Traditional Stone Restoration Discovers Fascinating Historical Artefacts During Westgate Repairs
As part of the £6m Heritage Asset Repair Programme (HARP), Traditional Stone Restoration is embarking on a mission to preserve and repair Southampton's treasured historic monuments for the enjoyment of future generations. In an unexpected turn of events, it appears the restoration team is not alone in their aspirations of the future.
Last week, Imperial Contracting Ltd, the roofing contractor working on the Westgate roof, made an extraordinary discovery. While lifting the lead, they stumbled across two pages from the Daily Echo, dated 30 March 1937. This unexpected find, along with a meticulously stamped lead plaque, carefully placed for future roofers to discover, has shed light on the historical restoration efforts of the past.
Councillor Satvir Kaur, Leader of Southampton City Council said; “This remarkable discovery offers invaluable insights to the restoration of Westgate in the 1930’s. Very little information has survived from that period due to the bombing of our city, so this discovery offers an extraordinary contribution into insight and an understanding of Southampton’s history and story. At a time of constant change, it’s important to preserve our heritage for future generations.”
Accompanying the historic newspaper pages, the lead plaque, bearing the name of Fred Pitcher, has sparked curiosity among the restoration team and initial research suggests that Mr Pitcher may have descendants still local to Southampton. The artefacts have now been entrusted to our Archaeology Unit for safekeeping.
For more information about the Heritage Asset Repair Programme or Southampton’s ongoing monument restoration efforts, please go to https://soton.cc/heritage.