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THE unveiling of an old façade of what used to be the Half Moon public house in Whitecliff Mill Street caused quite a stir at the end of September, when the owner commissioned the stripping off and correct reapplication of the render.

The work uncovered the former lettering declaring ‘Hall & Woodhouse Ltd Badger Ales’ and unleashed an outpouring of memories from those who remembered the building’s former use.

A public house since the 18th century, it was converted following its closure in 2004, when the building and its neighbouring car park were redeveloped as residential properties.

The ‘Half Moon’ sign which hung for many years from the wall was ‘inherited’ by the Blandford Rugby Club which had used the pub as its base during its existence, and now hangs in their club house behind Star House, another former Blandford public house at 53 East Street.

The obstruction caused by the scaffolding over the pavement, which coincided on one day with work on the streetlight a little further down the street from a van mounted lift, prompted some comment, but there was plenty of praise for the renovation of the façade with lime rendering, and how considerate the Dorset Lime team were to the general public on foot as well as to passing traffic.

Dave Welsh of Dorset Lime, said: “We are stripping off the render and reapplying using the correct lime render for the listed building.”

He was happy to answer questions from those fascinated by the work and the history of the building, and to respond with diplomacy to enquiries whilst carrying out the enhancement to one of the town’s oldest buildings, and the company was praised for the way they tidied up after each visit to the property.

This is not the only old Hall & Woodhouse pub to be undergoing a facelift, and it is good to see the long overdue work underway at the former Three Choughs in West Street, still in the brewery’s ownership but closed and vacant for over ten years, and to see so much other work being undertaken on historic properties during September and October.

It included the flats above Showcase at the entrance to Kohima Court in East Street, which are now owned by Landmark Properties who have commissioned a full refurbishment programme which is due to be completed in early December. The Grade II listed property next to the Grade I Bastard House includes two 3 bedroom maisonettes on the first to third floor and a first floor apartment.

Roof and other repairs have also been carried out above the Nationwide Building Society at 5 Market Place and the Valentine Gallery in Salisbury Street, and work has been underway to repair the properties at 15-17 East Street, all Grade II listed.

Planning permission has also been sought to upgrade the fabric and improve the layout of 8D West Street, and to convert the vacant office at the rear of 1 Market Place to residential.

The old Half Moon pub revealed

Refurbishment underway above the Showcase store at East Street