Tollesbury Granary features on BBC 2 RESTORATION – Village TV Programme

Published: 19 July 2006 at 13:39

The TOLLESBURY GRANARY project by the Mid Essex Historic Buildings Trust (MEHBT) will feature on the first programme of the forthcoming 3rd series of BBC RESTORATION – VILLAGE to be shown on BBC2 9pm July 28th 2006.

The Trust is one of 175 Building Preservation Trusts in the UK and is a non-profit making charity rescuing ‘At Risk’ Listed Buildings. The Trust has been working with Woodrolfe Boatyard owner Julian Goldie to release the building, via a Charitable Trust, as a Maritime, Natural & Local History Visitor and Educational Resource Centre. It will be managed by Tollesbury people for the benefit of the community. The ambition is to rescue the building, which currently floods around 6 times per year, raise it 450mm above high water spring tides, and restore it with commercial & charitable donations and grant aid only available to Building Preservation Trusts. However, appearance on the Restoration – Village series gives the project the opportunity of full restoration funding.

Once restored, it will be a free entry ‘focal point’ for visitors by land and river to learn about local features, local businesses, local history, and the natural environment.  With its stunning views over Woodrolfe Creek, Tollesbury Wick, the Salt Mashes, and the Blackwater Estuary, the Centre will benefit locals and local businesses by attracting and informing visitors; providing a hub for local historians, birdwatchers, sailors, naturalists, ramblers, and students of all ages from East Anglia and beyond.  As an Educational Resource Centre, organised school-trips can learn how Tollesbury, with its logo of the ‘Plough and the Sail’, fits into the natural and commercial environment.

MEHBT Project Organiser Alan Coday, who is a consultant and lectures in Building Surveying and Building Conservation at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, said:

"We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted from 50 national projects to feature in this years programme RESTORATION – VILLAGE: To be shown on the first programme of the series is a terrific boost.  We filmed with the show’s technical presenters Marianne Suhr and Ptolomy Dean in February 2006 and with Griff Rees Jones in April.  It’s been very difficult keeping it a secret until the official BBC press release. The Granary will make an excellent Visitor Centre housing Tollesbury Heritage Group’s information and artefacts and will provide a focus for Tollesbury’s Local, Maritime and Natural History”

The Trust rescues listed buildings that are officially ‘at risk’ and promotes sound conservation practice to restore them. A Building Preservation Trust can access grant aid that is specifically targeted at listed buildings for community benefit. 

Alan Coday added:

“When the programme is shown on July 28th 2006, viewers will vote on 09013 600500 (BT landline charges will be £1 but mobile and other service providers charges may vary) and we will be dependent on the entire viewing public so it is important that we appeal to the widest possible audience. However, the Trust is mindful that this is a local project for the benefit of the Tollesbury community and their local businesses. It will attract visitors and encourage understanding and enjoyment of Tollesbury’s river front heritage. If we go through to the final in September and then win – we receive full funding from the Restoration programme. It really puts Tollesbury on the map; if you currently explore the area and follow the Woodrolfe Road to the river front, there is no focal point and very little parking – our professionally designed community based Visitor Centre aims to resolve current constraints for the mutual benefit of visitors and locals.”

The MEHBT have negotiated the release of the building from Marina and Woodrolfe Boatyard owner Julian Goldie for community benefit. Campaign Manager and Tollesbury Heritage Group Leader Rev Keith Lovell is proud to be able to put Tollesbury’s heritage on show and looks forward to the ‘Restoration Roadshow’ that will take place from 11am-5pm on the Saturday immediately after transmission. Revd Lovell can be contacted on 01621 868441 or

For more information about the MEHBT, Tollesbury Heritage Group, and the Tollesbury Granary Project, contact Project Organiser Alan Coday: