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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 September 2006, 23:32 GMT 00:32 UK
Rare forge wins Restoration show
Interior of Chedham's Yard
The forge has lain untouched for more than 30 years
A crumbling 19th century wheelwright and blacksmith's workshop has had its future secured after winning BBC Two's Restoration Village show.

Chedham's Yard in Wellesbourne, near Stratford-on-Avon, won the series which allows viewers to vote which building should be restored to its former glory.

The third series of the programme has focused on delapidated rural buildings.

Watts Gallery in Surrey came second in the poll and Dennis Head Old Beacon lighthouse on North Ronaldsay third.

Andrea Miller, executive producer of Restoration Village, said the eight-week series had produced a "terrific result", with more than half a million votes cast in Sunday evening's final.

She added that every building featured on the series was a winner.

Chedham's Yard topped the poll of eight finalists from around the country, which also included a Methodist chapel, a Georgian watermill and slate quarry workshops.

Well-preserved

Supporters of Chedham's Yard hope to turn the workshop into a working museum with a blacksmith to provide training and education.

The forge stands as a rare and well-preserved example of what village life was like in years gone by.

When work dried up at the forge in the late 1960s, owner Bill Chedham shut up shop, leaving all the contents untouched.

The aim is to restore the property, while leaving it as close as possible to how it was when it was abandoned in 1968.

Former glory

During the series, presenter Griff Rhys Jones was joined by "ruin detectives" Ptolemy Dean and Marianne Suhr, who examined each of the buildings as supporters competed to secure the money needed to restore them.

Viewers voting for the building they most wanted to see restored also helped raise a Restoration Fund of more than 2.35m.

The total includes 1.9m allocated by the Heritage Lottery Fund to the show.

Ms Miller said: "Restoration seemed to awaken the nation to the need to save precious buildings, but Restoration Village seems to have gone further and touched a nerve about preserving the countryside and a way of life."




SEE ALSO
Old mill is restoration contender
11 Jul 06 |  North Yorkshire
Village mill set for Restoration
10 Jul 06 |  Lancashire

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