Electrical services company completes revamp at UK’s oldest hotel

A north west England-headquartered electrical services company has completed a full electrical revamp on what is thought to be Europe’s oldest coaching inn.

The age and significance of The Olde Bell in Hurley, Berkshire, which has hosted the likes of Richard Burton, Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo over the years, meant work was subject to stringent regulations covering which parts could be altered or even simply used for fittings.

Ash Integrated Services, which is based in Atherton near Manchester, spent six months painstakingly working on the Grade II*-listed building, parts of which date back to 1135, completely renewing its mains electricity provision, including new lighting and power throughout.

The company, which offers integrated electrical, plumbing and heating services, also fitted a new fire alarm system, plus data and audio-visual connectivity in all bedrooms.

Antony Grace, director at Ash Integrated Services, said: “Between covid-19 and the heritage restrictions, we had a team of just two on-site, which meant each part of the work required a very tight turnaround.

“The placement of each element of the wiring, the choice of lighting, and even the fittings holding components in place had to be carefully considered.

“As a firm that specialises in renewable and low-carbon work, we also appreciate that even in older premises, improvements can still be made, and that by keeping these sites in use instead of building anew, we can help keep overall carbon emissions to a minimum.

“By sensitively fitting the right modern electrical equipment with precision, particularly the state-of-the-art fire alarm system, we have helped protect the Olde Bell for many years to come.”

The Olde Bell, which is arranged over five buildings, is a short walk from the River Thames and boasts accommodation, a restaurant, pub and conference facilities, as well as being a popular wedding venue.

Antony added: “As such an important historical building, it’s vital to ensure it continues to function well, in order to preserve it for future generations.

“We’re really pleased with the work that we’ve carried out within a tight timescale.”