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Tower restoration points way for civils

ICE news

ENGAGE WITH communities and get involved in decision making, engineers at the ICE North chairman's address were told last week.

Incoming chairman Professor Barry Clarke cited the recent restoration of Ponteland Vicar's Pele Tower - where three civil engineers took a lead role in the successful delivery of a community project - as an example of what engineers can achieve.

Tower restoration working group chairman Michael Taylor and secretary John Turner - both civil engineers - have been interviewed on Radio Newcastle and the project has had extensive coverage in the local press.

Restoration of the collapsing Vicar's Pele Tower, a listed national monument, was challenging and was carried out very much in the public eye.

It was originally intended to restore the tower to its 1864 appearance in time for the Millennium. But the scope of works changed dramatically in January 2000 when the tower was declared an ancient monument by the Department of Media, Culture & Sport.

The upgrade in status immediately overturned the listed building consent and demanded a fundamental revision of the proposals for restoration. Work was restricted to consolidation of structural work carried out during a 1970s restoration, and the reopening of the tower delayed by two years.

The restored tower finally officially opened last month by former Mayor of Castle Morpeth and working group vice chairman Frank Harrington.

INFOPLUS www. peletower. freeuk. com

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