Architectural feats of excellence have been celebrated at Alnwick’s annual Civic Society Awards, presented by a former Government minister.
Chris Mullin, who was MP for Sunderland South, was at the event – held at Barter Books – where he gave an entertaining talk on ‘walled gardens and other matters’ before handing out the awards.
He presented the major award to Gentoo for its Ropery Court development. In offering the citation for this award, Peter Ennor, chairman of the Society, said: “The design addresses the steeply sloping site very well.
“The development incorporates a range of materials and provides a pleasant living environment, and the re-creation and enhancement of Stonewell Lane is a particularly strong feature.”
Verity Moss and Stuart Hutchinson, architects of the development, collected the award on behalf of Gentoo.
The second award was presented to the Sisters of the Convent of Mercy for the replacement doorway at 12a Bailiffgate, alongside the Bailiffgate Museum. The citation for this award referred to the ‘skilful refurbishment of the stone doorway and surround incorporating beautifully carved new stone heads’.
Chris presented awards to Sister Helen of the Convent of Mercy, Vincente Steinlet, architect, and Ian Black of Hutton Stone Ltd, who were responsible for the stonework.
Chris then presented The Gordon Smith Award, named in memory of a past member of the Civic Society, to Caroline Stewart of Bari tea for the ‘restrained and appropriate renewal works’ and ‘simple but stylish shop front and signage (which are) particularly successful’.
The final award was dedicated to John Howells, who sadly passed away in June. John had been a member and an officer of the Civic Society from its very early days, 38 years ago right up to his death.
Peter Ennor referred to his ability to conclude discussions in the society’s planning committee with a pithy and wry comment, always expressed in his inimitable Welsh accent.
The award was made to the Alnwick Methodist Church and their contractor, Len Smith and son, for ‘the skilful repair works carried out to an existing stone roof feature following storm damage, and to the stone windows of the church’.
The award was collected by the Reverend Pauline Fellows and contractor David Smith.