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Canal cottages conserved

PUBLISHED: 14:36 29 November 2013 | UPDATED: 14:36 29 November 2013

Archant

Having spent £¾m renovating 13 traditional canal cottages, the Canal & River Trust is putting a further £¾m into restoring another 12 – and as a result it has come up with a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’t’s for anyone else looking after similar historic properties.

Having spent £¾m renovating 13 traditional canal cottages, the Canal & River Trust is putting a further £¾m into restoring another 12 – and as a result it has come up with a list of ‘dos’ and ‘don’t’s for anyone else looking after similar historic properties.

Those already treated include cottages at Cropredy, Salterhebble and Hanwell; buildings scheduled for repair include ones at Harecastle Tunnel, Kings Norton Junction (pictured) and Marple.

Originally built to provide homes for lock keepers and other canal workers, many of the cottages were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s, and even the survivors have suffered “decades of well-intentioned but sometimes misguided decorating mistakes and 20th century maintenance oversights” as CRT conservation architect Peter Chowns puts it – including plastic gutters and windows, and inappropriate modern renders and paints which can trap moisture inside.

The Trust is now working to put right these mistakes – which has led it to produce a list of handy hints for others doing the same job. The ‘dos’ include removing polystyrene tiles and Artex, using traditional breathable insulation materials and allowing the odd draught; while the ‘don’t’s include using cement mortars and replacing timber floors with concrete.

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