Update from Kingston and the world heritage site

A series of improvements to the Kingston and Arthur's Vale World Heritage Area (KAVHA) are being delivered this autumn. Readers might have noticed the new steps to Slaughter Bay beach and two new timber pedestrian bridges over the creek nearby. The barbeque in this area is also currently being restored and more improvements will follow. Upgrades are planned for Slaughter Bay toilets from June and for the two Emily Bay toilets and changing facilities to improve the standard of beach facilities at Kingston. Designs have also been prepared to improve access to several of our museum sites with a full independent access audit of all Kingston buildings currently being undertaken. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience experienced during upgrading works and hope all users will enjoy improvements as they are delivered over the autumn and winter.

Polynesian site improvement works

As foreshadowed in recent Cultural Landscape Management Plan consultations, maintenance work will soon begin on the Polynesian site behind Emily Bay aimed at improving conservation of this significant cultural site. This work will see the removal of a number of plantation trees over this significant archaeology site as we improve conservation and create opportunities for enhanced interpretation. The work will take place in late June after Kingston's busiest day, the ever-popular Bounty Day and the Queen's Birthday holiday.

Conservation and restoration at Kingston

We are nearing completion of the timber-shingled roof at Nos 2 and 3 Quality Row. This project has seen the restoration of the old tin roof with Norfolk Pine shingles over recent weeks. Watching the work progress has been a real pleasure, with the skills of our local Island crafts tradesmen a showcase for Kingston visitors. A number of other conservation projects are being developed with funding secured for works to stabilise parts of the Civil Hospital building and restore the veranda of the Surgeon's Quarters amongst them.

Traditional skills development

Staff responsible for KAVHA travelled to Tasmania this month to attend Australia's leading traditional trades course. The course is run from the Woolmers and Brickendon Estates at Longford, Tasmania, one of the eleven places that make up the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Staff were exposed to a range of practical conservation practices using traditional materials and more modern techniques to deal with issues common at Kingston, including the presence of damp and the damage caused by salt.

Investment in new equipment at Kingston to support the use of traditional lime for conservation has been made. Lime is a natural product which allows buildings to breath and hence is ideal for Kingston. It will be used extensively for restoration works, including pointing, plastering and rendering buildings. As the huge lime kiln built in 1845 that can still be seen at Kingston testifies, use of lime was once common practice on Island.

The training needed by staff to deal with the very specialist needs of our buildings will further enhance the skills available on Island. Whilst in Tasmania staff were hosted at Port Arthur Historic Site and also visited a number of other convict world heritage sites to network and learn from the experiences of management and staff to support our efforts here at Kingston.

Development Control Plan for the World Heritage Area

Work to enhance the planning process to provide clarity over future activity and development at the site has been ongoing following public consultation in April. Our consultants AECOM return to Island with a public session on Saturday 1 June at 3pm in Paradise Hotel and informal drop-in at 11 Quality Row on Sunday 2 June. Anyone interested in the future use of the Kingston World Heritage Site is encouraged to find out what is proposed and to have your say. More information will be available on our web site ahead of the consultation sessions at www.kavha.gov.au/projects.

Digital 3D photographic modelling

Digital 3D photographic modelling was recently undertaken on a number of the heritage buildings to support future planning, including fire protection and access. The models readily demonstrate how fantastic our unique heritage buildings are. Take a look at the Crank Mill model online to see how useful this new technology can be my.matterport.com/show/?m=Kb49vVvsFvq.

Martin Purslow—Heritage Manager, KAVHA