Bridgnorth’s Castle Gates have undergone a major refurbishment. Restorer Clive Leadbetter painstakingly stripped back the gates, in West Castle Street, to bare metal. He then carried out repairs, applied two coats of undercoat and two of topcoat before finishing the spearheads and other decorative furnishing in Gold Leaf paint.
The work was commissioned by Bridgnorth Town Council and funded by a donation of £905 from prize money won by the town in 2016 for its success in The Great British High Street (GBHS) competition.
The project was spearheaded by Councillor Sarah Stevens and Love Bridgnorth’s Sally Themans, who helped to lead the GBHS campaign. Sarah says, “Sally and I wanted to see the remaining GBHS prize money spent in ways that would benefit all residents and visitors. As a councillor, I asked Bridgnorth Town Council for areas or projects we might be able to contribute to or cover the cost of. This is one of the projects we have undertaken.
“We have attached a small plaque on the wall beside the gates to inform visitors that the work was carried out using money donated from the GBHS prize fund.”
Clive explains, “The hardest and longest part of the renovation was the stripping off years of paint by hand with chisels and a grinder. Then they were painted with two coats of primer and two coats of black .The finials were painted gold as were the gate stops, which were fixed and made functional.”
The commemorative plaque – marking the opening of the gates and extension to the castle grounds, by the Duchess of Kent on 28th May 1957 – was stripped to bare metal then polished and sprayed.
Clive adds, “On and off, through the rain and sun, it took about two weeks in full.”