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Work starts to restore historic limekiln

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Work to restore one of the island’s East End parks is scheduled to continue tomorrow.

Martello Tower in Ferry Reach Park (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The St George’s Foundation has teamed up with the Department of Parks, airport operator Skyport, the St George’s Rotary Club and the Meyer Group to clear the area around the historic limekiln at Ferry Point Park.

A spokesman for the SGF said the kiln dated back to the 1820s when it was built by the British War Department to support the restoration and expansion of the fortifications around the East End.

The kiln was last used in 1993 by Orville Bascome, whose family will be involved with the clean-up.

Angelique Burgess, speaking on behalf of the Bascome family, said: “Uncle Orville took much pride in his profession as a limekiln operator and was always keen to share with others the history of the Bermuda limekiln.

“I’m sure he would be gleaming with pride to know that the stories of the limekiln will continue to be told and the legacy will continue to live on.”

Limekilns used extreme heat to turn island limestone into quicklime.

The quicklime was used to whitewash roofs or make a basic type of cement.

But limekilns fell out of use because technological advances made it more cost-effective to import materials and the cedar blight wiped out the trees used to keep the kilns fuelled.

The clean-up project is one of several launched by the SGF and intended to beautify the historical fortifications that helped make the Town of St George a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Peter Barrett, a volunteer and treasurer, said: “I first became acquainted with the old limekiln when my father, Leslie Barrett, carried out restoration work on it during his tenure with the St George’s Rotary.

“I am very pleased that the SGF is now working in collaboration with so many stakeholders to ensure all of our heritage sites within Ferry Point Park are being preserved so that the park becomes a living classroom for our schoolchildren, locals and visitors alike.”

Volunteers and park workers are scheduled to meet in the area at 8am tomorrow to clear up cane grass, fiddlewood, Mexican pepper and Indian laurel from the area to improve access to the kiln.

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Published October 13, 2020 at 8:59 am (Updated October 13, 2020 at 2:58 pm)

Work starts to restore historic limekiln

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