MATTHEW Pease’s letter (HAS, Oct 30) was both educational and enthusiastic, especially about the possible restoration of Edward Pease’s old house in Northgate, as part of the 2025 bicentennial of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

Restoration is a tricky business and can run against the conventional wisdom of most historic building conservation work, namely ‘conserve as found’, i.e. do not try to strip a building back to some specific moment in time, rather work with what you have, conserving the best bits and allowing change, if needed, in the less important parts of the building.

Mr Pease’s aspiration might be to present the building as it stood on Thursday 19th April 1821, when Edward Pease first met George Stephenson. This is a tall order, as Charles McNab’s excellent publication (2011) for the Darlington Historical Society makes clear.

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Restoration would involve substantial demolition to return the building to the simple pair of Georgian houses that Pease knew.

The major re-facading of 1866 would have to go with its central pediment, as would the excellent 1909 alterations to No. 49a (Best Kebab) by George Walesby Davis, one of the town’s most inventive architects.

It was in the Best Kebab shop, once Pease’s kitchen, that the great men met.

Perhaps a more realistic aspiration might be to acquire those ground floor premises at No. 49a should the leasee ever move, with view to another commercial let that would first allow full display and interpretation of any fabric of the 1820s.

Some restoration of the 1866 scheme in the first floor of Domino’s would improve an obvious eyesore, and the building’s importance would benefit from much better interpretation at street level.

Martin Roberts, West Auckland