A series of revealing workshops will provide insight into some of the specialist conservation work being carried out to restore Lowestoft’s historic former Post Office building.
Work has been underway since January 2022 to conserve and repair the fabric of the Grade II listed building, in London Road North, in preparation for internal works to be completed next year.
Delivered through the London Road, Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone programme, the works are being funded by East Suffolk Council and Historic England, as well as the government-backed Towns Fund, and use traditional conservation techniques to repair the exterior of the building.
As part of the restoration project, a series of workshops are scheduled to take place at the building from 10am and 2pm on Wednesday 8 June, offering people the chance to hear from the specialist tradespeople working on the project and observe practical demonstrations of the conservation repairs.
The talks and demonstrations are aimed at anyone with an interest in traditional building repairs, including people who live in older buildings and are interested in learning more about how to repair and maintain historic material.
The sessions are being organised by the London Road, Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone, and each session will include three talks/demonstrations:
• East Suffolk based company Aldis and May will provide an introduction about conservation and the stone conservation works at the former Post Office, explore the primary causes of deterioration, and discuss the importance of cleaning and lime mortars.
• Oakhill Group Painting and Decorating company, based in the East of England, will be talking about the use of traditional materials in redecoration of historic buildings, and the use on linseed oil paints.
• Joiners from lead contractor for the Post Office conservation repairs project, RG Carter, will be demonstrating the workings of a traditional timber sash window, as well as how to carry out repairs to timber windows and improve energy efficiency of single glazed windows.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:
“These workshops present a unique opportunity for people to see the creativity and craft behind conservation repairs to the façade of the former Post Office.
“It’s been exciting to see the work unfold since January and I’m pleased we’re able to share an insight into how this heritage restoration project has been carried out using the skills of locally based specialists.
“The work will ultimately improve the appearance of this important building and ensure it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
“One of the aims of the High Street Heritage Action Zone is to share knowledge about conservation repairs and how to look after historic buildings.”
Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to see up-close the repair and restoration work that has been carried out on the exterior of the former Post Office and to learn more about the traditional crafts and amazing skills needed to maintain historic buildings. I am sure there will be lots of interest in the tours – book quickly!”
Places on each session are limited to 15 people and can be booked via the Signed, Sealed, Delivered… Restored! page hosted by Eventbrite. To book a place on the 10am session, click here. To book onto the 2pm session, click here. You can also find the sessions by searching Eventbrite for ‘Lowestoft Post Office’.
• Please note that there will be photography and filming at the event. Images and footage will be used in promotional material for the Heritage Action Zone, East Suffolk Council and Historic England. Please make it known if you wish to attend but do not wish to be included.
• As these sessions are being delivered from a live construction site, please dress appropriately (no shorts) and wear hard soled shoes. Participants will be provided with hard hats and hi-vis items as necessary. Part of the session will also be delivered on the first floor, so participants will be required to climb two flights of stairs.