Environment Enhancement Awards (EEA) & Restoration Work
The Bridgwater & District Civic Society has presented several Environment Enhancement Awards in recognition of positive projects undertaken by private individuals, developers, builders and local authorities. Since 1972, when the Civic Society was founded, awards have been made regularly in recognition of work done by owners to houses or business premises in the Bridgwater town centre and surrounding area. The aim of the Environmental Enhancement Awards is to encourage and maintain fine architecture, heritage and a sense of civic pride.
Our president Derek Gibson MBE, recounts the origin of the Society's Environmental Enhancement Awards by referring to the late Neil Widgery who during World War II flew sunderland flying boats for the RAF in the Far East, and following teaching experience, was a County Education Officer in attendance at governors' meetings for Bridgwater schools. Living in Puriton with wife Patricia, they were both members of the Society. During Neil's time as Vice-Chair he put forward the proposal, duly accepted, that in the absence of any recognition by the Local Authority, the Society itself should give recognition to completed projects and works of enhancement to existing buildings and places, or new buildings which made a positive architectural contribution to the built environment. Neil was a much respected amateur artist, in sketches or watercolours, such accomplishments being honoured on the award certificates designed by him which include one of his sketches of the town centre.
On Saturday 7th June 2014, Bridgwater & District Civic Society presented a 2014 Environmental Enhancement Award to Owen & Gareth Jones, in recognition of conservation and enhancement work on the façade of 2 Castle Street, Bridgwater, where careful conservation of stonework and restoration of brick surfaces has replaced disrepair and inappropriate paintwork.
In 2010, the Society recognized the outstanding restoration work undertaken to renovate Bridgwater's Town Hall. We believe this enhancement has made a great difference to the High Street, celebrating the town's historic past. Our president, Derek Gibson MBE, gave the award to Duncan McGinty, leader of Sedgemoor District Council. For press coverage follow the link below. http://www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk/news/8736544.Award_for_Bridgwater_town_hall_project/
In 2009 the Society recognized Bridgwater's Victoria Park Community Centre as an example of good architecture and planning. The Mayor of Bridgwater, Cllr. Graham Granter presented the Society's Environmental Enhancement Award to Ivor Butt, Keith Barnard and Martin Rawles on Wednesday 15 April.
Restoration: Crowpill Rd 2009
Crowpill Road in central Bridgwater is little noticed or known about! For years it didn't even have a street name board but brackets on site once held a painted wooden one. Beneath this late medieval street lies a wall of Bridgwater's famous Castle - it divided the inner Bailey from the outer, a curtain wall was found at the bottom of Castle Street. In 2009, the Society was asked by residents to re-instate a sign. Our volunteer Miles Peterson worked with 10 King Square and Redwood Joinery of Woolavington to create and affix a new road sign.
Restoration: River Crane 2004
In 2004 the Society, restored Bridgwater's Victorian River Crane cited on West Quay. The restoration process, assisted by Bridgwater College, Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council, included the formation of a replacement wooden jib and complete reassembly!
Restoration: River Buoy 2000
In 2000, the Society worked with Bridgwater College students to restore the condition of Bridgwater's Rive Buoy. The Buoy, located at the town docks, was originally located to guide ships into the port. The lifelong community work undertaken by Society member, Betty Dimes, is here commemorated.
Restoration: Town Bridge 1983
In 1983 to celebrate the centenary of the 1883 opening of our town bridge, the Society arranged the refitting of four lanterns. The original lanterns, located on each corner, had gone missing so the Society commissioned four replacements to maintain and enhance the character of Bridgwater's key historic feature - our bridge!
Attribution of Images
Please note these images, unless otherwise specified (see below), are the copyright of the Bridgwater and District Civic Society with named individuals: H West, P Smeed, P Cattermole, J Napthine and K Dewar. Images also from www.bridgwatersomerset.info. With gratitude.