Gold Stars reward great architecture

November 24 2017

Redland & Cotham Amenities Society’s (RCAS) 45th Annual General Meeting took place on 9 November at Redland Green School.


Redland & Cotham Amenities Society’s (RCAS) 45th Annual General Meeting took place on 9 November at Redland Green School.  The Society declared this year was a good year with a successful Open Gardens and the May fair.  The ever-popular Gold Star Awards which included an extra special Gold Star Award for Roger Mortimer were presented at the meeting and there was special news on a legacy for RCAS. In addition to this several councillors answered questions on topics, such as Houses in Multiple Occupation, Air Quality and the Bus Service.

The society very much welcomes new members and is always on the lookout for new ideas from its members. 


The Society’s 2017 Gold Star Awards

The Society’s Gold Star Awards for developments in our area were presented to deserving winners. They have covered a wide range of projects over the years, from major new buildings to sensitive improvements to existing houses. 

This year the Gold Star awards include the Whiteladies Cinema and the Redland Parish Halls and two residential projects. 


Whiteladies Cinema

The return of this prominent building to cinema use after some 15 years of closure is greatly welcomed. The Listed Art Deco structure had been the subject of various proposals for unsuitable uses such as fitness centre. The building had previously been damaged internally by conversion to three screens, and was in poor condition when Everyman took over. 

Quentin Alder Architects have fully repaired the structure, including its distinctive tower, and reinstated the elaborate period plasterwork. RCAS do however regret that the large and ugly external corner sign above the entrance has not been replaced by more sensitive signage.  

Redland Parish Halls

The Parish Halls have been a valued amenity for the area since opening in 1994. The need for additional and more flexible space, together with upgrading of the existing services and structure has been imaginatively and skilfully met. The new complex, designed by O’Leary Goss Architects, considerably enhances the appearance of the halls from Redland Green. 


Kensington Cottage 

This house, built by Quentin Alder Architects on the site of two lock-up garages, and sandwiched between the road and railway embankment, shows what can be achieved by good design on a very small site. The house has a natural stone elevation to Kensington Rd. No windows were allowed to the railway boundary. The design provides small outdoor living spaces, including a balcony to the open plan first floor. It is hoped that if further garage sites are developed here they will be to the same standard.


Elm Lodge  

This small and unusually shaped cottage on its corner site on Elm Lane has been subject to much alteration in the past, as the slight variety of natural stone shows. The latest extension, which was refused planning permission by Bristol but allowed on Appeal, is a skilful design by Richard Pedlar Architects that respects the historic structure and materials.   


An Extra Special Gold Star Award!

Roger Mortimer retired from RCAS this year. Roger joined the RCAS Committee 25 years ago and chaired for 3 of those years, having retired from a career in architecture and development.

The award was presented to Roger for his contribution to the Redland and Cotham area, through his work on shaping development through the RCAS planning group, his design of the play area and the arboretum at Cotham Gardens, his input in the Gold Star Award process and the leadership of the society through his period of Chairmanship.

Roger Mortimer said: ‘With the current withdrawal of many Council services I believe that voluntary action is even more important to help maintain many of the fine qualities of Redland and Cotham. RCAS has made a valuable contribution our fine area, and I hope will continue to attract supportive and active members.”

RCAS has received a legacy of £10,000.  The society  would like to recognise Rose Jennings and Joan Hill for this very generous gift. Rose and Joan were school teachers at Redland High School and both started on the same day in 1942.


Fourth Gold for Cotham Hill in Bloom 

Cotham Hill in Bloom won a Gold Award for this year’s flowers at the Bristol in Bloom Garden Competition in the category “Shopping Area / Street”.  The floral enhancement scheme for Cotham Hill which ran from June to October was promoted by RCAS to help create an even more attractive shopping environment and to reinforce neighbourhood identity.  This is the fourth year in a row to win Gold!   The colourful planters on the pavements and hanging baskets on premises were sponsored by the mainly independent traders in Cotham Hill.

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