Bishop Auckland MP Attends Restored Building of Local Newspaper


The Teesdale Mercury office is undergoing a makeover, turning back time to restore its former glory while maintaining its historic beauty.

The paper is one of the oldest in the North East, first published in 1854 and focussing on rural affairs.

The building, which is set right at the heart of Barnard Castle’s marketplace, has been fully repainted and redecorated by a firm which specialises in renovating heritage buildings to ensure the original charm is maintained.

To celebrate the restoration, local MP, Dehenna Davison, is presenting the new owner of the building Maggie Meigh, with a poster featuring historic pictures of the offices, as well as ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots taken by Stephen Nicholson, who was tasked with the redecoration.

The building has been repainted using naturally sourced paints in a traditional, neutral colour scheme and the carpets and furnishings have been replaced.

Stephen Nicholson, managing director of bespoke decorating firm S Nicholson and Sons, said: “The Teesdale Mercury is part of Barnard Castle’s history and I was delighted to be asked to restore its offices.

“We have done a great deal of work for Lord Barnard’s estate, so we’re familiar with the style, colour palette and the specific type of paint that is suitable for these heritage buildings. You can’t just put emulsion on the walls and hope for the best. You have to use something similar to decorators back in 1850, and that’s exactly what we’re experienced in working with.”

Maggie Meigh said: “I’ve recently taken over the ownership of the Teesdale Mercury building and one of the first things I wanted to do was get my hands on those beautiful old offices. With a building so steeped in history, you want it to look its best, but you don’t want to compromise the beauty and style that it originally had.

“It was lovely to welcome Ms Davison to have a look around and see the results.”

Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland, said:

“S Nicholson and Sons have done a tremendous job restoring such an important historic building. The before and after photos highlight the scale and the quality of the work completed. It was great to be invited along today, to present Maggie with her poster, and I’m really pleased that the important history of Barney is being maintained by the equally historic Teesdale Mercury.”