Plaster ornamentation restoration and repair work has started at Thornaby Town Hall

Our craftsmen have been working on this fascinating plaster ornamentation project now for two weeks. Our 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 also 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. This will draw salt and moisture out before work can continue.

We have also applied silicone to other areas of ornamentation that are still in good condition. This allows us to create more molds 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 plaster ornamentation project.

buckets of damaged plaster from Thornaby Hallbare masonry during plaster ornamentation and restoration at Thornaby Hallwater damage to Thornaby Hall plasterworksilicone applied for mold making during plaster ornamentation work at Thornaby Hall

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