Abbey Grounds, Hexham Park

Lost Art Limited’s first input to this project was when we were awarded the commission to undertake a full inspection, report and specification that underpinned the final grant applications for the project and the document was used as the basis for the subsequent PQQ and tender for the project. The final contract for the actual restoration work to both the bandstand and the adjacent Victorian cast-iron drinking fountain was won by and awarded to Lost Art.

The bandstand was an imposing classic MacFarlane Foundry structure that had fallen into a state of some dilapidation. As a consequence, it was necessary to disassemble the bandstand and return it to the Lost Art workshop in order to fully undertake the restoration process.

Once disassembled, with all the component parts logged and tagged, the pieces were subject to cleaning and a final inspection as to their condition.

After full cleaned, the exact repairs required for each piece could be identified and planned and also any missing pieces could be confirmed.

In the case of the missing pieces, a pattern would be produced based on using remaining components as a model, presented to the client for approval, new castings would be produced in cast iron at the foundry and again subject to approval. On previous related project, we have had the more arduous task of producing patterns for new components where no originals are present and in these instances we make use of historical illustrations and drawings from sources such as original foundry catalogues etc).

Once all the components had been cleaned, repaired or produced according to their state of need, each component would be primed, undercoated and top coated with paint according to the agreed specification, which is designed to offer good corrosion protection and a low maintenance requirement. At the same time, a similar process was taking place with the roof, with new timbers replacing rotten or missing timbers – especially the softwood sarking which helps give lateral strength to the roof and also to define the shape of the roof for the zinc cladding of the roof which also required replacement.

Following test assemblies at the workshop, the components were transported back to site, reassembled on the existing base and the pre-assembled roof was lowered into position with the aid of a specialist crane company (who have undertaken several such operations for us).

The whole process was completed on budget and according to the agreed schedule to allow for the planned grand re-opening of the bandstand.

As with all Lost Art projects, we looked to liaise with local interest groups in order to keep them abreast of developments and looked to involve local businesses in the supply and services chain – such as waste disposal as we always look to provide value added elements to any contract we are awarded.