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The Old Forge War Time House in Sittingbourne will be getting grants of more than £10,000 to help repair the roof.

Written by on 20 August 2020

The house is a 1940s living museum and tearoom but was originally built in the 1700s as a home and working forge.

The volunteers running the house approached the council for help to repair damage to the roof and have been awarded £8,100 from the council’s communities fund, and £2,500 from 12 councillors through the member grants scheme.

The funding means the damaged and leaking roof can be repaired by re-battening and re-felting the roof and replacing the Kent Peg tiles.

Once retiled, the parapet will then need to be flashed with lead and the coping stones replaced with bigger ones to stop the rain coming in.

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for heritage at the council said:

“We’re pleased to give the Old Forge War Time House a £8,100 grant from our communities fund.

“It’s an important part of our heritage right on Sittingbourne High Street that provides a space for learning and events that bring the magic of history alive for people and children of all ages.

“Maintaining and restoring our heritage around the borough is a key priority for us, and this is just one way we can help support our history and community.”

Linda Gorman, secretary at the Old Forge War Time House, said:

“We are a community project run by volunteers who are passionate about keeping history alive.

“We give adults and children the opportunity to see what life was like on the home front as thousands headed to the front line and risked their lives to protect our country during the world wars.

“We are incredibly lucky to have such an historic building but the upkeep can become quite expensive so we couldn’t be happier that Swale Council are helping us with a grant so we can repair the damaged roof.

“Alongside this grant, we also received funding from Kent County Council and even the landlord donated toward the repairs.

“It really is wonderful when everybody can come together to support such a valuable piece of our history.”

The 12 councillors who contributed some of their member grant allowance are:

  • Cllr Lloyd Bowen: £100
  • Cllr Roger Truelove: £100
  • Cllr Mike Whiting: £100
  • Cllr Corrie Woodford: £200
  • Cllr Richard Palmer: £200
  • Cllr Derek Carnell: £500
  • Cllr Tim Gibson: £150
  • Cllr Ken Rowles: £150
  • Cllr Lee McCall: £300
  • Cllr Bill Tatton: £200
  • Cllr Paul Stephen: £250
  • Cllr Sarah Stephen: £250

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Picture (L-R): Linda Gorman The Old Forge War Time House Secretary, Cllr Mike Baldock, deputy leader and cabinet member for planning and heritage at Swale Council, Louise Leppenwell The Old Forge War Time House Treasurer and Deborah Holmes The Old Forge War Time House Chairperson.