Peter Walker, Hare & Humphreys Project Manager, reports that:
"the conservation work in the chancel is progressing well on the upper stages and already a big difference can be seen.
The two conservators, Fiona and Martha, have discovered that at some stage the roof timbers have been varnished and whoever did it was rather sloppy! As the layers have dirt have been cleaned off we can see hundreds of little dirty spots remaining which appear to be drips of this varnish which have mixed with the dirt and are proving more resistant to the method which has worked for the general cleaning. As it was a clear varnish, it would not have showed originally when it landed on the dirty surface. We will be experimenting to see what method will remove this.
Another interesting point is being able to see the human touches of the original painter such as the pencil marks from when they were setting out the decoration and the odd mistake. You can see this in the photos, which show where the artist has missed the darker border from one of the lobes of the leaf on the left."
We are still hoping to find out more about the company and craftsmen who actually did the stencilling, but in the meantime the ‘mistake’ provides us with a little sense of the real people behind this beautiful work.
In other news, St Peter’s was part of a very successful Preston Village Day on Sunday 24th June with over 300 people coming through the church, despite the fact that the event coincided with the England v Panama match in the World Cup! Our separate post on the event has all the details.