Celebrating International Women’s Day: an introduction to the Restoring Pugin Project team at Nottingham Cathedral

8th March 2024

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Nicola Collins, Project Manager, Decorative Arts Section, introduces some of the female members of the team working on the Restoring Pugin Project at Nottingham Cathedral.

Once again, International Women’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to highlight one of the many conservation projects led and carried out with expertise and enthusiasm by our skilled and talented team members.

Led by Senior Conservator Ana Logreira, our involvement with the Restoring Pugin Project at Nottingham Cathedral progresses at pace as we work through an extensive schedule of stratigraphic windows, paint exposures and trials. Working collaboratively with the appointed architect and the Cathedral’s project team, Ana is responsible for the scope of our work within the chapels and ambulatories of the Cathedral’s east end, as we identify and record the earliest decorative schemes. The resulting report will bring together our work on-site, desk-based archive research and scientific paint analysis, to unravel the complex phases of rededication and redecoration. Authored by Ana, it will be used to inform future conservation work within the Cathedral.

Excitingly, two trainee paint conservators have joined our team to work on this project, Mary Scott, a recent graduate of the MA Conservation of Fine Art course at Northumbria University, and Emily Bird, who studied for an MA in Conservation of Cultural Heritage at the University of Lincoln. Having focused on the conservation of easel paintings and objects respectively, both Mary and Emily have a sound understanding of conservation philosophy and principles, and transferable skills which are applicable to working within this specialist field. These traineeships, made possible by a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, meet a further aim of the wider project, to address a skills shortage within the paint conservation sector.

Working alongside the Cliveden Conservation team and with a dedicated mentor, our trainees have gained invaluable practical experience and learnt much about the methodologies, techniques, and processes which we are using to carry out the trials and record and analyse the results.

Today, alongside Ana, Mary and Emily, we are celebrating the many dedicated, skilled and talented women at Cliveden Conservation who are currently working on a wide range of notable projects across the country. And also, the amazing staff at our Taplow, Bath and Houghton workshops who enable and support our teams in all that they do.