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Work has now begun on the portico of St. Mary’s Church on Upper Street, Islington! The masonry teams have been carefully dismantling the pediment frieze which will be recorded, labelled, repaired and then reinstated.

We were delighted to be involved in the Festival of History at Royal Holloway University of London this year. HOLT’s Director, Dr Nicola Stacey, gave the 2019 Magna Carta Lecture as part of a series of talks hosted by the Citizens Project, celebrating the history of liberty, protest, rebellion and reform over the past 800 years. Dr Stacey spoke in the beautiful chapel at Royal Holloway on ‘Pushing Back: Engaging with the Histories of Dissent‘ and the talk was followed by an engaged Q&A in which Heritage of London Trust projects were discussed in relation to the themes celebrated in this lecture series. We had a fantastic time and look forward to seeing who will present next year!

Wonderful to see progress on our Sarah Siddons project in Paddington Green. The work includes preparing the marble and using old photos of the statue to recreate the lost dagger, mask and features in a hard wax… carving begins next week!

Who was Sarah Siddons and what restoration work is needed? Click here to find out.

We had a fabulous dinner at the Museum of the Order of St John this week, joined by HRH The Duke of Gloucester. The reception was in the medieval galleries and dinner in the magnificent Chapter Hall. We were thrilled to have so many new supporters for our work… A huge thank you to all who came and to our new Patrons: London will be the more beautiful and more precious for it.

We had a fantastic lunch for some new Patrons with Allyson McDermott, the country’s top wallpaper conservator & designer who has led projects at some of the greatest historic houses across the world. She is working on our project to restore the 18th century wallpaper at Boston Manor, in Hounslow, and talked about her research, analysis, and the traditional & contemporary techniques she’ll be using in restoring this rare west London scheme.

We had a festive evening with the BFI team celebrating the restored National Film Theatre sign on Waterloo Bridge. Installed in 1957 as a colourful cascade of lights it was switched on by our President Martin Drury and Vice-President Dudley Fishburn.

We had a fabulous Christmas drinks party in the Covent Garden Hotel – with thanks to the generosity of Kit & Tim Kemp. It was a chance to highlight some great projects and also our brand new Patrons’ scheme…more soon.

Out-and-about, this time to St Andrew’s Church in Stoke Newington where a HOLT grant is helping to address water damage to a 19th century mural. We met with the paint conservator Mark Perry on a chilly November morning to see how it’s progressing.

Something a little different today: a visit to Newman’s Displays to see work in progress on the BFI’s 1957 National Film Theatre sign. Designed by Norman Engleback for the west side of Waterloo Bridge this is a brilliant piece of 1950s London. Its light panels, housing and typography are all being restored – and by the same team who manufactured it in the 1950s! We had a great time looking around film props and West End billboards from decades of London’s nightlife.

A fascinating visit to the Altazimuth Pavilion in Greenwich to see the new telescope and the restored interior. Many thanks to Brendan and the rest of the Royal Greenwich Observatory team for their talk – and a chance to see amazing lunar images, captured that day!