Weston Museum is to restore its historic wood block floor. The unique century-old Burlington Street building which served as the old Gas Company’s workshops until being converted into a museum in 1974 has been awarded a major Heritage Lottery Fund bid of just under £1.1 million pounds. New exhibition galleries, community and educational facilities and a lift will make it an attraction of regional significance.
The floor is made up of bitumen-coated wooden blocks, similar to those which were used to pave High Street. The Museum Working Party is keen to replace worn blocks and install new ones where inappropriate concrete was laid many years ago. This will require over 2,000 new blocks.
One of the damaged blocks was cut in half to identify timber type and because the museum is a Listed Building any replacement flooring will need to be in keeping with the original. Though Scandinavian pitch pine is no longer available replacement with Honduran pine will meet both architectural and sustainability requirements.
Over 2,000 blocks will be laid and too help offset the cost of this work the public. Local organisations and businesses are being invited to sponsor blocks and, as a permanent record, will have their names laser-carved into the surface.
The first block was auctioned at the March 2014 Mayor’s Ball raising £290. Individuals, families and clubs will be able to purchase a block for £30 (inc’ VAT) and have names engraved. Certificates will also be awarded with each purchase. Business sponsorship blocks at £120 will have room for company names and logos.
Town Clerk, Malcolm Nicholson said “by buying a block you are directly contributing to the refurbishment of the Museum which belongs to the people of Weston. The block engraved with your name will become part of the fabric of the building and be a public memorial of your contribution for many years to come.”
Further information is available from The Museum or Grove House or by checking www.buy-a-block.co.uk on the internet or ring the Town Council on 01934 632567.