Kettering Civic Society
Newsletter 17 (Summer 2014)

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Members and friends were delighted that Society President Jenny Freeman accompanied by Lord Freeman former MP for Kettering joined them for lunch at The Vines in May. Following the meal we enjoyed a fascinating talk by Toni Huberman, “Odd Fellows – Odd Volumes”, about an eccentric and very exclusive dining club in London called Ye Sette of Odd Volumes. Both Sir Alfred East and John Alfred Gotch belonged. Toni has worked in publishing and television and in recent years has explored her own family’s history, which has brought her to Kettering. Her great grandfather, Charles Holme, was a close friend and supporter of Alfred East. We took the opportunity later to award The Annual Rose Bowl, presented on the Society’s behalf by Mayor Duncan Baines, received by Beth Haines on behalf of the Hazelton family, owners of Barton Hall, awarded for the restoration of the Grade 1 Listed Orangery and the restoration and conversion of a dilapidated building to a fabulous hotel.



Heritage Lottery Bid to Restore and Reinstate THE KETTERING MOSAIC

The project focuses on a Mosaic, 45ft x 15ft dating from 1962 and survives complete having been rescued when the former Grammar School/Tresham College was demolished in 2007. The mosaic is in need of a small amount of restoration and re-siting. It is an early original artwork by internationally acclaimed mosaic artist Kenneth Budd which depicts a modernist abstract interpretation of Kettering's Coat of Arms as well as Kettering's rich and diverse cultural and industrial history including reference to the Baptist movement and the emancipation of slaves.

The Mosaic was originally sited on a prominent wall at Kettering Grammar School and was purposefully commissioned for the schools relocation in the early 1960s. It was especially commissioned to recognise and acknowledge Kettering Grammar school’s longevity and contribution to national education since the mid 1500's. It can boast the education of many prominent men!

The project will invite the community to become involved in creating a Heritage Trail focusing on the images in the mosaic which inform and celebrate Kettering's diverse heritage. It will be displayed once again for the pleasure of all, attracting researchers and tourists alike. In 2004 the Society first became aware that Tresham College, the former Boys School would be demolished to make way for a new College. No provision had been made to incorporate the mosaic on the new building, and after campaigning through radio and TV to save the mosaic, the College gave the mosaic to the Civic Society. Firstly we needed to know whether it would be possible to remove the mosaic. At this stage the Society did not know the whereabouts of the artist Kenneth Budd, creator of the mosaic. Through the newspaper we discovered that sadly Kenneth Budd had died, however, his son Oliver Budd had continued the business of creating mosaics and was working in Kent.

In February 2007 the Society, with community support, raised funds of £2,350.00 to pay Oliver for travel to Kettering and test four areas (400mmsq) and to assess the effective removal of the mosaic from the wall. Costs included: all labour, transportation, materials, accommodation, and a written survey report.

The survey revealed that the mosaic could be taken down and at this point it was decided to SAVE THE MOSAIC even though the Society had no idea of where it might be re housed.

The Society quickly set about further fundraising. Donations were received as well as a loan from Kettering Borough Council of £15,000.00. Scaffolding was supplied by Euro Scaffolding Ltd at no cost.. The total cost for the work was £18,000.00 made up from;
  • A complete digital photographic survey: £800.
  • Work to secure the complete surface of the mosaic working with flexible, adhesive webbing: £4,500.00.
  • A survey to identify panel areas and make appropriate notations: £1,500.00.
  • The removal of panels from the wall in correct order: £10,400.00.
  • Return the mosaic to the workshop for conservation: £800.00.

When the mosaic was recovered it was taken to Kent for storage until a site could be found and more funds acquired to continue the work. Oliver waived the charge of £80 per month for storage.

The Society had exhausted all efforts of the community’s fundraising ability and it was recommended we seek Charitable Status, which was achieved in 2009, thus allowing the Society to apply for a funding. The total cost of voluntary hours amount to £15281.00. A further £35,000:00 is required to complete the work.

The penultimate challenge was to identify a suitable site and several sites were investigated. Each time a drawing was made and applications to Tresham Institute, County Highways and the Leisure Village were made. This also included arranging and attending site visits and meetings. Finally in 2012 Elandi, the new owners of the Newland Shopping Centre accepted that the mosaic could be placed in a prominent position in the town centre. The Society has Planning Permission and is now confident in its bid for Heritage Lottery Funding when the final challenge will be realised!


Andrea Talks about the Society and Mosaic

The Society is fortunate in having Andrea Pettingale who joined the Committee in 2002. As Librarian at Kettering for many years she has been the Society’s first port of call for enquiries regarding all aspects of the town. Andrea continues to play an active role on the Committee and recently her presentations to Fuller U3A, the Salvation Army, and Wicksteed Park Summer Evening Talks have been widely successful. Through listening to comments we learn that many do not realise the extent of the work that Committee members do to promote the town, recognise civic pride and keep a watchful eye on new plans for the town.

Spreading the word about the Society and its activities has become challenging since the Kettering Evening Telegraph has become a weekly publication and the cost of postage has risen. However, we change with the times and as well as our website, Committee members Rachael Aldridge and Carolyn Bushell have created Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Society. Both kinds of social media are proving to be exciting, in that we are linking with other like-minded people and organisations, and the result is instant!

