I was commissioned by the family brewing firm Bathams to create the lighting for their new pub ‘The King Arthur’ in Hagley, Worcestershire. This was a dream project as my creative process involves transforming interesting manufactured objects into amazing lights.
The King Arthur will be Bathams’ eleventh pub, opening in a year that marks the firm’s 140th anniversary. The business has now been in the family for five generations, with a sixth generation emerging.
Building contractor A & H Construction were commissioned to convert two large Victorian houses (which had been used as offices until recently) into the new pub and Woodcraft Joinery of Brierley Hill, specialists in shop-fitting, joinery and bespoke manufacturing, were commissioned for the interior fit-out, which includes an impressive bespoke bar.
All the lighting was designed and made by me in Kidderminster just a few minutes up the road from Hagley. Each of the twenty-one lights for the pub was made from the original copper and brass troughs, funnels and gratings that were once used in the old Bathams brewery and had been stored away for many years. I first saw them in their raw state, covered with years of grime, dirt and cobwebs.
The items were carefully cleaned and waxed to prevent oxidation of the copper and brass as it was important to keep the distinctive character that age and wear had given them.
The aim was to sympathetically reconfigure these historic items and to avoid drilling into the front of them or altering them. Each item required a different approach and there were different problems to solve.
I used black iron and brass fittings with black chains for the suspended lights, to fully complement the items.
The 1 meter round wall light and the clock behind the bar required a blending of the latest led light sheet technology (hidden in the background) with the historic gratings to achieve continuous illumination across the back of the whole item.
Each light was PAT tested and added to an asset register.
I oversaw the fitting of the lights in the pub, working with the electricians and chippies, with a final check when the power was turned on.