OPT’s Anniversary Project

Donald Insall Associates oversaw the work and Nimbus Conservation won the job, and what a job they did. As true craftsmen and artists they repaired, and cleaned the stone with a fine spray, and carved new missing parts and replaced the stone steps. They reshaped the Caen stone figures, each identity unique, the hands, perhaps a nose put back in a soft lime-based mortar anchored by hundreds of ceramic ‘T’ pegs coated with a lime-based ‘shelter coat’. The heraldic shields and religious symbols were painted reinstating the correct heraldic colours. Special provision was made for conservation students to access the work, and Debbie Dance conquered her fear of heights climbing the scaffolding to touch the top encouraged by John Ashdown.

So successful was the fundraising that OPT that on a bitterly cold clear evening in January 2003, Colin Dexter turned on the new floodlighting and handed back the restored monument to the City and its people.