The Wharf House Fitout
The Wharf House at Over Basin, just west of Gloucester was built on the site of the old lock cottage that once stood overlooking the banks of the River Severn. The shell of the building was constructed for the Trust by Swan Hill Homes. Inside, Trust volunteers have completed the entire fit-out. Much of the material used in the fit-out is recycled from the Hospital buildings that once stood near by.
The Volunteers take over!
The two story building had no internal walls except around the stairwell. It also had no electricity, plumbing etc. The challenge was for the H & G volunteers, who had previously been working outside on canal restoration, to turn their hands to some serious DIY.
The plan was to include a restaurant, a visitor centre, a commercial kitchen, toilets, stairwell, corridor, seven visitor bedrooms, seven visitor bathrooms, a manager’s four room flat, a small lounge, an office and staff room. Much of the materials used were recycled from the old hospital that had occupied the nearby site. This salvage included internal doors, skirting, architrave and thousands of wooden floor blocks.
Funding the project was a major challenge and grants were obtained from DEFRA for much of the work on the ground floor, Heritage Lottery for the Visitor Centre. Other grants and donations came from various Trust members and the Inland Waterways Association.
Work on the fitout of The Wharf House was lengthy, not least because it largely relied on volunteer labour. However, in June 2005 the ground floor was opened as a Restaurant and Visitor Centre. Five years later 6 luxury bedrooms were also opened, with the seventh in 2012. Now fully functioning The Wharf House is a flagship to the Trust’s volunteers.