‘There is nowhere more magnificent than Gloucester’ declares Griff Rhys Jones

In Gloucestershire to support the bid to help save the Tudor building that houses The Folk of Gloucester museum, Griff Rhys Jones could not resist declaring a definite love of the county’s capital.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Griff Rhys Jones met with Gloucester Civic Trusts Emily Gibbon, Gareth Jayne and Sue Smith, lending his support to the bid to raise 20,000 to renovate the buildings also known as Bishop Hoopers House.
Griff Rhys Jones met with Gloucester Civic Trust’s Emily Gibbon, Gareth Jayne and Sue Smith, lending his support to the bid to raise £20,000 to renovate the buildings also known as Bishop Hooper’s House.

He had been in the county for less than an hour, to lend his voice to the campaign to save the city’s historic building and museum, The Folk of Gloucester, but Griff Rhys Jones was ready to declare there was ‘nowhere more magnificent than Gloucester’.

The comedian, television presenter and producer is a passionate champion of the nation’s heritage and president of Civic Voice, the national charity for the 250,000-member-strong civic movement in England.

On hearing Gloucester Civic Trust had launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the final £20,000 of the £74,000 it needs to restore the frontage of the timber-framed Tudor building in Westgate Street, he was keen to support in person.

Rhys Jones said: ‘There is often a lot of strong feeling about these sorts of projects to save their heritage, but people often do not know how they can go about supporting them. When they do they often realise how much collective pride there is in the places they live.

‘There is nowhere more magnificent than Gloucester. It has a commercial city centre, but it still has a range of wonderful historic buildings that can complement that.

‘This project is another opportunity to help us all see those buildings as a part of what is already a glorious city and understand that they can work as part of a whole.

‘The civic societies are a chance for everyone to have a voice and I would urge everyone to join and help make sure buildings like this are used as part of cities to help make sure those cities are not just for shopping, but vibrant places after 5.30pm as well.’

Emily Gibbon, a member of Gloucester Civic Society, which took ownership of the building in 2018 after it was closed by the city council, said: ‘We hope to be able to reinstate the original colours on the front of the building – once three properties – which we think were dusty pink, light yellow and blue.

‘We have had some great support from the High Street Heritage Action Zone, from Gloucester History Society and civic leaders, but we just need that little but extra to allow us to finish the project – and then hopefully reopen in July this year.’

To find out more about the campaign visit Crowdfunder.co.uk and search Love The Folk.

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