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Is Marine Avenue in Beachlands about to be restored to a former glory with a national grant of £200,000?—Bay LIfe, 8 July 2017

Bay Life understands that an application for a major national grant is being mooted by the team of researchers investigating the history and background to the Beachlands estate in Pevensey Bay

The estate, which is now known to have been planned as an entire modernist town, with the initial design and layout of the first fifty houses, created by one of the most eminent provincial architects of the 20th Century, T. Cecil Howitt, is now becoming national news in the world of historians in early modernist architecture..

One local architectural historian has described the project as ‘possibly rediscovering one of the missing bits of  the early modernist architecture planning jigsaw in this country’.

The BBC is to consider a programme about the project, and researchers talking to Bay Life on Thursday (6 July), following their latest lesson with a course to accompany their research about the Beachlands estate said,  “we are considering a major national application to transform Marine Avenue, the gateway to what we now know was planned as an entire modernist town, back to a restored former glory”.

The application would be in the region of £200,000, with an aim to restore Marine Avenue to the fully planned glory of what they now know to have have been something of an undiscovered story in the history of early modernist architectural planning in this country in the nineteen thirties.

The application would include appropriate signage in Marine Avenue, a restoration of the central gateway into what was planned as a town, based on the original drawings of T. Cecil Howitt, new signage to the estate at the end of Marine Avenue, pointing to all the roads, based on the original sketches of T. Cecil Howitt and a plaque to the famous architect as the marker to Beachlands as people enter the estate, visiting from across the country.

Researchers are busy preparing to go to Nottingham City Council to delve into the archives of the famous architect, working with Nottimghham City Council, where T. Cecil Howitt is revered for his architecture and vast contribution to the city in relation to modernism, neo-gothic architecture and social planning in the city.

As well as a visit to Nottingham City Council, they will also visit the Howitt Foundation in Nottiingham, an organisation that takes the name from the revered architect.

The prospect of the gateway to Beachlands being transformed to a former glory, with the gateway becoming a national icon of some description to historians of early modernist architecture in the country, has excited the group.

The course in research into the history of the Beachlands estate continues next week, with a second course planned for another group to add their contributions to the book. There are now something like 20 people, the majority of people in these groups living in Beachlands, now working on the book.

Bay Life understands that the £200,000 grant application will be made in the near future to accompany some of the publicity with regard to the project, which as well as being considered by tbe BBC as a TV programme is also to be featured as a page article in the Guardian newspaper.

As well as a patron, director, secretary, finance officer and communications officer for the project, the group intends to appoint a grants officer and a residents liaison officer, whose role will be to talk to local residents, collecting and collating the oral history aspect of the project, memories, dreams and crittall windows, which will see memories of the estate from 1934-2017, edited ready for inclusion in the book.

Production of the book is being managed jointly with support from Brighton Town Press, a specialist publisher in Brighton and the Pevensey Timeline Association, which has received grants from both the National Lottery and Wealden Council.

It is planned that The Beachlands Estate in Pevensey Bay, T. Cecil Howitt and his Unfinished Symphony to the Sea, will be published as a coffee table style book nationally in the Summer of 2018

IMAGE CREDIT: Racherspixs