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The works took place between June and September 2021, with the Hall’s requirement to host a major event shortly after. Sykes implicitly understood issues needed to be accommodated within the programme, with a collaborative and frank working relationship to overcome challenges. This was exemplified when the team encountered a greater extent of works to the existing gilding found upon the Drawing Room ceiling.
After a delicate clean with deionised water, removing previous candle and smoking soot, the deterioration of the existing gilding was greater than anticipated. As a benefit of early technical and programming engagement with the Hall’s Surveyor of the Fabric, Justin Birch of CBRE, an internal scaffold was meticulously erected around the damask silk walls, marble fireplaces, and scagliola pilasters to allow working to the ceiling as well as for works to revive the pilasters, marble fireplace and maintain the main thoroughfares without bracing upon the walls or pilasters.
As Sykes’ in-house specialist decorators worked to conserve and carry out fine decorations to the Drawing Room, the team also carried out a full restoration of the Dining Room, which included new 23 ¾ carat oil gilding, stencilling, faux bois (graining,) and traditional decorations. Sykes’ heritage carpenters completed careful repairs to the windows and doors, which were then French Polished. Each stage of the works involved extensive preparations and a regular dialogue with the Heritage Interiors Consultant, Tim Dolby.
This project followed a previous phase of works completed to the Vestibule and Committee Room and an even greater understanding and trust has now been built. Thus, an even greater success was achieved as a result.