Tuesday, September 13, 2022
This was organised by Huddersfield Civic Society and Huddersfield Local History Society as part of the annual Heritage Open Days festival.
Helen Walker, Head of Heritage at Bowman Riley Architects and specialist conservation architect for the renovation of the George Hotel, gave a thorough and insightful presentation on investigations and recommendations regarding the external repairs to this Grade II-listed building. The George is one of only a small percentage of buildings to receive this grading and is considered to be one of the most important and cherished buildings in Huddersfield town centre.
Helen outlined the history of the building, illustrated by plans and documents uncovered in the local archives dating from the 1850s to adaptations and extensions to the building, particularly in the 1870s and 1930s.
Helen then revealed the many defects that had been recorded during detailed survey work, largely relating to masonry, roof and windows. Some was in serious need of attention to prevent water ingress and other damage.
This was followed by a summary of the repairs strategy which, while helping to enhance the significance of the building and ensure its future, would need to be appropriate and proportionate to the building’s future use, categorised by what elements were essential to repair, necessary or desirable.
Questions from the presentation focussed on the intention of Kirklees Council to identify a major hotel operator which would necessitate both internal and external alterations and extensions and how these changes would reconcile with the need to enhance and secure this outstanding building.
It was clear that both societies welcomed the work being undertaken and hoped further consultation and updates would occur as appropriate.