Town councillors have agreed to restore the antique leather seats at Morpeth Town Hall, Northumberland, at a cost of £1400.
Morpeth is the historic county town of Northumberland. Like Carlisle, the county town of Cumbria, it has a number of landmark heritage buildings, including a beautiful town hall, designed in 1714 by Sir John Vanburgh (1664 – 1726.) Following years of neglect, the building underwent a £1.1m Restoration project in 2009, following which it was reopened to the public. Now, the antique dining chairs and other furniture contained in the Mayor’s Parlour and Council Chamber are about to undergo similar restoration, although at far lower cost – just £1400.
In the municipal buildings of Lancashire and Cumbria, Victorian dining chairs upholstered in leather would have been a familiar sight, along with antique mahogany partners desks . In some Lancashire town halls, such furniture probably still exists. Unfortunately, while antique desks can put up with a certain amount of misuse, leather seating doesn’t fare so well, often ending up in holes. When this happened at Morpeth town hall, the councillors sprang into action. Not by throwing out their tatty antique dining chairs, but by getting them reupholstered professionally, with leather that was as close in colour as possible to the original. A decision was made by the council’s Property and Asset Management Committee to employ a local antiques restoration expert, who had given them a reasonable quote and, more importantly, was well known for the quality of their work.
If you live in Preston and have Victorian dining chairs in need of some loving care and attention, an antique dealer should be able to recommend a reliable local restorer.
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