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Press Release

Interserve and English Heritage bring Queen Victoria’s summer beach retreat to the public

by Interserve Press Office | Aug 06, 2012

Interserve and English Heritage bring Queen Victoria’s summer beach retreat to the publicInterserve, the international support services and construction group, has completed a historically fascinating project for English Heritage at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, a former royal summer residence and rural retreat beloved of Queen Victoria, and the location of the monarch’s death in 1901.

The range of works undertaken by Interserve has enabled Queen Victoria’s private beach to be opened to the public for the first time. Refurbishment and extension of the beach pavilion means it now includes a café, together with WC and changing-room facilities.

Queen Victoria’s restored bathing machine has been relocated, with a re-formed foundation and re-laid running rails. Infrastructure to the site now provides electricity, drainage and improved road and walkway access to the beach.

Painstaking conservation works have also brought back to its former glory the Exedra, a semi-circular recess on the beach used as a seating area by Queen Victoria. Originally featuring vibrant blue Minton tiles, the Exedra has undergone a careful cosmetic makeover to minimise blemishes and enhance the original scheme. Three dolphin-shaped cast iron supports to the alcove’s wooden bench have been recast, using the original die found in Osborne’s architectural archives, and the structure’s roof has been restored.

Interserve was also required by English Heritage to handle the safe demolition of an existing beach house in order to create the toilet facilities and changing area, and to provide beach lifesaving equipment and new signage. The company undertook other conservation works, including the erection of boardwalks to enable visitors to cross delicate areas of vegetation on what has been formally identified and recorded as being a ‘Site of Importance for Nature Conservation’.

Commenting on the work, Interserve Executive Director David Paterson said:
“Interserve is proud to have contributed to such a prestigious conservation project. It has been a privilege to assist English Heritage in bringing a part of royal history to life and preserving it for future generations.”

– Ends –

For further information please contact:

Michele Curran 
Head of Corporate Business Development

Karen Lewis 
Edson Evers
01785 255146

About Interserve

Interserve's vision is to be the Trusted Partner of all our stakeholders. We are one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society's infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK and is listed in the FTSE 250 index. We have gross revenue of £2.3 billion and a workforce of over 50,000 people worldwide. Website:

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