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Mosaics, mirrors and Morecambe & Wise! Ten heritage features to look out for in the newly-restored Globe

03 September 2021

The Globe's magnificent frontage and cavernous auditorium stole the show when the restoration of the iconic venue was revealed earlier this year.

Images of Stockton Globe

But the process of restoring the Grade II-listed Art Deco building to its former splendour was one which very much placed heritage at its heart.

While the building boasts all the mod cons and innovations demanded of a modern venue, the attention to detail paid to respecting its illustrious past is there for all to see.

Of course, this should come as no surprise from a project backed by a £4.5million grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund's Heritage Enterprise scheme.

Here are ten heritage features to look out for when you visit.

STELLAR: The Stars Fell on Stockton (by Simon Watkinson)

Before you even set foot in the building, you have to step over the STELLAR pavement artwork.

This star-studded illuminated timeline immortalises nights spent with the likes of The Beatles, Shirley Bassey, and Morecambe & Wise.

Art Deco mirrors (by Creative Glass)

A pair of faithfully replicated Commedia dell'arte mirrors depicting Harlequin and Columbine greet visitors in the main foyer.

You'll find them either side of the steps up to the circle.

Original steelwork (by Dorman Long)

Alongside one of the aforementioned mirrors you'll find a switch.

Hit the switch and a trick of the light will render the mirror transparent, treating you to a view of some original steelwork supplied by the famous Dorman Long.

Heritage mosaic (by Andrew McKeown)

An Art Deco mosaic adorns the wall between the foyer and neighbouring venue, The Link, drawing inspiration from the original metal grilles that decorated the Globe's front.

It's made in part from salvaged terrazzo material from the foyer, which has been finely crushed and sieved and then bound in resin.

Plaster light fountains (by James Paul Services)

Once inside the auditorium, ornate plaster light fountains dominate either side wall.

Their original holophane lighting has been sympathetically recreated using LED technology.

Bas-relief panels (by Ruth Harrison)

Above each of the aforementioned light fountains you'll find a bas relief panel, one portraying "sight" and the other "sound".

If you're looking at the stage, the one on your left is a restored original, while the one on your right is half original, half replica due to somebody installing a ventilation grate through one half some years ago.

Stained glass window (by Chloe Buck)

On one of the landings is a striking stained-glass artwork housed within one of the Globe's original Crittall windows.

The piece reflects the many genres that have been seen and loved on the Globe's stage.

Crittall windows (by Crittall)

In keeping with the originals, the new external windows at the front of the Globe have been manufactured by Crittall too.

Their geometric look is the perfect match for the elegant minimalism of Art Deco.

Iconic photography (by Ian Wright)

Throughout the 1960s, Northern Echo photographer Ian Wright captured a host of emerging icons on their rise to stardom.

His pictures, featuring The Beatles, Cilla Black, Tina Turner and Tom Jones to name but a few, can be found throughout the venue.

Heritage postcards (by Abby+Owen)

The first of these three heritage postcards, which are sure to be popular keepsakes, features a digital illustration based on the Globe as it looked in 1935.

Two more have followed - one showing the Globe as it looked in 1963, complete with The Beatles and Cliff Richard posters, the other showing the Globe as it looks now.

Of course, these are just some of the many heritage features throughout the building.

And documenting the entire restoration process have been local filmmaker, Ian Paine, and photographer, Sally Ann Norman.

"What we've been clear about all along is that this wasn't a refurbishment or a rebuild - it was a full-scale restoration," said Councillor Jim Beall, the Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture.

"And one of the most satisfying elements of that has been the opportunity to commission highly-skilled and in the main, locally-based, craftspeople to help restore, recreate or celebrate this incredible building's heritage features.

"This is specialised work carried out by people with mastery in fields such as plasterwork, glassmaking, ceramics, and stained-glass art. Their combined contributions have ensured the Globe is as stunning now as it was decades ago.

"The Globe holds a special place in people's hearts and memories, and while it's equipped with an ultra-modern technical fit out behind the scenes, we've taken great care to make sure its history and heritage have been honoured every step of the way.

"It was vital to us that the Globe stayed true to its past. It deserves no less."

David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: "We are excited to support the preservation of the Stockton Globe, with money raised by National Lottery players. This project will safeguard this important local landmark, and provide opportunities for people to explore and celebrate the past, and create stories for the future.

"A building that once stood empty and neglected has been revived as a major live entertainment venue with potential to spark wider regeneration, economic growth and job creation; we invest in heritage projects because they are meaningful for local communities and the Stockton Globe is a great example of this."

Stockton Globe General Manager, Jo Ager, said: "The history of Stockton Globe is truly magical and it has seen some of the entertainment industry's biggest names cut their teeth on its famed stage.

"We cannot wait for the glittering future of the venue but we must not forget its incredible past, and it has always been hugely important to ATG and the Council that it is celebrated in the fabric of the building.

"We have been so lucky to have some truly exceptional makers, artists and photographers contribute to our venue's commissioned work and simply cannot wait for everyone to see it when they come to a show."

The restoration of the Globe, which was built in 1935, was funded by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and a £4.5million grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund's Heritage Enterprise scheme, as well as a £774,000 grant from the Capital Kickstart Fund, part of the Government's £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.

To buy tickets for Globe shows, and to sign-up to the mailing list, visit Stockton Globe (opens new window).