Hall Conservation were asked by the National Trust to restore a damaged aluminium plaque that commemorated the last working wooden windpump in Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire.
The windpump was built around 1912 and is used to pump water from drainage channels up into the Fen for land drainage.
The plaque itself dated back to the late 1950s and had been quite badly damaged when it was torn from its fixings by one of the sails of the windpump. It was bent out of shape and had two sections missing where it had been ripped away. It was also suffering from a heavy layer of unwanted paint.
‘Nitromors’ paint stripper was used to remove the paint so that it didn’t burn when heat was applied to straighten the plaque. With the paint removed, the plaque was heated to make it malleable enough to bend back into shape. The plaque was placed between two heavy sheets of metal and weights were placed on top.
With the plaque flattened, the two missing pieces were carefully repaired. One was welded back in place and the piece that was missing completely was replaced. The plaque was then given several coats of paint to match the plaque’s original appearance.
The inscription on the plaque reads:
THIS LAST SURVIVOR OF THE MANY THOUSAND DRAINAGE WINDPUMPS OF THE CAMBRIDGESHIRE FENLANDS WAS MOVED FROM ADVENTURERS FEN, RECONSTRUCTED AND RE-ERECTED HEREBY THE COUNCIL FOR THE PRESERVATION OF RURAL ENGLAND, CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND ISLE OF ELY BRANCH. THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF ITS CHAIRMAN LORD FAIRHAVEN AND SKILL OF THE WHEELWRIGHT C.J. ISON AD 1956.