29 June 2020
Over the past few weeks we have been overwhelmed with your kind responses to the terrible news of recent serious damage to half of the Megalosaur’s head. Many of you have offered both your time and donations to help us. This incident, although distressing, has served to show how much you care about the dear old sculptures and those of us volunteering on the charity’s board are incredibly grateful and energised by your responses. We want to keep you updated with the work we are doing to ensure that the Megalosaur sculpture receives the appropriate attention to be stabilised and conserved.
Aware of our responsibility for the donations received, we have been working hard behind the scenes with Historic England and Bromley Council to find a solution for the Megalosaur. We met with a senior historic architect and a structural engineer from Historic England in mid-June on the island so they could assess the damage. This was the first site visit HE had been allowed during lockdown; they prioritised this information-gathering visit and, after examining the sculpture, they talked us through some of the potential options for repair and conservation.
Shortly after that we guided a specialist sculpture conservation team to assess the damage in greater detail and cost the options. This work includes assessment of all the fragments and the standing structure, including material testing, breakage patterns and other critical variables for repairs. The sampling, research and report has been contracted by Historic England, as it provides the groundwork for decisions on further works.
Our volunteer photogrammetry team (Rhys Griffin and Anthony Lewis) have fully documented all the fragments with 3D data. This will be included in the pending conservation report and has already been invaluable in understanding the breakage patterns and getting perspectives on conservation options.
We have had meetings with a hydrology survey contractor to look for solutions to the low water levels, making it harder for people to trespass on the islands. Several security professionals have also kindly met with us to set up several ways to improved security.
Thank you again for taking an interest in the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and their future! We are a very small charity run by volunteers and to receive support from you is an immense boost to our determination to ensure the conservation of the sculptures.
We are working on this as intensively as we can, and will let you know when next steps are clear. As always, you can keep updated through our social media and website (details below).
All the best,
Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs
(Ellinor, Sarah, Adrian, Erica, Jeremy, Charlotte, Alison, Anthony, Jen)