Ditchingham Maltings & the Wall of Friendship Book


June, 2018


We love heritage buildings – and love that other’s share our passion for their history and character

When we started work on the site of a former silk mill at Ditchingham Maltings on the Suffolk/Norfolk border five years ago we knew the site had played an important role in the area’s history.

As well as employing hundreds of local people working seven days a week for eight months a year as maltsters the buildings had also been used by American servicemen during World War II.

While happy with their posting making great friends with the welcoming local community they also started a ‘Friendship Wall’ inscribing their name and the US State they called home, onto one of the walls inside the maltings.

One of the conditions of redevelopment was to preserve these bricks so they were carefully removed by hand, cleaned and given to the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum at Flixton. We are delighted to hear that the story of The Maltings and the many servicemen who added their name to the wall has been collated into a book by museum curator Huby Fairhead who we had the pleasure of meeting on site.

He very kindly sent us a copy and we appreciate his thanks to our staff for the efforts they took to preserve the precious bricks without damage. They have since led to the discovery of many wonderful stories told in the book

For more information click here



April, 2016


Brick wall of friendship

During our public consultation meetings we spoke to many ex workers of various ages from the Maltings and were made aware of a brick wall inscribed with the names and addresses of Americans based there during the war.

Surviving a massive fire in 1999 the 47 bricks from the ‘Wall of friendship’ were saved before the demolition of that part of the building and are now on display at Flixton.

With over 150 mens names and details etched into the surface of these bricks, contact with existing family relatives has been able to be made and many have been linked to marriages in local churches.

Unfortunately we later discovered that there were several other bricks initialed by the ‘Rutter’ family on a building across the stream that we were

not made aware of and now believe to be totally demolished.

However in honor and memory of the Rutter family we have decided to name the access road into the development after them.

Although the bricks were lost hopefully this will keep the memory of there family alive.

We have been in contact with Carol Rutter whos father, grandfather and great grandfather worked at the Maltings. Intrigued by the history of the Maltings we cant wait to hear about her life there and tell her story to you.

Time Capsule Update


March, 2016


At Wharfedale Park in Otley

The glass time capsule, found in the foundation stone at our Wharfedale Park development at Otley has been re-filled and re-buried on site.

The large glass jar was secure in a hollow in the stone that was laid by local mill owner and philanthropist Jonathan Peate, to mark the completion of the hospital building in 1905 and had lain untouched for more than a century. We opened the jar with the help of local school children from Ashfield and The Whartons primary schools and it revealed newspapers of the ceremonial day on August 19th together with some coins.

Our specialist teams had to move the stone to allow the creation of a new doorway as the hospital building is converted into grand apartments and two individual houses. PJ Livesey director Georgina Livesey said: “As well as preserving the contents of the original capsule we decided to create our own and re-bury it when the stone was re-located. “We re-used the original jar which is now filled with objects the children brought along, one of the original newspapers together with a copy of The Times.

“We also included coins, a memory stick with information about the site and the original buildings, the work we have done to preserve them and a book showing our other schemes across the country. “Our team created a new wooden lid which was siliconed and wax sealed into place so hopefully it will stay safe for another 100 years. “We would like to thank everyone who played their part in this from the team on site who discovered and preserved the jar, to the school children who helped us open the capsule and then contributed new items and to Clive Woods from Aireborough Civic Society who added so much knowledge to the project.” The original newspapers have now been donated to the Civic Society.

This Development is Now Completed.
For Further Information About the Project Click the Button Below.

Time Capsule Found at Otley Site


January, 2016


You never know what you will find working on heritage buildings

We recently discovered something very special at our site in Otley, West Yorkshire.

When the foundation stone for the day hospital building was being carefully moved by stonemason Simon Bell and labourer Tristan Wrigley a large glass time capsule was revealed in a specially created hollow in the stone.

The jar had not been touched since August 1905 when the stone was laid by Jonathan Peate, a local mill owner and philanthropist who funded the building of the hospital as an extension to the main workhouse building.

We invited young school pupils from Ashfield Primary and Whartons Primary to be on hand when the jar was opened and to help explore its contents.

Wearing special gloves they revealed six newspapers of the day: The Yorkshire Post; Wharfedale and Airedale Observer; Leeds and Yorkshire Mercury, The Wharfedale Times, Yorks Daily Observer and The Times; three coins and a notebook.

It was all recorded by local BBC news and radio.

Georgina Livesey said: “The foundation stone is being relocated to create a new entrance way and was being moved very carefully so the jar was undamaged. The children were as fascinated as we were to see what was inside and it really was a special moment.

“The newspapers have been preserved and we will rebury the capsule, this time filled with items donated by the children, when the stone is re-laid.

“It is important to respect the history of the buildings we are working on and fascinating to learn about the people involved in their original construction and to then add our own mark.”

This Development is Now Completed.
For Further Information About the Project Click the Button Below.