After years of neglect and decay, the Trust is delighted to announce that works have finally begun on the repair and refurbishment of the Foot Buildings in Pitt Street. With pigeons having been resident for a number of years the first priority has been to get the buildings clean before some gentle opening up works to assess the service runs, as well as consider whether the foundations needed any underpinning. The contractors, Camerons, soon discovered the remains of a brick well to the rear of the buildings and a culvert running underneath the floor of No 5. The culvert was evidently used to canalise a former stream which ran towards Charing Cross and can be seen on the Le Gros map of St Helier dated 1834. What is surprising is how high the culvert is located with very little space between the top of the culvert and the floor boards of No 5.
The initial works have also revealed advertisements from when the premises were used for retail including floor polish and woodworm killer, although the latter does not appear to have been used to great effect! The Trust’s Properties Team are also busy repairing and constructing sash windows, retaining as much historic fabric as possible, as well as used recycled timber for the repairs from redundant snooker tables. They have 43 windows to refurbish and so the workshop is being kept extremely busy at the moment, as well as undertaking other day to day maintenance on the 28 historic buildings in our care.
With a total spend of £1.4m and completion due by October 2017, the project is a big challenge for the Trust but fortunately bequests from the late Mrs Ann Herrod, Mrs Mollie Houston Mr & Mrs Jack Trotman, have enabled the Trust to proceed and permanently safeguard these buildings for the benefit of the Island.