The skills of an award-winning craftsman will restore an historic greenhouse to its former glory.
Jason Wright, a self-employed joiner for 26 years, will renovate the teak frame of the 1930s structure in Alexandra Park, Hastings, and install toughened glass once final funds for the work have been secured.
A generous supporter has already pledged the lion’s share of funding to the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group to put a permanent roof on the structure. Now the group has launched a month-long Crowdfunding campaign called Let’s Raise the Roof to find the £10,000 to finish the project which will enable the greenhouse to be used for community events in all weathers.
Jason has been commissioned to repair and renew the greenhouse’s frame. In 2007, he won an English Heritage Commendation for his work on dismantling an oak barn in Normandy and bringing it to England where he converted it into a house.
He has renovated many greenhouses, including one at Hawkhurst. He has just finished a new greenhouse at Bodiam and will soon start a new project at Benenden.
The joiner, who trades as J F Wright Carpentry, said: “I love my work. I have a workshop at home. I also make windows, doors and I build home offices in summer houses.”
The fourth generation joiner in his family, said the park greenhouse was a very good example of its type: “There was a lot of money spent on it when it was built; it was the top of the range. We were at the height of the Empire then and it was easier to get the teak wood.
“We haven’t decided what type of teak substitute wood to use yet, but it will be a tropical hardwood which is very stable and oily, which means it is rot resistant.”
He described the greenhouse as one of the park’s great attractions: “It is well designed and it’s nice to be involved in restoring it to its former glory.
“It will take about the 12 weeks to do the work. It’s quite precise work; it has to be broken down into its component parts and then the work must be done in the right order. It’s about organising the work properly.”
Retired blacksmith Clive Standen from Hastings is being consulted about restoring the greenhouse guttering and downpipes, while staff from JenCo Electrical, based in Hastings, are seeking sustainable ways to install power at the site.
The campaign has so far raised more than £1,500 towards the £10,000 target to provide lighting and power, re-point ageing brickwork, improve the interior, and to build a perimeter fence and emergency gate.
Donors of more than £20 will each receive a cotton bag and an invitation to a party in Alexandra Park when the restoration has started and Covid -19 guidance allows.
Visit www.our-greenhouse.org to see our work to date and watch our video at https://youtu.be/KxOYtb3WaQY Donations can be made at crowdfunder.co.uk/lets-raise-the-roof-and-grow-together
More details about JF Wright Carpentry from 01424 756295 or 0755 2075854. Visit JenCo’s website https://www.jencoelectrical.co.uk/ for more information.