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Tallest chandelier in Europe installed by Bredgar company at hotel

By Lewis Dyson

Brace yourself Rodney.

A Bredgar firm has built and installed what is believed to be the tallest chandelier in Europe at a hotel.

Wilkinson Ltd designed, manufactured and set in place the 11- metre ornament, which weighs 250kg and is comprised of 25,000 individual lead crystals.

The chandelier at Hythe Imperial Hotel
The chandelier at Hythe Imperial Hotel

The light is the crowning glory of a multimillion-pound refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel.

It took six months to make and required more than 2,000kg of structural steel to support it from the existing atrium ceiling.

David Wilkinson, owner of the manufacturers, said: “It is certainly the tallest chandelier we have manufactured and the tallest in the UK, and we cannot find any records of anything taller having been installed anywhere in Europe.

“Installing something of that size in a busy hotel certainly presents challenges and took a great deal of planning, but the work went pretty much to plan and the end result is something quite spectacular.”

The unveiling came towards the end of extensive work on the hotel, with bedrooms on three of the four floors refurbished, and work taking place on the fourth.

David Wilkinson
David Wilkinson

With everything going smoothly, it was worlds away from the famous Only Fools and Horses episode, A Touch of Glass, where Del Boy and Rodney set themselves up as chandelier cleaners, and send one crashing to the ground.

Nick Gauntlett, executive director at the Hythe Imperial, said: “Our new chandelier is a real centrepiece at the heart of the hotel.

“The craftsmanship and attention to detail paid by the team at Wilkinson really shines through and it will be a talking point for guests of the hotel for many years to come.”

The family-run Wilkinson Ltd relocated from its London base to Hawks Hill Lane in 2010 and has held the Royal Warrant by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen as glass restorers since 1985.

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