Photograph: John Miller (Director HTNW), Peter Taylor (Friends of Bank Hall, Chorley), Austin Grady and David Parfitt (CSNW).
Austin Grady, who has headed up Conservation Services North West (CSNW) for the last ten years, has finally decided the attractions of retirement can no longer be ignored!
Austin has led several important conservation projects in his time at CSNW, including the heroic saving of Tonge Hall, Middleton (listed grade II*) after a devastating fire which left it in a critically unstable condition.
Working alongside surveyor Alan Gardner, and operating from a cherry picker, Austin skilfully deconstructed the tangled and dangerous mess of the half-collapsed timber frame hall. He carefully logged and stored the constituent parts before carrying out exemplary carpentry repairs to the main structure, leaving the stabilised building protected by a scaffold cage.
Other notable projects include the restoration of the derelict former King’s Head PH, Blackburn (grade II listed), another building on the point of collapse, and the repair and conservation of Lomeshaye Bridge Mill in Whitefield Conservation Area, Nelson, Bank Hall, Bretherton (listed grade II*) and Lytham Hall (listed grade I).
Conservation Services NW, which is the building arm of Heritage Trust for the NW (HTNW), will greatly miss Austin’s conservation skills, commitment and all round professionalism. We wish him a great retirement!