Producing newsletters, printing and postage comes at a price and thanks to the revenue from Andrea’s talks and we are able provide a printed newsletter which can also be viewed on our website. The Committee is planning talks of varying themes and if you know of any organisation who would like a Civic Society talk, please do contact us! There is so much to tell.

OPEN STUDIOS at Oakapple Studio, Mears Ashby
Kettering Civic Society committee members, Erika Beecher and
Eleanor Patrick promote the Society’s aims and advertise events

PROMOTING KETTERING & The Mosaic Project Kettering Civic Society
with the Friends of Alfred East Art Gallery at the Newland Shopping Centre
Pictured are Phil Steele, Jean Bushell, and
Civic Society Committee Members Erika Beecher and Barbara Lewis.

Latest Mosaic News!

Committee members have been holding regular meetings putting together a Heritage Lottery bid for the mosaic and part of the condition of funding will be community involvement. There will be a guide to the Heritage Walk which will be accessed from the Society’s new interactive website, and an illustrated publication. The main areas of focus are Kettering’s Industry including the Boot & Shoe Industry, Churches, The Baptist Missionary, The Gotch Family, and Schools.

The Society is particularly delighted that Fuller Baptist Church, Fuller U3A, Northamptonshire Ramblers Association and Kettering and District Arts Society have agreed to take part in the project and we look forward to more groups joining in.

Local author and former head teacher Ian Addis has agreed to assist in compiling and editing research material and Andrea Pettingale will assist and point us in the right direction for research. We look forward to recruiting researchers! Please let us know where you interests lie and JOIN US!


NORTHAMPTON HOUSE - Kettering Civic Society has been monitoring Northampton House which unfortunately couldn’t be listed and had stood empty for some time. The Society is very pleased with the excellent progress Averill Phillips & family are making in its restoration for their business.

FERNDALE - Following the closure of Ferndale the County Council Care Home, the property had been unused for several years. Ferndale was the first house to be built in Headlands and an excellent job is being made of its restoration following the part demolition of the care home to become a private residence. We watch with much interest at its progress.

BRYN HAFOD in Hall Lane - formerly home of Charles Wicksteed and then Our Lady’s Convent and School. Kettering Borough Council served and enforcement on the property and the original developers are no longer involved. Now there are new developers and their progress is being monitored by Kettering Civic Society. There are many concerns from local residents which we take into account. The Society looked at the original Plans and Peter Chaplin; the case officer will be giving us an update on the Listed House.

The Former Buccleuch Hotel in Stamford Road (pictured left)-
The Society wrote to KBC Planning objecting to the demolition of the building and the Application was withdrawn.
The hotel was originally built for visiting hunters on the Boughton Estate.

Restoration of the Monuments in St Edmund's Church Warkton - Kettering Civic Society supports the restoration of the Montagu Monuments. We are delighted that Committee member, Eleanor Patrick has been invited to join the Montagu Monuments Conservation Project Heritage Interpretation Panel and we wait with enthusiasm the completion of the statues restoration in November.

The Monuments (pictured right) are in memory of John, Duke of Montagu (1775) Mary, Duchess of Montagu (1753) Mary, Duchess of Montagu (1775) Elizabeth, Duchess of Montagu (1827) The family of Montagu and Buccleuch has played a significant part in the history of this part of Northamptonshire having owned thousands of acres of land and a fine stately home in Boughton Park. Several surrounding villages had estate houses and St Edmunds Church was the family place of worship. The Monuments are the work of Messure Roubiliac (a French sculptor), P.M Van Gelder and Thomas Campbell.

21st June Trip to Salt’s Mill

What brilliant day we had in Saltaire! So much to see and do, something for everyone! The consensus was that we should return there for more exploration! Saltaire, located on the outskirts of Bradford, West Yorkshire is named after Sir Titus Salt who created a purpose built village to house workers for his new textile mill. Situated by the side of the River Aire it still exists today, perhaps the finest example of Italianate architecture in England. In December 2001, Saltaire was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  This status is due to the dedicated work of local historian, Clive Woods and members of the local community. Today, Salt’s Mill houses the largest collection of Bradford born David Hockney's works of art in the world and sells an interesting and eclectic collection of books, furniture, jewellery, clothing, home effects and good food.

Jonathan Silver rescued Salts Mill from dereliction when he bought the Mill in 1987. It was abandoned and had ceased to function as a textile manufacturer and had fallen into serious disrepair. For ten years, Jonathan worked tirelessly, transforming the Mill into a space of enterprise, art and culture. His spirit in Salts Mill is very much alive. Jonathan Silver was Bradford-born and a friend of David Hockney, also born in Bradford. He was a successful entrepreneur with phenomenal energy and creative insight he died in 1997, aged 47.


Exploring Scotland
September 1st –4th 2014

Exploring Scotland’s Scenery, Architecture, Art and Culture Glasgow* Dumfries House * Burns Museum* Drumlanrig Castle

View our programme of events

President: Lady Freeman (Dipl Cons AA)   Chairman: Paul Ansell, Dip Arch RIBA   Vice Chairman: John Coleman    Secretary: Monica Özdemir

If you would like to know more about membership of the Society email the secretary