Since the beginning of the year work has really taken off at Fort Luton. We have been lucky to have received two groups who have requested to work for a day to help move our project along as well as having weekly work days with our own volunteers. We are currently setting up a Community Interest Company with the aim to allow Fort Luton to be available to the local community with the exterior of the fort used for events and the casemates to be used for community talks, workshops, arts and other creative events. We will also allow rooms to be hired for parties and social gatherings. We intend to allow some of the casemates to be hired on a long term to people are offering something that will benefit our local community.
So far we have made cleared and made available three casemates, two for long term hirings and one for the use of everyone. The community room is in the original magazine and we have installed flooring, water, a fridge and lighting, we are still tidying this room up a little but it is now available for use.
We have been carrying out vegetation clearance and trying to tidy the fort up as it is a little overgrown, this is an ongoing process and we hope that we can have the grounds in a more manageable condition by the end of the year. Due to an unsafe floor we have removed a modern concrete ramp from the left flank tunnel which led to us finding WWII vintage steps leading down into it. We aim to add a wooden ramp into the tunnel to preserve the steps and make access easier into this area. This will become a Time Tunnel depicting the Forts history and outlining our long term plans for the site.
The major work we have at the moment is uncovering the drainage on the roof and restoring it, unfortunately rain water is working its way into the casemates and we need to investigate why this is happening. We have uncovered one section of this and hope to be able to restore this before moving on to the next section.
The biggest issue we have at Fort Luton is spoil removal, during the 1990’s a large amount of spoil was spread over the fort. As a result of this we need to find a way to remove this and restore the levels and landscaping of the fort. Any suggestions welcome!!!
By Kyn (Kent History Forum)