Lye & Wollescote Chapels, Cemetery Road, Lye.
As many of you may be aware, Lye & Wollescote Chapels was the first building in Dudley borough to undergo the Asset Transfer journey. Since then there have been others and I am happy to report, more on the way and as and when they do happen, we will keep you posted.
For those of us lucky enough to be involved in this development and the planned activities for the site, we are pleased to announce that soon you too will have the opportunity to view this beautiful, historical building and hear more about its future.
On Saturday 20 June (pre-bookings only) there is an opportunity to go behind closed doors and see for yourselves the progress underway and specialist conservation skills at work; returning Lye’s disused Victorian Cemetery Chapels to their former splendour.
Now owned by the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust you will be able to see how this Grade II Listed building is being regenerated following successful grant applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund and other charitable bodies. You can hear how the Trust will safeguard this Victorian landmark and create a suite of facilities for use by Dudley Council Citizenship & Registration Services.
As part of the redevelopment for the site, a key aspect of the project is also to help local communities and visitors appreciate the historic role and function of the cemetery chapels and their relevance in the local historic environment.
There will be talks by the project architect, local historians and authors Jean Weston and Marlene Price, who have been involved extensively in the project, and representatives of the Historic Buildings Trust. Throughout the day there will be demonstrations by specialist contractors including window glaziers, blacksmith, leadworkers, stonemason and roof tilers showcasing the historic crafts skills being used and the stories to be told. The Open Day will give people the opportunity to visit the chapels and understand more clearly the work being undertaken.
Unfortunately, due to the compact area being a working construction site and contractors’ compound, visitor numbers are limited and tours must be pre-booked. The day will comprise of two sessions
9:45 – 11:30 and 11:45 – 1:30. For those wishing to visit, we would suggest that stout enclosed toe footwear is essential (more details when booking in advance only, but no high heels, open toed shoes, sandals, thin soles, etc) together with outdoor clothing. Hard hats and high visibility jackets will be provided for entry into the chapel buildings themselves.
Visitors can also find out more about joining the newly created Friends Group and how to become involved in the future care of the site and sharing its stories within the community.
All ages are welcome, but under 16 year olds must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
To find out more about visiting on the day contact Carolyn Healy who is establishing the Friends organisation. E-mail Carolyn@redkitenetwork.co.uk or call 07805 489296 or 01952 433380 or alternatively call Dudley CVS (01384 573381) for information.