What’s the problem? If you take a walk to the Brentham Club you will easily see that the brickwork is crumbling in places, and that at the top of the building the paintwork is peeling badly. This needs to be put right before it gets worse and the weather starts to penetrate the building.
What do we have to do? The Clubhouse – which used to be called the Brentham Institute – is a Grade II listed building, so we can’t just get out the ladders and start replacing bricks. The first step is to get a properly qualified surveyor to make a detailed list of the work required: then we have to get quotes from suitably qualified builders and select the best; then we simply have to raise the money.
And how will we raise the money? First, we will apply for grants – we stand a good chance because this is a listed building. Second we will ask local residents and businesses and Club members for a contribution. Third, we will run fundraising events.
Doesn’t the Tower belong to the Brentham Club? Yes, it does, and the Brentham Club belongs to its members. And it doesn’t have the kind of money needed to repair the Tower.
So what’s to be done? The Brentham Society and the Brentham Club have joined forces, setting up a Taskforce to bring the Tower back to its former glory.
What does the Brentham Society get out of it? The Society is very interested to preserve Brentham Garden Suburb, so is keen to help if it can. But also it has negotiated with the Club that – in exchange for its assistance – the archives held by the Brentham Society will be moved into the room at the top of the Tower. This will make them much more accessible to anyone who wants to see them, such as schools or historical societies.
How far has the Taskforce got? We have done the survey, asked three building firms for quotes, and selected Mitre, who recently renovated Ealing Town Hall.
And how much is it going to cost? Around £75,000. Which may seem a lot, but if you divide it by the 700 houses on the estate, its only about £100 each.
Is that how you plan to get the money, just by asking? We are indeed going to ask for donations by individuals and local businesses, and we are going to run fundraising events. But we are optimistic that most of the money will come from grants. This is a Grade II listed building, after all, and there are funds available to help restore such pieces of history.
What fundraising events will there be and when? We have lots of ideas – for example there is our Lego version of the Tower, You can buy bricks for £1 – we plan to have it on display at local events – its already raised more than £100.
What else? For an up-to-date list of current activities, please visit our events page.
What help do you need? We will need people to man stands at events, to organise a winetasting, and we also need expertise in publicity. So we are asking people to get in touch, not only to contribute some cash, but also their time and their skills.
How can I keep abreast of progress? Watch this (web)space – there will be regular updates via the News items.
How can I contact you?