2012: The Groves, Chester

The 2012 Paviors’ Award has been given to The Groves, on the banks of the River Dee in Chester. The Groves is an example of an early Victorian promenade and is one of the most attractive parts of Chester. Many people who visit the city are unaware of this riverside walk as it is separated from the main shopping areas. The scheme has involved replacing tarmac paths with British York Stone, replacing grit-stone surfaces with stone setts in a pleasing ‘fantail’ pattern. Six large trees have been planted to replace those removed because of their poor condition, and providing these with bespoke tree grills with ornate detailing. Around 100 benches have been refurbished, and new waste bins and signs provided. During construction, the Council came under pressure to use cement mortar to bind the setts, but completed the project without its use. The result has been to create a robust surface with a soft appearance.

Presentation of the Award was made in Chester by Master-Elect, John Dance, and the Company’s Clerk, John Freestone. Certificates were presented to Magnus Theabold of Chester Renaissance, Ed Snell Chester and West Cheshire Council who designed the scheme, and to Dominic Goodwin of S J Goodwin and Sons (Manchester) Ltd the contractor for the works. A plaque was also presented to be incorporated in the scheme advising the public that the project had won the Paviors’ Award for 2012.

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