Valentia Slate Ltd is starting a new 5 year contract to renew the slate flooring in the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. The Restoration Architect Adam Watrobski along with Patrick Duerden and Adrian Attwood representing the Main Contractors DBR London Ltd visited the Quarry on Friday Morning 15th Feb.
This contract was initiated by Westminster but Pat O’Driscoll and Michael Lyne were invited over in 2004 when Michael contacted them. Michael saw somewhere that there was a big restoration job being planned for the Palace of Westminster. So he informed them that Valentia Slate Quarry had been re-opened again having been closed for almost 90 years and as they would be aware, this was the slate that was used by Pugin when the original floors were laid down in 1840s.
They were delighted to hear it and we were invited over and got the guided tour and went up on the roof and we were able to show them the Valentia Slate. There followed then a contract for tile replacement for 2004, 2005 , 2006 and 2007. We had a further contract in 2010 and now another 5 year contract from 2013-2017. This is a much bigger contract. They are only replacing the damaged tiles in the very ornate floors( it says a lot for the quality of Valentia Slate over 160 years later!) and they have to close a section of corridor each time as there are guided tours passing through all the time all year round. This year they are restoring St Stephen’s Hall. So tours will have to be diverted away from that area.
Above photo taken during arrival of M.P.’s for wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral. Photo provided courtesy of Becky Allison, DBR London Ltd. Image: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor