The Civic Award assessment panel, consisting of Pauline Annis, David More, Chris Hunt and Will Scott met on Friday 27th March 2015.
Copies of the seven submitted schemes were available for inspection before each one was visited by the panel. The following is a description of each project with the Assessors’ decision.
PROJECT 1 Wyre Forest Crematorium
Architect/Designer/Consultant: Howl Associates
This project was the creation of a new facility on a rather unpromising site next to an industrial site. The architects have succeeded in designing a building which is both functional and beautiful. This new crematorium is highly technical building with all sorts of circulation and sensitive aspects to get right, is uplifting and comforting. The extensive landscape works are impressive with dramatic views of the Abberley Hills. As the landscape matures it can only get better. The public circulation areas were well considered with a delightful water pool.
The assessors considered this to be a great example of how an inspirational new building can transform an area and provide a level of comfort to its users.
The panel were unanimous that this excellent project should be given an AWARD
PROJECT 2 Bramble
Owner: Stourport Forward
The restoration of the working narrow boat, Bramble, is so important to the industrial history of Stourport. The acquisition and restoration of this boat gives residents, visitors and school children a glimpse of what life on the canal must have been like.
The cargo area is understandably large with an engine compartment separating it from the very small living quarters. The interior has been lovingly restored with all the necessary folding and pull-out features to make the most of the space. The sign-writing and painting were beautifully carried out. This three year project by the volunteers is impressive. The assessors considered that this restoration was of a very high standard and so important to the history of Stourport. We wish the volunteers well for the rest of their excellent work and hope they get a suitable mooring worthy of this educational project.
The panel were unanimous that this restoration project was worthy of an AWARD.
PROJECT 3 The Black Star Public House.
Owner: Andy & Maria Gooding
This project was the refurbishment of the Black Star Public House, which is situated next to the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal in the middle of Stourport. The enthusiasm of the new owners and their obvious skill in transforming this establishment is very impressive. The interior is light and airy and the accommodation is comfortable. Their reuse of old floor tiles and attention to detail has made this a pleasant place to enjoy refreshments in a canal side location in the middle of town. The garden area was transformed and attractive, making this a very pleasant place to enjoy refreshments in a canal side location in the middle of town.
The Assessors considered this project to be a worthwhile refurbishment of an important facility in the centre of Stourport
The Panel unanimously gave this project a COMMENDATION.
PROJECT 4 The Clock Gallery and Coffee House
Owner: Suzanne Whinder-Cartwright
Contractor: Michael Turner
This rescue and reuse of the ground floor of this prominent historic building is welcomed and impressive. The use as a coffee house and art gallery suits the location. The emphasis on local artists and producers is good and we hope that will continue. The owner has plans for the garden area at the rear of the property and hopefully the upper floors.
The Assessors considered this was an excellent use for a property which had been derelict for so long, and hoped it could continue to develop.
The panel unanimously considered that this project was worthy of a COMMENDATION.
PROJECT 5 Mitton Lodge
Owner/Client: Churchill Retirement Living
This retirement complex created a popular residential facility in the middle of the town which was well organised and comfortable. The two garden areas were delightful and the situation next to the canal was attractive. Considering the former use of this site as a filling station this project was a benefit to Stourport. The residents also benefit from being close to the town centre and within easy reach of public transport.
While not giving this project an award, the panel considered this was a worthy addition to the streetscape of Stourport and congratulated the developers and the managers.
PROJECT 6 The Burlish Camp
Owner/Client: Wyre Forest District Council
Contact: Geoff Shaw WFDC
The use and interpretation of this open space as a recreation area was both surprising and interesting. The area was well used by all ages and provided a glimpse into a part of Stourport’s military past. There is a similarity with the National Trust’s interpretation of the war history at Croome Court. The site was a haven for wild life and nature conservation.
The use of the concrete plinths and helmets were very evocative and the General George Patton display effective. Also it was interesting to hear about the input of information from locals, the US and the local Polish communities for the extensive website:
The panel was pleased to discover this hidden piece of Stourports’ past and although they did not give this project an award they wished the supporters well with their future plans.
PROJECT 7 Mart Lane and Severnside Cottages
Owner/Client: Gemini Properties UK Ltd
Contact: Nick Jethwa
The further restoration and improvements to this prominent and important group of residential properties was welcomed by all. The enthusiasm and care which the developer had shown was exceptional. Working with sitting tenants and caring for their individual needs is a slow process. The attention to detail was good and the whole terrace looked much improved. The developer’s idea, made in passing, that the solid concrete balustrades of the canal road bridges should be replaced with open metal railings is worthy of consideration.
The panel, while not making an award, appreciated the efforts of the developer in making this a very desirable living area in the heart of Stourport.
It is always difficult to make decisions about projects which are so different and the Assessors reminded themselves of the criteria for the Civic Awards, namely that they should recognise those projects, and the people who have achieved them, which have improved the quality of the townscape of Stourport and its’ Parish.
This year’s submissions were a very strong short list of projects which all have achieved the objectives of the Award scheme.
We wish to thank everyone who has submitted a project for the 2015 Civic Awards. The owners, the contractors and the designers have gone to great lengths to do a good job and have created something of which they can be proud to the benefit of Stourport. The Civic Society recognises this effort and thanks everyone involved.
Our thanks and congratulations go to the two Award winners and the two Commendations of the 2015 Civic Award scheme.
Every 2 years Stourport Civic Society gives an award to the building / project / restoration that has most enhanced the historical fabric of Stourport-on-Severn. The awards started in 1995, follow the links below to find out about the winners of this award.
1997 – No Winner – The award was not presented in 1997 as none of the entries were felt to have reached a suitable standard. A Commendation was presented to Nestle Ltd for the extension to the Vinegar works in Cheapside.