Medway Statues and Memorials: Restoration and Preservation

The Property Dampcourse Association has authorised Rochester Building and Damp to operate as their sole representative in Medway for all PDA© approved Heritage Conservation contracts. Although they won’t undertake the actual renovation, Rochester Building and Damp will oversee and sign off on all remedial works to public monuments, memorials, civic statues and historic sculptures located in the Medway Towns. Works which adhere to PDA standards not only have to use materials in-keeping with the original era of construction, but also have to be suitably resistant to extreme weather conditions over many years. Raymond Garrick a surveyor and damp proofing operative from Rochester Building and Damp has expressed his gratitude to the PDA: ” Medway has such a rich history with many local traditions. It’s an area that’s often overlooked in favour of other port cities and towns that have a long military history and dockyard heritage. I believe that by preserving our monuments, statues and landmarks we can ensure future generations will appreciate our many historic achievements. Rochester Building and Damp is small local business that genuinely cares about the area and people. I know Medway’s got a bit of a reputation in recent years, but through investment and funding I see the area having a really bright future. You can trace a lot of the economic downturn in Medway back to the closure of the dockyard. After serving in the Navy throughout the war, my dad George Garrick worked for thirty nine years as a marine engineer. He died in 1985, a year after the dockyard closed. He was sixty-five, but I guess you could say being laid-off pretty much crushed his spirit in later life after my mum died and it killed him in the end really. My brother Vince left school in 1977 and got taken on as an apprentice riveter. After they laid off his riveting squad in ’84 he descended in alcoholism. He got back on track briefly after getting a job as a builders labourer, but then died  suddenly of a brain haemorrhage in 1989. I like to think despite all the hardships my family and the people of Medway have experienced through the generations, that it makes us particularly resilient as individuals and that we respect the past but look forward to a better tomorrow. ”  The PDA website not only references the importance of renovating both monuments and memorials, but also highlights potential consequences of not undertaking damp proofing measures. It’s estimated that at least 40% of the UK’s historic civic statues and sculptures are at risk of irreparable deterioration due to neglect.

Neptune’s Islet. 
A poem by Sir Thomas Accrington-Breach 1876, which describes the bronze fountain statue of Neptune commissioned by Lord Derbyshire for Rochester’s Great Exhibition of 1855. The statue has remained in storage at Chatham Dockyard since 1991. 

Copper Trident doth Lord Neptune wield
Twelve feet in length from prong to shield
Crown and musculature enchained
To crossed plinth an eternal stake

Lake water from a concealed stream
Statue, cross and fountain gleam
Thirty thousand gallons flow
From labyrinthine spring

Teal patination antiquate                                      
Thalassic ton of sculptured weight
Cast of poured molten bronze
Where verdigris hath stained 

Vambraces, cloak, pinchbeck-breastplate
Lord Neptune reclines to consecrate
Upon rock throne of pulmahite
Observed with leaden eyes

O, Water nymph aside her Lord
Petite mermaid lay undeterred
By rusted anchor and tangled net
Behold the ocean god

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