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PHOTOS: Stunning restoration work revealed as Morecambe Winter Gardens enjoys successful season opening

The Winter Gardens reopened for a new season after restoration work on the foyer floor. Image by Duncan Robert Blair.

The newly-restored foyer floor at Morecambe Winter Gardens has been revealed as more than 2300 people visited the theatre during its opening weekend of the season.

The Winter Gardens opened on Easter Saturday after restoration work was carried out on the floor over the autumn and winter months.

"Thank you everyone who visited this weekend - over 2300 over the Easter weekend and Monday," said a post on the theatre's Facebook page.

"Our Tombola Nana Lorraine (her grandkids' nickname) sends her thanks to everyone who bought donations in, they were much appreciated.

"Our wonderful organist Peter was overwhelmed with the enthusiastic applause and our tours were well attended.

"Keep on supporting, keep on donating or just visiting and we hope everyone could see the difference we’ve made with your contributions this past winter."

Restoration work has also been taking place on the staircase, ceilings and walls. (Image below from the Morecambe Winter Gardens Facebook page).

Restoration expert Michael Rieveley began work on restoring the mosaic foyer floor - designed in 1897 by the Campbell Tile Company - in October.

"There was a lot of damage and a lot of areas were missing," said Mr Rieveley, speaking to Beyond Radio last month.

"We tried to replicate as best we could, the original intention. In terms of conservation there is this idea that you should retain some of the historic record, so that's why some areas have been left.

"But once the covers are off, the overall impression is more or less what it would have looked like, when it was originally put down. There's a major improvement."

Read more: INTERVIEW: Meet the man who has restored foyer floor in "remarkable" Morecambe Winter Gardens - Beyond Radio

Michael Rieveley is pictured below.

Years of neglect, vandalism and damage meant the foyer floor had to be covered and protected, with fears that it would sustain more damage unless the work was carried out swiftly.

A £45,000 fundraising target was achieved following a campaign through the online platform Spacehive.

Restoration work is ongoing at the Winter Gardens, which closed in 1977 but has been able to reopen part-time in recent years thanks to the efforts of volunteers and the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust, owners of the building on Marine Road Central.

Another stunning image from inside the Winter Gardens during Easter weekend by Duncan Robert Blair.

There are long-term plans for the 128-year-old theatre to fully reopen with capacity of up to 2,800, and further work is scheduled over the coming years.

Here is another photo by Duncan Robert Blair, taken inside the magnificent Winter Gardens auditorium during Easter weekend.

Read more: INTERVIEW: New paid jobs at Morecambe Winter Gardens as restoration set to enter next phase - Beyond Radio

The theatre will be open at weekends for the rest of the 2024 season. 

You can find more details on how to support the Winter Gardens here. 

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