Mr & Mrs Lithgow, Cumbria

Solardome team rescues wedding plans

SOLARDOME skylight

No doubt, planning a wedding with 150 guests can be stressful. But imagine if your reception venue was destroyed by a falling tree just months before the big day. That’s what happened to Geoff and Eileen Lithgow from St. Bees, Cumbria, as they organised the marriage of their daughter Kate to her fiancé Andy in 2014.

Geoff and Eileen had planned to accommodate a band and dancefloor in their sunken garden covered by a glass Solardome skylight, which was built in 2002. Unfortunately, the damage was so severe it looked like they might have to find another venue.

“My first thought was: am I insured? And thankfully my home and contents insurer agreed to cover the costs after speaking with Solardome. But there was still the question of whether I could get it replaced in time as it wasn’t a standard model” said Geoff.

He immediately picked up the phone and called us in Southampton. We told him we would do everything possible to make sure the celebration could go ahead as planned.

In fact, we were not only able to support him with the claim process, but also to design and build a new eight-metre skylight that fitted his needs exactly, and all well before the wedding.

The big day

Wedding guests in the dome

Speaking at the time Geoff said: “The wedding reception went off without a hitch and our guests absolutely loved the dome. I even managed to decorate it with some atmospheric lights that remain to this day.”

Future plans

Since the wedding, Geoff and Eileen have decided to use their new improved dome as a living space to help them get away from it all. This includes a dining table and a wood burning stove for chillier days. Next on the agenda is a marble floor to complete the luxury look and feel.

Currently, they are taking advantage of the dome’s micro-climate to grow both a grape vine and a hop vine. Geoff is a keen brewer with over 50 years of experience, so we expect he and Eileen will enjoy a tasty drop in their new garden retreat very soon.

Geoff said: “Ours has always been a party house, and the dome features prominently, as you can imagine.

“There is an annual garden open day in the village, and when we have participated the dome has always been the final destination for a few drinks and nibbles, so there is a community element to it as well,” he added.

It’s now been six years since they purchased the skylight. Watch the video below to see how they are using it today, and hear the positive comments they’ve received from people when they step inside the dome. 

At a glance

Location St Bees, Cumbria
The challenge To provide a bespoke geodesic dome skylight to cover a sunken garden
The solution 8m diameter low profile skylight
Dome specification 5-frequency geodesic dome
Diameter – 8.0m / 26’ 2”
Height – 3.13m / 10’ 3”
Volume – 89m3 / 3145ft3
Area – 45m2 / 484ft2

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