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  • Tom Clarkson

Upgrading the Electrical Infrastructure in the Great Northern Hotel Built in 1852

When an hotel is 168 years old, it’s only to be expected that some measure of upgrading and maintenance is needed at different times over the decades. The Great Northern Hotel,

built in 1852, was in need of just that. What was once state of the art is now obsolete or does not meet regulations.

From an electrical perspective you may be forgiven for thinking it would be a horrendous task, to be honest, there were parts that took some sorting, but it was the planning that was key from the outset. As you’d anticipate with a commercial building of any great age, it’s seen a number of changes. World Wars have come and gone, depressions and recessions, fads and fancies. It’s also had any number of wiring changes since electricity was first introduced.


Forced to close in 1939 for the duration of the Second World War, the Great Northern didn’t see public service again until after necessary repairs, reopening its doors in 1949.

Since then, the improvements in technology, in materials and in regulations mean that the wiring at the Great Northern Hotel had been changed, added to, extended, reduced, repaired and altered. The mixture of different methods, materials and hidden fittings told their own story.

It was our role to inspect everything and to develop a modernisation and programme that could be implemented without unduly inconveniencing any of the hotels guests. Everything from hard wiring circuits and distribution boards to lights, switches and junction boxes. There were miles of wires and hundreds of fittings.



All in all it was a really interesting commercial building electrical upgrade and one that the Optimum Electrics team enjoyed completing. Bringing a building that old into line with current legislation isn’t exactly difficult, the guidelines and rules are what they are. It just has to be completed sympathetically and with a healthy respect for preserving its heritage.


So, if you have a commercial building that is in need of upgrading, contact Optimum Electrics and we’ll be delighted to discuss it with you.








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