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The Restoration Men 

The Heritage Lottery Fund have funded over 115 bandstand restorations in the last 20 years. But who have been the great restorers who have carried out much of this work? The billowing and busy foundries of Walter Macfarlane, George Smith and Hill & Smith have long since gone, but there are a small number of companies out there who will restore or even better, recreate exact replicas of long lost bandstands. I have worked with and know these companies and they are exceptional at what they do, keeping alive a skill becoming much more sought after.


Lost Art have extensive experience relating to Victorian and Edwardian bandstands. As can be seen below, they have the capabilities to restore existing bandstands, produce replacement bandstands to match the missing original or to design, produce and install a new bandstand in keeping with the period in which the original bandstand was installed but also reflecting modern patterns of use.

Bandstands they have restored and recreated include the following:-

  • Mesnes Park, Wigan

  • South Marine Park, South Shields

  • Barnes Park, Sunderland

  • North Lodge Park, Darlington

  • East Park, Wolverhampton

  • Wandle Park, Croydon

  • Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick

  • Alexandra Gardens, Windsor

  • Hyde Park, London

  • Victoria Park, St Helens

  • Queens Park, Crewe

  • Beaumont Park, Huddersfield

  • Cassiobury Park, Watford

  • Victoria Park, Ilkeston

  • Hyde Park, London

  • Town Park, Hexham

  • Boultham Park, Lincoln

  • Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa

  • Hanley Park, Stoke on Trent

  • Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa

  • Sea Front, Swanage

  • Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich

Their work is exceptional. Take a look at their website here

Contact Dominic or Damian Liptrot, 01257-464601 or email



Charles Laing & Sons Ltd is a long established brass and iron foundry located in Edinburgh, Scotland's historic capital city. Laing's foundry excels in architectural conservation with a proven track record in both national and international projects. Their work can be seen across the UK and far afield as Australia, the Faroe Islands, and New York.

The skills and craftsmanship of the Laing family has been handed down through three generations, the current managing director being Andrew Laing.

By developing its use of traditional methods for modern markets its work on architectural conservation and heritage projects has played a major part in the development of Charles Laing & Sons' business.

Laing's foundry focuses on meeting the needs of customers who demand the specialist craft skills often no longer undertaken by larger foundries. The experience of Laing's highly skilled staff allows the foundry to create high quality one-offs to production requirements.

They have restored and recreated a number of exceptional bandstands including: 

  • Victoria Gardens, Neath

  • North Park, Darlington

  • Grange Gardens, Cardiff

  • Dock Park, Dumfries

  • Saughton Park, Edinburgh

Traditional restorers and from Scotland, the home of many of our greatest bandstands. Check out their website here.

Contact Andrew on 0131 556 3160 or 


As a leading authority in the craft of blacksmithing, creating and restoring fine architectural metalwork for some of the most architecturally sensitive sites in the world, they set the standards for the industry, thriving on demanding creative and technical challenges.

Having made their name as experts in wrought ironwork and retaining some of the most traditional skills and techniques, they are continuing to develop and apply them to both traditional and contemporary environments.

Every Victorian park had to have a bandstand, many of which succumbed to the indifference of the post war years. With the advent of the Heritage Lottery Fund many of our parks have received much needed attention and along with the park gates and fencing, many bandstands have been the subject of restoration projects. They have been fortunate to be instrumental in the repair of many of these. These include the following:

  • Weston Park, Sheffield

  • Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Roberts Park, Saltaire

Fine restorers of old bandstands and capable of creating new bandstands too. Check out their website here.

Contact +44 (0)1347 833173 or email


Established in 1987, they are consultants and contractors specialising in the conservation, restoration and transportation of large and small scale historic, structures and artefacts. They deal with a variety of materials ranging from ferrous and non- ferrous metals to glass, stone, wood and ceramics.

They undertake work on various sites in Great Britain and Europe and also at their fully equipped and secure workshops, based in Telford.

Their clients include English Heritage, Historic Scotland, the National Trust, Government Departments, local authorities, museums, galleries and private estates.

Prestigious projects include:- The Albert Memorial (both monument and railings), SS Great Britain, Gates for the Royal Parks, Stanley Park Gladstone Conservatory, Gravesend Pier, South African Railway Locomotive in Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, Antony Gormley sculpture, Doulton tile panels Royal Victorian Infirmary Newcastle, Brunel Institute wooden cladding, Birmingham Museum’s stone and marble statues, Dun Laoghaire’s bandstand and sun shelter, Oxford Natural History Museum glass roof, Cambridge University Botanical Gardens teak glasshouse and numerous bronze sculptures and war memorials.

Bandstands are included in their portfolio and include:- 

  • Arboretum, Lincoln

  • Grove Park, Weston super Mare

  • Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Further details are here. Contact them on (0)1952 680218 or email them on


Founded in 1974, their unique history reveals a deep passion for industrial archaeology and a strong desire to protect Britain’s great industrial heritage. The use of traditional ironwork techniques and pioneering technologies, to conserve this heritage, underpins Dorothea Restoration’s ethos as a company. As their reputation has grown, industrial heritage engineering and architectural metalwork restoration has become the mainstay of their work.

Their company philosophy, expert conservation facilities and diverse client base has led to Dorothea Restorations being at the forefront of UK heritage conservation, metal restoration and new-build or replication architectural ironwork.

Alongside all their architectural metalwork and iron restoration, their philosophy and principles remain the same; to use traditional techniques and resources wherever possible, to ensure the closest possible appearance to either surviving fabric or historical records, and always work to exemplary standards.

The very first of its type, the Dorothea Restorations conservation and restoration policy continues to set industry standards for architectural metalwork conservation and industrial machinery restoration.

Dorothea Restorations is an industry leader due to their exemplary team continually striving for excellence and specialist skills, both in traditional ironwork techniques and exploring advanced technologies. These skills and people have helped put us at the forefront of the specialist metalwork restoration industry.

Offering a nationwide 'on and offsite service' from their Bristol base, they have the facilities to provide a tailored and individual service both as project manager or subcontractor. From pattern making and metal stitching, through to surface coatings and millwright services, Dorothea Restorations offers the most comprehensive architectural ironwork services in the marketplace.

The quality of their workmanship has led to Dorothea Restorations working with prestigious and wide-ranging clients These include the National Trust and English Heritage and other repeat clients as outlined in their service testimonials.

Bandstands in their portfolio include:-

  • Southwark Park, London

  • Victoria Park, Denton

  • Sefton Park, Liverpool

Further details are available here. Contact them on 0845 4780773 or email John Wallis on


They specialise in advising on and conserving the engineered heritage, including: wind and watermills, steam and other engines, locomotives, ships, Ornamental iron structures, iron fountains, steel and iron buildings, bridges & cranes, timber structures, mining and other historic industrial machinery, object moving and storage, Research Conservation assessments, Conservation plans, Conservation ethics, Method statements, Specification of works, Cost estimation, Project supervision / monitoring, Corrosion assessment and treatment; all throughout the British Isles and overseas.

Contact Jim Mitchell on or on 01700 502238


The Scottish Ironwork Foundation came into being in 2002 as the result of a Millennium Fellowship grant to study Scottish Architectural Ironwork. They realised quickly that whilst some of us had been studying the subject for some years, the profile and understanding of what Scotland had contributed globally to this industry was not well understood.

They set out to change that and six Trustees built a database of Scottish iron structures across the world, reaching just under four thousand items. The site grew and became the place to consult for information on this remarkable industry.

Sadly the site was hacked in 2012, but they have still been working, and received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in December 2013 to build a custom website and powerful database.

Their temporary website is!about/c786 and is worth looking at. 

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