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Liverpool Central Library - Picton Reading Room

Bagnalls undertook the preparation and redecoration of the Picton Reading Room’s majestic dome ceiling. To reach the ceiling area safely, it was decided early on that the best means of access was to use mechanical access platforms, which allow close-up decorating to be undertaken and high levels to be accessed safely by our painters. Getting the platforms into the building was a major milestone as the area directly outside the library is a pedestrian walkway and the entrance to the Picton Reading Room was eight metres above street level, only accessible from period stone steps, either side. We therefore had to erect a fixed scaffold decking platform from the edge of the outer wall at the top of the steps up to the front door of the Picton Reading Room. A twenty-tonne crane then lifted each of the three spider booms onto the platform from where they were safely manoeuvred into position, by our directly employed, trained painters, using plywood boards to protect the floor finishes as they moved along. The Picton Reading Room was closed to the public whilst the redecoration works were undertaken, so it was critical for Bagnalls to meet the programme dates to allow the library to reopen on time. Prior to the commencement of any works the Bagnalls team had the enormous task of protecting the priceless books, period shelving, carpets and ornate light fittings. In addition, a special wooden shroud had to be built around the elaborate 1920’s Floor-mounted light column situated in the centre of the room, to ensure its delicate glasswork and columns were completely protected during our works.