Touching history

Carved panel

Carved panel

Neil Stoddart and panel

Neil Stoddart, joiner on the Town Hall Heritage and Conservation Project, who made the discovery

While working on the main Council Chamber in the Town Hall, joiners have discovered a carved wooden panel which has been hidden under the floorboards since 1787, the year the Town Hall building was completed. The panel shows the initials W.L & I.C with the Latin word ‘Fecit’ which means ‘made’, followed by the date 1787.  It is the latest of a number of historical discoveries made during the conservation project, which is repairing and restoring the building for the future.

Activities Coordinator, Crystal Johnson said, “it is very exciting to discover something so personal that has been hidden since the building of the Town Hall.  We have looked through the records and haven’t been able to identify who W.L or I.C were, so can only assume that they were two of the original joiners who hid this carving as they worked on the building.  There are other examples of local tradesmen leaving their mark on the building and numerous signatures dating back to the 1800s can be clearly seen in sections of the roof space and around the cupola.  If anyone can offer us any information on who these particular individuals might have been we would love to hear from them”.