Art Deco structure from the 1920s had fallen into disrepair
A blacksmith working on the restoration of the gate
Work on a project to restore the Art Deco gates at the entrance to Dukes Meadows has started.
Blacksmiths and stonemasons have begun the work to bring them back to their former glory. The total cost of the restoration will be £60,000.
The gates are right beside Cavendish Primary School and used on a daily basis by people from the houses and flats adjoining Promenade Approach.
The project will include works to the pintle and hinge bearing points, manufacturing new drop bolts and new jockey wheels, engineering new lock boxes, removing corrosion and repainting. The heavy gloss varnish applied in previous years to the brick piers will be removed and the bricks and stone capitals repaired. The Art Deco lettering will be restored.
The gates were formally opened in 1926 by the Queen’s father, the future King George VI, after Chiswick District Council had bought 200 acres of riverside land from the Duke of Devonshire as part of its plan to open up the southern tip of the parish to give local industrial workers more opportunity to get some fresh air. The Brentford Gas Company had been proposing to use the site for gasworks. By 1925 a 2,000-ft long embankment and terraced promenade lined the loop of the river and sports grounds were under construction. To give the entrance a sense of grandeur and encourage civic pride, a set of iron gates were designed for Promenade Approach.
In the 1980s the park went into decline and it is only in recent years regeneration work was begun by the Duke’s Meadows Trust, but the park’s historic gates and piers in danger of being lost.
The Dukes Meadows Trust also hopes to also improve the surface of the Approach Road itself to create a safe pedestrian and cycle route into the park and to restore the area at the far end of the Approach Road, onto the Thames Path, which is still derelict.
Moment when the Prince opened the gates to the public for the first time. Picture: Dukes Meadows Trust
Paul Davis, Chair of the Duke’s Meadows Trust, said, “We are delighted that after three years hard work by the Trust, the restoration is going ahead. We are grateful to the London Borough of Hounslow, Heritage of London Trust and the Ironmongers Company, who have generously given funds towards the restoration. Heritage of London Trust also offered valuable advice and the council, as owner of the gates, has acted as commissioner of the work. The Trust will be contributing £26,000 towards the cost from its own reserves, raised from the Sunday Food Market and artists’ studios.”
Some of the people who have worked on the project
Local schoolchildren are to be invited to visit the conservation teams at work as part of Heritage of London Trust’s Proud Places programme. Heritage of London Trust advised on the conservation works as well as giving a grant of £10,000.
Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust, said, “The poor state of the gates has a depressing effect on the area and does not create a welcoming entrance. Our involvement is part of a huge effort to instill a sense of pride in Duke’s Meadows. The restoration will highlight the park’s 1920s origins and we’re looking forward to bringing local school pupils to visit the blacksmiths at work.”
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
April 27, 2022