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Plans for camera obscura in Pontefract

Published 24 September 2015

An old bird aviary in Pontefract’s Valley Gardens has been renovated as part of WDH’s Love Where You Live project, an initiative which aims to transform and improve local green spaces.

The aviary, which was dismantled in the 1990s, is being renovated as part of plans by the Friends of Friarwood Valley Gardens to transform it into a camera obscura next year.

A camera obscura is a device that led to the invention of photography and, once installed at Valley Gardens, will project an image to the viewing gallery for visitors, local groups and schools to enjoy.  

As part of the group’s efforts to complete the project, Colin White, the group’s chair, recently approached WDH for support. As a result WDH tradesmen and apprentices completed four days’ work last week re-pointing brickwork with a traditional lime mortar.

Dave Heptinstall, WDH Team Leader, said:  “The building now looks fantastic. By doing the work we’re not just helping a great community project, we’re also developing our apprentices who got the opportunity to work with limestone mortar, something that’s not used in modern-day building techniques.

“It’s the first time I’d been in the park, and I’ve learnt a lot about it from Colin and the group. The site’s got a lot of history, and everyone who’s been involved is really proud to be part of the aviary’s journey towards its completion.”

Colin said: “We’re really pleased with the work that’s been carried out. All the tradesmen have done a fantastic job restoring the building, and it’s now preserved for the future. At the moment we’re using the building’s shutters to display artwork from local schools, and in July we installed new paving, so we’re slowly working our way towards completing the project.”

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