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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 were delighted to visit the new RAF Biggin Hill Memorial Museum to see two completed HOLT projects – the 1930s RAF gates and a poignant memorial stone commemorating RAF support for the Netherlands during World War II. 300 Dutch airman fled to Britain after the Netherlands were invaded in May 1940 and Dutch squadron 322 flew from Biggin Hill. The stone marks the close alliance between the two nations at this critical point in European history. We were joined by our Dutch patron and supporter Annie Mackeson-Sandbach, our President Martin Drury and trustee Edward Benyon.

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!

A visit to one of our latest projects, the Leaning Woman statue, commissioned by the LCC in 1958, by the 20th century Czech artist Dr Karel Vogel and currently shrouded in undergrowth. We were delighted to meet the Chairman of the Hammersmith & Fulham Historic Buildings Group, the Chairman of the St Peter’s Residents Association, London Stone Conservation and even a local resident who remembered the Great West road being built in the 1950s. Watch this space for more information!