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Stamford Civic Society awarded £42,400 grant for new Sundial project

By kay_kelly  |  Posted: October 19, 2012

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Stamford Civic Society has been awarded a £42,400 Heritage Lottery Fund grant for an education and conservation project.

The majority of the money awarded for the Sundial project will be used to raise public awareness of the built heritage of Stamford – one of the society's key missions.

Gwyneth Gibbs, chairman of Stamford Civic Society, said: "The grant provides funding that will give young people more opportunities to identify elements of their heritage and to participate in its interpretation.

"It will help to develop practical skills relating to Stamford's built environment such as multi-media methods of communication, physical fabrication and conservation."

The remainder of the money will be spent conserving All Saint's Church's early 18th century sundial on the southern parapet, overlooking Red Lion Square.

The sundial, which is illegible and in poor structural condition, will be removed and conserved by a specialist laboratory to be preserved for future generations.

The grant will also fund heritage learning opportunities relating to the conservation project for the local community, including schoolchildren and college students.

Mrs Gibbs explained: "This will be a great part of the project for schools and colleges because it involves science, conservation, history and working with stone.

"Plans include involving students of all ages in understanding how sundials work, making them, a town sundial trail involving QR codes which can be scanned on a mobile phone, and a recording of the project as it progresses.

"Some will also assist with an information board that will go in the churchyard."

Thanks to an additional £5,000 grant from the town's Harry Skells Trust a new sundial will be made to replace the existing one and mark Stamford Civic Society's 50th anniverary.

The society also believes the sundial will be the town's only physical commemoration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It will bear the date MMXII and a declination curve showing the sun's path for the February 6th, the date of her accession to the throne.

The Very Rev Mark Warrick, of All Saint's Church, said: "This is a civic society initiative to restore the sundial which is falling apart and illegible - quite frankly nobody realises it's even there.

"They are preserving part of the building's history.

"The restored sundial will be placed under the tower where we keep several items of historical interest.

"The new replacement sundial will not be an exact replica - as the original is so illegible - but it will be a decent reproduction and people will be able to see and notice it."

Mrs Gibbs said the society is 'delighted' the Heritage Lottery Grant will enhance the heritage learning opportunities of young people

"We are also very grateful to the Harry Skells Trust for enabling a new sundial to provide a lasting memorial for our 50th anniversary in this very special year of celebrations," she added.

Stamford Civic Society was formed in 1962 to lobby for the conservation and preservation of the town, while also looking to its future prosperity.

For more information visit www.stamfordcivicsociety.org.uk.

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