Restoration work begins on Sidmouth hotel’s chandeliers

PUBLISHED: 18:03 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:03 24 July 2017

Sidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8035. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8035. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The Friends of Sidholme Music Room has raised £30,000 to have the largest chandelier in the music room professionally restored to its former glory.

Sidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8019. Picture: Terry IfeSidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8019. Picture: Terry Ife

The first phase to restore Sidholme Hotel’s seven chandeliers has begun.

The Friends of Sidholme Music Room raised £30,000 to pay for the largest of the collection to be taken away by the royal warrant holder for glass restoration.

Residents were given the opportunity to view the collection and the restorers in action on Monday and Tuesday.

John McGregor, from the friends group, said: “To think it just started with a simple idea to get the organ restored and it’s moved onto this.

Sidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8064. Picture: Terry IfeSidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8064. Picture: Terry Ife

“I did my research and came to the conclusion there was really only one person that knows about it in any depth and has the experience and the team.

“They are not just any old chandeliers they are of great historical significance.”

David Wilkinson, who holds a royal warrant for glass restoration, made the journey with wife Mandy to take the chandelier down.

He used a range of tools to chisel away plaster and wire that had been holding the glass pieces in place.

Sidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8065. Picture: Terry IfeSidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8065. Picture: Terry Ife

Mr Wilkinson said: “Someone has bodged it up over the years. This is well overdue for a service.”

The restorer says the work could take up to 18 weeks to complete but hopes to bring the chandelier back before Christmas.

Mrs Wilkinson added: “You can tell what is missing by looking at what is broken. Hopefully when we bring this all back, people will want to donate for the others.”

Friends of the group said watching the chandeliers come down was ‘quite an occasion’.

Sidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8062. Picture: Terry IfeSidholme chandelier restoration. Ref shs 30 17TI 8062. Picture: Terry Ife

Wendy Garbutt said: “It’s watching history in a sense. It’s been a long time since it’s been down, it’s quite an occasion.

Wendy Bartlett said: “It brings history to life, the women in their lovely dresses dancing to the light of the chandeliers.

Derek Price said: “Because of the refurbishment the chandeliers will be here for generations to come. They would have deteriorated to a point they would have become a danger.”


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