Plaster ornamentation restoration and repair work has started at Thornaby Town Hall
Our craftsmen have been working on this fascinating project now for two weeks and a visit last week confirmed that they are making steady progress with the first part of this job - carefully removing the damaged areas of plasterwork and plaster decoration. With the help of a resident ghost or two (this place we are told is one of the most haunted in the North East), one whole decorative wall of the Civic Suite has been knocked back to reveal the masonry beneath. Gone are the 5 decorative arches, strapwork, barrel edge to the ceiling and bits of other decorative ornamentation. Before knocking off this original plasterwork circa c18th, our craftsmen will have taken many measurements of the proportions of details that they will be reinstating once the wall is re-plastered.
Areas of good plaster decoration have been carefully extracted and kept for re-molding at a later stage in the project. Timbers behind the lime plaster that was heavily water damaged have been assessed - these timbers create the barrel shape of the ceiling and will now need to be replaced before the next step in restoring the Civic Suite -plastering the walls with a 2 coat lime haired plaster. At this stage if there is any sign of moisture within the brickwork we will need to apply a poultice of plaster to draw salt & moisture out before work can continue.
We have also applied silicone to other areas of ornamentation that are still in good condition, to create more molds ready for when we are ready to reproduce and reinstate the beautiful period plasterware features within the Civic Suite.
For now though, the work continues to be dusty, dirty and arduous...
Watch this space for further updates as we progress with this project.