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Saturday, 31 March, 2001, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Former glory for Scott's dining room
Captain Scott pictured  in his quarters in Antarctica
Captain Scott pictured in his quarters in Antarctica
A teak-panelled dining room used to host a civic supper before Captain Scott set off on his historic journey to the South Pole is being restored after being left derelict for almost 10 years.

The dining room is at the Royal Hotel in Cardiff city centre which is to reopen later this year after a major refurbishment.

The civic supper at the dining room in 1910 was hosted by the Lord Mayor and city corporation to see off Captain Scott before his last epic journey.


It is interesting to compare the 50,000 it will cost to restore the dining room - the teak alone costs about 10,000 - with the 15,000 it cost to build the entire hotel in 1864

John Kilcourse
The explorer and his team succeeded in reaching the South Pole in January 1912 - only to find the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had arrived before them.

Scott and his party died in ferocious weather as they fought to return to their supply depot.

It will cost 50,000 to restore the dining room - compared to the 15,000 it cost to build the hotel in 1864.

The Royal Hotel which stands opposite Cardiff's new Millennium Stadium has been empty for some years after a period as a commercial hotel and a home for the homeless.

It will reopen at the end of the summer following refurbishment, and will feature theme bars and a discotheque.

But Cadw, the body responsible for protecting historic buildings in Wales, made it a condition of planning consent that the historic dining-room was to be kept - and restored to its full former glory.

A firm of building specialists from Dorchester - St Blaise - have been responsible for the repairs.

St Mary Street, Cardiff
The hotel is in Cardiff city centre

They have moved the glittering dining room one floor higher than its original position - but say in every respect it will appear to be exactly the same as the original.

"The workmanship of the original teak panelling is most interesting," said John Kilcourse, St Blaise joinery manager.

"While the plumes which decorate it were carved by hand in the traditional way, the actual conversion of the timber to the correct sizes, and the planing of the wood, are an early example of machine woodworking."

As well as the panelling, the ornate marble and tile fireplaces in the dining room are being restored so that it will be a faithful replica of the original.

"It is interesting to compare the 50,000 it will cost to restore the dining room - the teak alone costs about 10,000 - with the 15,000 it cost to build the entire hotel in 1864."

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See also:

21 Mar 01 | Scotland
Scott's ship celebrates 100 years
06 Sep 99 | Sci/Tech
Explorer's relics unfrozen
29 Nov 98 | Asia-Pacific
Following in Scott's footsteps
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