By Steve Hayes 01/06 Updated: 01/06 07:45
MORE than a decade of hard work by volunteers involved with Chedham's Yard has finally paid off as the restored heritage site was officially unveiled.
This week saw the restoration come to fruition as the great and the good of the village and the district attended the official launch of the restored wheelwright's yard, in Wellesbourne, before it opens to the public for the first time on June 16.
Bill Chedham, whose family owned the site since the 1800s until he sold it to the parish council in 2000, was also present to see the completion of the project and looked on as children from Wellesbourne Primary School helped fill a time capsule of the village which will be buried at the site for 50 years.
The Wellesbourne Parish Council owned site won the BBC's Restoration programme back in 2006 - which gave it access to £1 million from the Heritage Lottery fund.
But the project was hit by a number of setbacks including flooding in 2007 which meant all of the artefacts at the site had to be restored.
Speaking at the ceremony, local councillor and vice chair of Chedham's Yard Trust, David Close, said it was 'thrilling' to be able to open the site.
He said: "Our vision has always been the same - to create an active heritage site for the benefit of the people of Wellesbourne and futher afield and that vision has kept us going right from the start all those years ago.
"It has been a long road and we have had dilemmas about the project and without the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the BBC it is safe to say we would not be here to day.
"But here were are breathless and exhausted from the work, but thrilled to be able to open the site to the public.
"Now we need to get people in to see how marvellous this yard really is."
Wellesbourne MP Jeremy Wright described Chedham's Yard as a 'fantastic attraction' and paid tribute to the hard work put in by all of those involved with the project.
Chedham's Yard opens on Saturday June 16 but is already available for bookings.
It costs £3.50 for adults and £1.50 for children and a family ticket costs £9.50.
Visit www.chedhamsyard.org.uk or call 01789 842 770 for more information.
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