren's Home complex) where delicate children could be nursed back to health. It was renamed as (Lady) Wakefield House at his request.
Charles Wakefield (1859-1941) was a wealthy oil broker who formed Wakefield & Co. dealing in lubricating oil for steam engines. He realised the potential for petrol engines and designed Castrol, so named because it contained castor oil, which became world famous.
He was a benefactor to daring pioneers: he financed aviators, Sir Alan Cobham, Amy Johnson and Jean Batten; he backed Sir Henry Segrave (who raced the Golden Arrow and Miss England), supported the Schneider Trophy and presented the Wakefield Gold Trophy for the world speed record.
He was Lord Mayor of London, Freeman of the City, Governor of St. Thomas’s and Bart’s Hospitals and President of the RNLI. He was also one of the major Philanthropists of the 20th century alongside Cadbury and the Lever brothers. He sponsored many charities and set up the Wakefield Trust. Finally, in 1931, he helped to purchase the house and adjoining estate for the National Children’s Home.
The main drive to the house was originally on the site of Miracles but today is from Stephenson Close. As this is not very prominent, it was felt that the plaque would be better placed on the wall facing the Crescent. The property has now been divided into three flats and the owner of the centre house kindly agreed for it to be fixed in this position.