The iconic landmark next to Stroud railway station, Hill Paul, was saved from destruction by concerned residents twenty years ago this month.
Bulldozers arrived at the site on January 2, 2001 to reduce the building to rubble, but a last-minute between the Hill Paul Regeneration Group and Hill Paul’s owners, Harper Homes, stopped them in their tracks.
The group, made up of concerned residents, had banded together to form a company determined to purchase the building, and on January 8, they signed an agreement to put a £65,000 deposit on Hill Paul.
Negotiations with Harper Homes almost fell through until an intervention by town mayor John Marjoram, now a Stroud District Councillor
Photo taken by Razvan Liviu
“Frantic efforts to nail down a deal were made on Monday by both parties after Harper Homes helped the campaigners with vital survey information,” wrote Ben Falconer for the SNJ.
“But Harper Homes expect the £1.3 million balance to be paid by January 8 next year  – or the building could be torn down.
During the protests, a campaigner scaled Hill Paul and draped banners from the rooftop calling on the developers to halt their demolition.
Reporter Sam Bond spoke to the man, Eddie Cook, who said: “I’m absolutely besotted with the building”
“I have never wanted to see it down and I would do anything to save it.”
Other protestors can be seen cheering and celebrating on the front page below a one word headline, ‘Victory,’ indicating the importance and widespread recognition the campaign had enjoyed.
Hill Paul Regeneration Ltd never managed to raise £1.3m but after the building was purchased by Chelbury Homes, the new owners agreed to offset the money raised by the campaigners against the cost of flats.
As individual shareholders, members of Hill Paul Regeneration were invited to take their own share and use it as a deposit on a flat in the building and any remainder could be pooled and used to buy a shared flat.