Bury Ridgeons returns to its Great War duties

How the type of hut looked in WW1 ANL-151222-163418001
How the type of hut looked in WW1 ANL-151222-163418001
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A project to restore World War One army huts has been helped by the timber and builders’ merchants Ridgeons being able to supply wood of the same profile as used 100 years ago.

The new Great War Huts visitor centre at Brook Farm, Bells Lane, Hawstead is a unique heritage project, which brings together some of the original army huts that were used to house, train and equip 850,000 men between 1914 and 1918.

Ridgeons have helped restore the WW1 huts by  supplying wood of the same size and profile as 100 years ago ANL-151222-163407001

Ridgeons have helped restore the WW1 huts by supplying wood of the same size and profile as 100 years ago ANL-151222-163407001

Ridgeons Bury St Edmunds branch on Beetons Way is supporting the Gproject with timber that is the perfect match to the original specification.

Alex Limpus, Ridgeons’ branch manager, said; “Ridgeons has been part of the East of England community since 1911 and would have been required to provide construction materials as part of the war effort.

“It’s incredible how we have gone full circle and Ridgeons is able to supply timber that has the same profile as the original cladding that was used on the huts, 100 years on.

“The project is a real asset to East Anglia and we’re proud to be part of its development.”

Tracey Mackenzie from the project, said: “Volunteers have helped to prepare the panels and students at West Suffolk College are also getting involved; apprentices at the college are building the windows using original plans.

“We were amazed that Ridgeons stocked the same timber used a century ago – it’s really helped us restore the huts exactly as they were first built during the war.”

Plans include renovating an existing Victorian barn and creating a car park and cafe alongside 12 timber huts exhibiting military uniforms and memorabilia.

For more, visit www.facebook.com/greatwarhuts