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New project is Darlington company’s ‘crowning glory’

Darlington company boasts its own ‘Heritage Angel’

Darlington restoration experts have completed one of their most prestigious projects to date.

Stone Technical Services (STS) has finished a major restoration contract for Southwark Cathedral in south London to preserve one of its most historic features.

STS Restoration fully refurbished and re-gilded the iconic crown that sits on top of Southwark Cathedral’s 150 feet flagpole, restoring the 70-year old gold crown to its former glory.

STS removed the crown from the steel flagpole, which the company has also restored, and carried out the restoration at its Darlington workshop. The crown, which weighs in the region of 25kg, has been on display to the public in the sanctuary of Southwark Cathedral on the high altar, prior to STS re-installing it on top of the flagpole.

Southwark Cathedral is London’s oldest cathedral church and hosted a prestigious BBC Proms event earlier this month. Last year, the cathedral also appeared in the Netfilx drama series, The Crown, about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

STS has a longstanding relationship with Southwark Cathedral, working on behalf of the Cathedral Clerk of works, Robert Darling, and over the years has carried out various flagpole repairs and restorations as well as repairs at height.

MD of STS, Dave Stone, said: “We’ve worked alongside the team at Southwark Cathedral for almost a decade and it’s home to some of our country ‘s most incredible heritage. The crown had fallen into disrepair and required careful restoration which our exceptionally skilled craftsmen carried by hand at our workshop.

“We’re very proud that our work has now taken pride of place in the cathedral’s sanctuary as we did not expect such an honour. We returned to the top of the cathedral- around 150 feet up- to hoist the crown back into its rightful place so it is now on display for all to see again.”

STS’s specialises in restoration, renovation, facilities management, lightning protection and maintenance and is made up of five divisions- STS RopeSpec, STS Lightning Protection, STS Restoration, STS Maintenance and Facilities Management and STS Conservation.

2016 saw STS experience its most successful year to date with a 20% year-on-year growth. The company has seen its turnover increase from around £2 million to over £3 million in the last 12 months and staff numbers are now approaching 50. There are plans to grow the business by another 20% in the coming year and create around five new jobs.

STS was established by Darlington brothers, Dave and Grahame Stone, in 1998 and they now have offices in Edinburgh city centre, near Stockport in Cheshire and in central London as well as their HQ on Kellaw Road in Darlington