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Stairway from Thomas Nelson to the Lord Mayor .. and Back

Three local Scottish artists create The Staircase

The restoration of the Prestoungrange Gothenburg in 2004 involved the addition of the major Functions and Fine Dining area known as the Thomas Nelson Suite in honour of the man who lent the funds for the original building in 1908. But to maintain the correct roofline whilst building in the same idiom as the original arts and crafts design a considerable flight of steps was always going to be necessary. This afforded a magnificent opportunity for a staircase as an outstanding work of art.

Prestonpans craftsman in wood but on this occasion specifically in Scottish oak, Neil Martin, was asked to work with blacksmith Pete Hill, at Ratho Byres Forge and artist in glass Inge Panneels, of Idagos to create a staircase any bride will be delighted to descend and which will forever catch the attention of visitors. Together they have succeeded to universal acclaim in capturing the arts and crafts motifs and its inherent elegance that is so widely present elsewhere in the Gothenburg. And in so doing they have led most guests to wonder whether the Thomas Nelson Suite is a 21st Century addition at all or a room that was always a part of the whole. In short, they have achieved all and more than we could have hoped, providing by way of an encore alongside the staircase a most elegant balcony with a view across the Suite from on high.

John Murtagh ‘Looses’ the Ribbon

The opportunity was taken on March 8th when Scottish TV actor and director John Murtagh was present along with many distinguished Craigmillar arts leaders [including their supporters from Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art], to loose [rather than cut] the traditional ceremonial red ribbon. That occasion was also the moment when the three artists in wood, iron and glass provided exhibits for a week long display of some of their excellent work in the Lord Mayor’s Bar.

Click on images to enlarge

P.S. The Craftsmen Dine Out and Pose for Photographs

To thank simultaneously all three of the craftsmen who created the new staircase proved difficult; but eventually they were able to be guests for a Fine Dining Experience and pose on 'their' balcony and 'their' staircase. All the other guests that evening raised their champagne glasses specifically filled for the moment. Thanks once again to all three. [Pete is in white sleeves whilst Neil sports blue and white stripes and Inge the nonchalant turquoise neckscarf.]

Published Date: March 8th 2005

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