Cowes Heritage and Community Group


Registered Charity: 1192247

Beckford Centre

Welcome to the

Cowes Heritage and Community Group website

A new Archive Room and a Store are being added to the existing structure to accommodate all the historical material that the former group, Cowes Heritage, has collected since its formation in 2003.

Completion of the building’s extension is in sight! The ambitious project to extend the Beckford Centre to accommodate the massive Cowes Heritage research material has not been without its challenges and frustrations.

To achieve this exciting aim still requires a final push involving time-consuming and demanding negotiations with various contractors.

So, what has been achieved with the extension so far?

Foundations and the external fabric have been completed – and it now has a waterproof roof; Electrics have been installed (so we can now work after dark!); A new boiler has been installed within the toilet, which powers the extension’s underfloor heating; The Archive Room and Storeroom have been decorated.

And what’s left to complete?

Fitting of external cladding to the extension; Laying of the decked area; Fitting of the French doors leading to the decked area (these are on order but not expected before end of October); Supply, and fitting of the fire doors leading to both rooms; Making good what was the external wall into an internal partition wall and what was the (removed) internal wall leading to the toilet; Prepping and redecorating the toilet (including boxing-in pipework).

It is fully acknowledged that because of a number of factors, including problems of acquiring items because of Covid, the trustees will sadly not achieve their aim of completing the extension by mid-September. However, the end of this project, providing there are no Building Control glitches, really is in sight!

And all users of the Centre can be assured that the many nail-biting set-backs to the extension project have not blunted the trustees’ enthusiasm to seek a grant to remodel the existing building, making the Centre even more welcoming and fit for purpose.


We aim to change this Home Page every so often to feature activities of the groups using the Centre – or highlight one of our books or DVDs for sale. Or we may just highlight an interesting fact about Cowes and its surrounds.

This time the focus is on…


It’s easy to join – go to and you’ll see Membership in amongst the Cowes Heritage books for sale.

Lin Hayward is the Membership Secretary and she’ll acknowledge your application. It’s £5 for the remainder of 2021 – membership charges annually are just £10.