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Restoration Man on the Settle-Carlisle Railway

By Blog on the Box on Feb 17, 12 10:24 AM

In the land of celebrity architects George Clarke is king.

The Sunderland building expert finished the second series of The Restoration Man with a couple who had bought an decrepit water tower on the Settle-Carlisle railway and were converting it into a house.

Clarke is perfect for this kind of show which, by its very nature, takes months and even years to complete.

Good looks help and an easy-going and supportive manner don't do him any harm either.

Mark and Pat Rand are railway nuts who enlisted George's help in the ambitious project.

When I say "help" I mean he visited several times, nodded his approval, and let Mark and Pat get on with it.

But he did it so well that you could not get offended when he didn't roll his sleeves up.

It was touch and go for a while with a conflict between building regulations and conservation bods - the tower was a Grade II listed building - being resolved at the last minute.

Grade II listed buildings, especially the one falling into ruin, can be more trouble than they're worth but Mark, who seemed to live and breathe railways, was up to it.

He converted an empty shell into a modern house and should be proud of his achievements.

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