In professional circles there is often debate about the correct terminology when describing specialist repair work to historic ironwork.

Dictionary definitions in modern usage may throw some light:

Renovation:- to restore to a better state e.g. by cleaning, repairing or rebuilding.

Restoration:- to bring back to a former or original state e.g. by repairing damage.

- Source Penguin Pocket English Dictionary

It is true to say that modern techniques that can be used to ‘renovate’ may not be ‘restoration’ to the purist. However we have to also consider the concept of Value Engineering. At the beginning of a project it is important that someone who has a good track record and is impartial draws up a specification that details the level of work and important key features. e.g riveted joints verses concealed welding.

If historic Ironwork has pre-existing repairs which used modern methods and materials this may mean that Restoration may not strictly speaking be possible, we may then be involved in a Renovation project!

(Is it really so important, the customer must decide)

Restoration Examples


Railing to the Front of Office

Renovation of iron railings and cast bridge to the front of one of the oldest shops in Cross Hills.

We cleaned the metalwork back the base coats and treated rusty areas. We replaced the missing spindles and forged a dog-leg section of new handrail to secure it to the building.

We then finished the railing with an undercoat and top-coat and restored the large wood post cap.

Before

After


Railings to House

Railings restoration to the side of a Grade II listed house in Giggleswick.

We restored around 30 meters of Victorian railing. We removed the old paint and cleaned the railings to their base layer. Some sections were taken to the workshop where we replaced the joints and mended the iron. The railings were then treated and painted.

Before

After


Victorian Kitchen Garden Gate

In 2005 I restored this beautiful original Victorian kitchen gate which is still in daily use. The same clients also commissioned Victorian style Drive gates some 25 years ago, which I have repainted twice, 2005 & 2013.

Design used was from an original ‘CoSIRA’ (Council of Small Industries in Rural Areas) Ironwork catalogue. CoSIRA trainers and their backing was very important to me and my apprentices in my formative years.


Sutton Park Gates

Original Gates and Railings on impressive stone wall and piers were in reasonable condition but the opening was too narrow for modern fairground vehicles that need access for the annual ‘Fun Day’.

We enlarged the gates after a local builder moved the Stone piers and realigned the wall. The original scrolls and castings were copied and some refurbishment carried out and the result was an opening a third wider but it still looks as if it is the original construction.

Before

After


Keighley Station Gates

Victorian Gates donated by Network Rail to the Worth Valley Steam Railway. Originally hung at the entrance to Bingley station these were too wide and had sharp spikes through the middle. We altered the gates and hung them at Keighley Station, where they now provide night time security.