Most of the garden squares in London lost their original railings at the beginning of WW2 when they were taken ‘to help the war effort’. Sadly, being cast iron rather than mild steel, they were useless as scrap and ended up at the bottom of the North Sea!.
Restoration involves historical research and careful site investigation to establish the design and form of the original railings – no two squares are the same – and may start with a feasibility study and budget costing. Once the commission gets under way, it calls for the basic services common to any other project: preparing drawings and the specification; submitting and negotiating planning and grant applications; tendering and administration and discussions with other council departments such as Highways. To satisfy Health & Safety Regulations, a topographical survey is normally required and a Planning Supervisor must be appointed.
Garden Squares are usually run by an elected committee and, in all the schemes carried out, we have worked closely with one or two individual members acting as client. We have often attended meetings to explain the project to other key-holders and generally helped to facilitate the project.
Bina Gardens received a Civic Trust commendation and Royal Crescent an award from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea