Went back to the Archangel recently for a friend’s birthday, for the first time for a while. Still looking good, although there’s a lot in the detail that I wish we’d done differently. I was most distressed by the nosings on the mild steel stair which someone had added – visible in this picture, and also a steel handrail on top of the glass which I hated. I enjoyed doing the project though, and reminded me how interesting conservation type work can be. I remember asking Peter Salter once why he was doing a conservation course, and he said (obviously) ‘Because I’m interested in materials…’ which made me realise how locked in one particular mindset I was. This space in the photos was on the ground floor (not visible below 2 floors of mezzanines here) a skittles alley with a false ceiling and all the spaces visible in the photographs were inaccessible except for pigeons for the last 50 years. The Archangel has just been bought by a pub chain, and I wonder whether its rather eccentric charm will be retained.

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