Paul Humphreys 

Paul is the founder and a former director of Hare & Humphreys Ltd a leading company specialising in the care and conservation of historic buildings. Starting out as a studio assistant at Campbell Smith & Co, then the leading decorative arts company in the UK, Paul trained in the arts of graining, marbling, stencilled decoration, gilding and much more. Between 1968 and 1979 he worked on the Robing Room at the Palace of Westminster, Castel Coch near Cardiff and the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, he also carried out the recreation of the William Morris Room at the V&A, redrawing and cutting all the stencils and mixing all the colours by hand in collaboration with Jo Darrah from the V&A.

In 1979 Paul left Campbell Smith to start his own business which after working for the Royal Household, Parliamentary Works, varoius Gentlemen’s Clubs and Livery Companies led in 1988 to the formation of Hare & Humphreys with Peter Hare who had been his apprentice at Campbell Smith. Their first large project as H&H was Spencer House in St James but this was followed by the restoration work at Windsor Castle where H&H carried out works to many of the State Rooms, earning a Royal Warrant.

Paul stood down from H&H in 2024 to concentrate on personal projects. He continues to advise and consult on decorative finishes, is Vice Chair of the Traditional Paint Forum and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as holding a Royal Warrant as Decorator and Gilder to Her Majesty the Queen.  Favourite projects over the past 20 years include the British Galleries at the V&A, the St Pancras Hotel restoration, and Waddesdon Manor, but ultimately because of the early involvement with the architectural paint research and the subsequent recreation of Sir John Soane’s beautiful country house, Pitzhanger Manor has to be his favourite.

Lee Bilson

Lee is a Building Historian and Conservation Specialist who has worked on a vast range of internationally renowned buildings and conservation projects. A fellow of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC), he has a deep interest in supporting the learning and development of all those involved in our built heritage, both in his role as Conservation Manager at Recclesia, and through his lecturing work for the likes of The King’s Foundation and The University of Manchester.

Alongside academic research, which focus on notions of craftsmanship as part of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and his conservation practice more broadly, Lee has always had a clear passion for metal conservation and historic ironwork stemming from his time working at Eura Conservation on the likes of the Temperate House at Kew Gardens, the Sovereign’s Entrance Gates at the Palace of Westminster, and the University of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History.