There was the chance to look behind the hoardings when tiles for the roof of Bridge Cottage were available for sponsorship and signing in Uckfield on Saturday.
An awning was placed between open gates at the building site and tiles were ferried to and from a table for signing.
A team of volunteers were kept busy between 9am and 4pm and they were delighted with the response to their invitation to the community to be part of Uckfield’s heritage and leave their mark on one of the tiles that will be going back on to the roof of Bridge Cottage.
Mick Harker, chair of the Bridge Cottage committee said: “It was a brilliant response from the community who value the building and are looking forward to its Heritage Centre role.
“People of all ages turned up including families of several generations who all wanted to leave their mark on the building during its restoration.”
Mr Harker said most people wrote their name and the date but others left artistic messages, sometimes to remember relatives who, in the past, had lived in the building.
He added: “Among the more novel marks were thumb prints and the outline of a baby’s foot – a real variety of messages for future generations to find.
“In all over 500 tiles were signed – a great achievement indicating the affection people have for this wonderful building.”
This was a one-off opportunity to sign a tile as work is due to begin on re-tiling the cottage roof in the next couple of weeks. About 17,000 tiles will be used.
There is still an opportunity to Sponsor a Tile but the opportunity to sign them has now passed. Money raised by the campaign will be used to help fund much-needed fixtures and fittings inside the restored property.
The Bridge Cottage team will be at Uckfield’s Big Day with a double pitch this year to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo. People dressed in the style of the time will be there with a ‘working’ Field Hospital.
Members of the project team will also be on hand to tell people about the range of volunteering opportunities the refurbished Heritage Centre can offer.
Refurbishment work is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.
Bridge Cottage is a central feature in Uckfield and is an early 15th century timber-framed building.
The project being undertaken by the Uckfield and District Preservation Society aims to make the Grade II listed building into a usable and sustainable building.
Once the work is completed it will create an historic meeting place available to the whole community for present and future generations to enjoy.
The vision of the society is to use a range of heritage activities and means of interpretation to enable all sectors of the growing town of Uckfield to understand and appreciate their heritage.
These will include educational programmes at all levels, hands-on heritage activities for all ages, local history, art shows, musical and craft events and the creation of a heritage hub for historical research.
The building will also be registered for civil ceremonies allowing weddings to take place there.