28th September 2020
Level 2 Diploma in Woodwork students from Stafford College, part of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, were invited to participate in the restoration project along with members of the College’s award winning Construction and Engineering department, Lecturers in Carpentry and Joinery Phil Powell and Neville Buttery and Carpentry Technician, Paul Wilshaw.
The team were tasked with two main restoration projects to work on the Victorian bandstand and a round seated pavilion following an initial site survey earlier in the year. This included the planning and preparation of all new timbers for both projects, the rebuilding of the traditional Hemlock wood panelling and benches in the round pavilion, the reconstruction of timbers and panelling for the Victorian bandstand, the restoration of all boarding, facia boards and panelling on the park’s staff buildings and finally, the 3 foot tall hemlock Victorian finial that adorns the centre of the roof of the bandstand, which was hand-turned and carved by staff from the college.
Work began on the £2.5 million restoration of the award winning Victoria Park, which is over 100 years old, in July 2019 and is due to be completed later this year. The project has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and as well as restoring key historical features, new developments will include an enhanced catering facility, improved aviary and a horticultural learning centre.
Commenting on the experience, Lecturer in Carpentry and Joinery at Stafford College, Phillip Powell, said “All of the students involved worked extremely hard to complete the project over the summer and without exception stated how much they enjoyed this unique experience. We would like to thank Woodhead Construction and everyone at the council for asking us to get involved with such a fantastic project.”
Stafford College offers a range of vocational pathways and apprenticeships in construction where students will study from the College’s Palmbourne Construction and Skills Centre, where workshops and classrooms specifically cater for students studying brickwork, carpentry and joinery, construction, plant and motor vehicle courses.