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Preston Fish Market

Preston’s Historic Fish Market has been a centre for market trading since the early 1900’s. In 1924 the iron canopy was built to shelter the market place, receiving artifical lighting later that decade, it has become one of Preston’s most loved landmarks. The canopy received Grade II Listed status in 1980.

The restoration of the Fish Market canopy was deemed so important that it formed the main part of Phase 1 of the Markets Quarter Project. Preston’s vision for a “game changing” city centre development.

The Calibre team worked closely with the Frank Whittle Partnership to develop specification of repairs to the ironwork. We carried out a trial dismantle of one column set in 2015 to determine the condition of the supporting structural columns, integral downpipes and the cast iron decorative cladding.

FPE won the main contract later the same year and Calibre were appointed as specialist sub contract metalworkers to restore the canopy supporting ironwork.

One hundred and twenty cast iron plates and capitols were tagged, recorded, carefully removed and returned to our workshop for repair. Numerous crude alterations had been made in the past to accommodate downpipes modifications and electrical connections; where these were no longer needed the castings were made good again with replacement iron pieces. Blast cleaning revealed many cracks in the castings and these required specialist welding techniques to satisfactorily stabilise and effect repairs. Usually we would brace cracks from behind, however, in most cases on this project there was insufficient space behind the castings to provide this.

Following paint analysis, all castings were thoroughly blast cleaned in a controlled environment to remove all paint and corrosion. Successive hand applied paint layers were applied in the workshop using our high specification three coat paint system before being transported back to site and installed to their original surveyed positions. During and following installation, all fixing rebates were filled and joints sealed to prevent ingress of water and a final coat of paint was applied.

Preston Fish Market - In need of restoration

Preston Fish Market - In need of restoration

Typical Column Prior to Dismantling

Typical Column Prior to Dismantling

Typical Corrosion  - Top Detail. Rust heave in the joints were causing the joints to expand cracking castings.

Typical Corrosion - Top Detail. Rust heave in the joints were causing the joints to expand cracking castings.

Typical Corrosion  - Bottom Detail. Rust heave in the joints were causing the joints to expand, resulting in cracked castings.

Typical Corrosion - Bottom Detail. Rust heave in the joints were causing the joints to expand, resulting in cracked castings.

Our craftsmen working on installing the restored castings to the structural columns.

Our craftsmen working on installing the restored castings to the structural columns.

Column cladding being installed.

Column cladding being installed.

Preston Fish Market - Restored to it's former splendour

Preston Fish Market - Restored to it's former splendour

One of the finished columns.

One of the finished columns.

Project Details