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The heritage specialists at Sheffield roofers, Martin-Brooks, have hit all the right notes to help preserve one of the jewels in Derbyshire’s cultural crown.

The firm’s craftsmen have undertaken a range of work on the ornate roof at Buxton Opera House, as part of vital maintenance to the structure, commissioned by the local council.

Working with main contractors, GF Tomlinson Group, Martin-Brooks was tasked with removing a defective pyramid lantern light above the main theatre and reconstructing it using stronger timbers and a new lead covering, to replace a type of asbestos sheeting.

The building’s cast iron gutters and fall pipes were also overhauled by Martin-Brooks, who repaired the originals where possible or replaced them with like for like materials in areas where they were corroded. In addition, flat roof repairs were carried out, using felt and mastic asphalt. The work took approximately three weeks, over a six-week period.

Martin-Brooks’ director, Nick Brooks, said: “Buxton Opera House is a striking landmark in the heart of the High Peak. Covering the lantern light in lead not only guarantees its longevity, but also complements the two domes, which form an arresting part of the building’s design. It has been a pleasure to work on such an iconic structure and make our mark on its rich history.”

Buxton Opera House opened in 1903 and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Frank Matcham theatre design, the celebrated architect behind the London Palladium and London Coliseum. After falling into disrepair, it was relaunched in 2001 and now hosts approximately 450 performances a year.

Laurence Ball, GF Tomlinson’s contracts manager, added: “We were keen to secure Martin-Brooks’ assistance on this project, after working together on similarly unique buildings, such as Derby Guildhall. The firm has unrivalled experience in the heritage sector and the capacity to cope with the increasing scope of work we discovered. The finish achieved on the lantern and in other areas was exceptional.”


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