Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Crathorne Hall One Year after Devastating Blaze

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Crathorne Hall One Year after Devastating Blaze

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Dale Reporter

WHAT a difference a year makes.

It is one year since a huge blaze took hold of Crathorne Hall, near Yarm, causing devastation in its wake.

Yesterday the sun was shining like it did 12 months ago, when at 10am the news broke that there was a fire at the spectacular hall once owned by Lord Crathorne's family.

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze as staff and the area's media could only look on.

Luckily no-one was hurt in the fire - started by smouldering dead flies which had fallen from an electric fly-killer - which damaged the east wing, known as the Ormesby wing.

The Edwardian Grade II listed building reopened its doors after just six weeks, but yesterday marked the official reopening of the whole hotel - which employs around 90 staff - to unveil the PS4m restoration works.

Lord Crathorne, whose family owned the hall for more than 70 years, recalled seeing the flames lick around the window of his childhood nanny's bedroom.

"To see the flames coming from her window was a bad moment," said Lord Crathorne, who had taken a couple of American friends to see the hall on the day of the fire.

"I didn't want to watch the fire, so I took them to Whitby."

He recalls a happy childhood "just like Downton Abbey" and said the restoration works have ensured the hall looks "exactly as it did".

"The fire was awful for everyone," he said. "It's a long time since I lived here [the family owned the hall until 1977]. The staff are so proud of the building."

A team of specialist craftsmen - following consultation with English Heritage and Hambleton District Council - discovered gems such as the archway in the County Suite corridor in the east wing during the work.

In the former nursery, an old stove was discovered, which nannies would have used to heat the iron. …

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