Retirement developer preserves a piece of local heritage for Chippenham Town Museum

Churchill Retirement Living has preserved a distinctive piece of local heritage for Chippenham Town Museum, as it recently handed over the ‘Vauxhall’ iron railings that stood on the site of its new development at the former Causeway Garage in the heart of town.

Demolition work has begun to clear the way for 46 brand new retirement apartments at the site. It was recommended by Chippenham Town Council that the Town Museum should have first option on the railings once they had been removed, and the retirement housebuilder was very happy to oblige.

Many Chippenham residents will recognise the eye-catching iron railings from the former garage, which was built in the late 1960s and was for many years the premises of Cyril H Thomas, then later became Platinum Vauxhall.  Perhaps less well known is that the iron railings, which have been part of the frontage since it was built, were hand-made by one of Chippenham’s last blacksmiths, Paul Magdocz. Mr Magdocz came here from Poland after the Second World War, and was a well-known member of the community for over 50 years.  His skills were appreciated by many, and thanks to Churchill and the Museum, his work still lives on. 

Presenting the railings to the museum’s curator Melissa Barnett on Friday 5th April, Churchill’s Pre-Commencement Contracts Manager Kevin Sharp said:

It’s a pleasure to be able to give something back to the local community by handing over these railings to the Town Museum. Construction of our new apartments will be getting under way shortly, and in the meantime we’re delighted to help preserve an interesting bit of local history for future generations to enjoy.

Melissa Barnett added:

The railings are an important part of Chippenham’s heritage. Mr Magdocz’s skilled ironwork is appreciated by many and he and his family are remembered fondly in the town. We are really grateful to Churchill for enabling us to preserve the railings and to add the story to our town’s fascinating history.

When completed, the new privately-owned apartments will provide attractive, high quality, secure, self-contained accommodation in landscaped grounds. As with all Churchill Retirement Living developments, Owners will have the benefits of a communal Owners’ Lounge, a Guest Suite, a Lodge Manager, and a 24 hour emergency call alarm service.

To find out more about the new apartments, please call 0800 458 1856 or click here