News from the NHTG, February 2017


National Heritage Training Group
Newsletter February 2017



Dear Reader

Copyright SPABEnergy efficiency and retrofit is back in the news again, as it’s been revealed 25 million homes need to be insulated in order to cut carbon emissions. The UK needs to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 - and a third of those emissions come from heating draughty older buildings. The SPAB are running Old Houses for the Future weekend course in May. The course explains how to update pre-1919 buildings to increase energy efficiency, making your older property warmer and cut down your energy bills.

The NHTG bursary scheme has a new opportunity I’d like to draw your attention to, we are looking for a trainee who like to take up an eight month placement in heritage slating and tiling at a Manchester based Company J. Hempstock and Co. Ltd. Please see below for more details and pass this newsletter onto those who you think might be interested.

With best wishes


Sophie Keegan
Marketing, Events and Helpdesk Manager


Interview with an NHTG Bursary Trainee

Sara Álvarez Martínez is an NHTG bursary trainee working in Heritage Decorating at Campbell Smith & Co Ltd. Campbell Smith & Co Ltd was founded in 1873 and provides specialist services for Heritage properties, Ecclesiastical and other buildings requiring fine and traditional finishes.  

Please describe the bursary scheme, what you have learned and the projects you have worked on?


NHTG Bursary TraineeThe scholarship is focused on development within the working world. And therefore, it is based on the accomplishment of tasks within the scope of work in the work.

Prior to the scheme I studied a Conservation and Restoration Degree in 2014. After that, also I did a double Master in Management of Leisure Spaces and Management of Cultural Projects in 2016.


What are your hopes for the future once the scheme has finished? How has the bursary scheme helped to develop your career?

I would like to carry on with Conservation and Restoration professional work, because it is what I've always wanted to do. I see myself in a future working in this company or a similar one. I would recommend the NHTG bursary scheme to other people. It’s a brilliant opportunity to know the work of painters-decorators and conservators-restorers. The sites where I am working are very interesting and fascinating. And it is an honour to be able to work there.  

NHTG Bursary Scheme Opportunities

HLF logoThese placements are run by the National Heritage Training Group bursary scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme is all about finding passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated people to be trained to work on England’s traditional buildings. There will be 30 educational bursaries offered, working on live heritage sites across England. The bursaries are being organised across the country by regional heritage coordinators.  

Heritage Trainee (Metal Roofing) Opportunity – Manchester

This is an exciting opportunity for an eight month Heritage Trainee (Metal Roofing) placement with Manchester Company J. Hempstock and Co., Ltd., working on historic and new buildings across Manchester and the north west. Closing date 3rd March.  

Trainee Heritage Slating and Tiling placement opportunity, Sussex

There is a wonderful opportunity to join Specialist Historic Building Conservation contractor Fildes Roofing Ltd. for an 11 month placement, carrying out slating and tiling work and repairs at a range of sites in Sussex and the surrounding area. Closing date TBC.  



SPAB Spring Lecture Series 2017 

SPAB fellowsIn 2017 the SPAB marks the 30th Anniversary of its William Morris Craft Fellowship training programme, which fosters traditional building skills and supports craftspeople in the early stages of their career. This Spring Lecture Series celebrates this unique scheme and the skills that enable old buildings to flourish. Past Fellows will share their insights and love of their craft, and talk about their work and where life has taken them since their Fellowship year.

Glorious Mud! Building with Earth, 2nd March - With Alex Gibbons, Earth Builder - SPAB Fellow 2014

Wonderful Walls, Repairing Welsh Churches, 9th March - With Thom Evans, Stonemason - SPAB Fellow 2016

A Miller's Tale, Caring for Charlecote Mill, 16th March - With Karl Grevatt, Carpenter and Miller - SPAB Fellow 2009

Image © SPAB


Understanding Historic Building Legislation

2nd March, London  
Emma Lawrence, the SPAB’s Head of Casework, explains the different forms of legislation that protect historic buildings and gives up-to-date insight into how these work in practice.  

Lime Plaster for beginners

3rd March, Essex  
These one-day courses are aimed at owners of historic buildings who want to tackle small patch repairs to their homes and those with no prior experience.  

Understanding Building Conservation

13th-14th March, London  
If you have a passion for conservation, and want to develop specialist knowledge and skills, this is your first step towards specialisation. The course will also enable you to apply for recognition of your skills and experience in the forthcoming CIOB Building Conservation Certification Scheme in 2017.  

Maintenance Matters! The routine care of old buildings: a guide for owners and users

18th March, Leicester  
This course is suitable for beginners, age 16 years and over, who own or work with historic buildings. Learn why buildings decay, how to manage maintenance of a historic building and safety aspects relating to building maintenance.  

Port Development and the Historic Environment in England

21st March, Leicester  
A one day CPD course for heritage professionals covering the development of ports and the marine environment.  

Tour of a Traditional Brick Works and Guided Walk through Bury St Edmunds

24th March, Suffolk  
This is a rare opportunity to visit Bulmer Brick and Tile Company’s brickworks and Bury St Edmunds in the company of one of the country’s leading traditional brick-makers, Peter Minter. You will look at and discuss the conservation and repair of historic rubbed and gauged brickwork.  

Digital Survey and Recording for Historic Buildings

24th March, Leicester  
A two-day practical course covering the art and craft of mouldings run in situ. The course will begin with a talk on lime, with an emphasis on interior, exterior ornamental work. The course aimed at working plasterers who want to broaden their experience, home owners and enthusiastic amateurs.  

Introduction to Gauged Brickwork

24th and 25th March, Kent  
This one day professional development session is suitable for professionals working within the heritage and construction industry, for example architects and conservation officers. Topics include the geometry of an arch, drawing and creating an arch template, techniques for cutting bricks, and mortar mixes.  

Understanding Post-War Architecture

27th – 28th March, Leicester  
A two day course, run in conjunction with Historic England, looking at the issues and challenges of post-war architecture for effective heritage management.  

Conservation and Repair of Masonry Ruins

27th – 30th March, West Sussex  
This course is primarily designed for those concerned with the conservation of ruined structures, although the principles and skills are also applicable to roofed buildings. It will include assessment of the structural and surface condition of masonry walls, identification of traditional materials, fault diagnosis, removal and control of organic growth, consolidation and treatment of wall tops, specification of mortars and grouts and the preparation and placing of mortar, with practical exercises using the Ruinette.  

Lime Plaster for Plasterers

30th-31st March, Essex  
A two-day hands-on course aimed at working plasterers interested in broadening their experience, and amateurs with some plastering skills. The course will explain how to fix laths, prepare lime putty mixes, and plaster on lathes as well as highlighting the importance of good preparation and aftercare.  

General news


Reminder: Marsh Awards for Heritage

The Marsh Awards recognise contributions to community heritage and significant learning traditional craft skills. The awards support the IHBC’s work as we help keep the essential conservation skills and knowledge alive through training, teaching, shared experience and example. The closing date is March 31st 2017.  

Open Doors – Get into Construction, 27th March – 1st April

A unique chance for you to see behind the scenes at major ‘live’ construction sites across England, Scotland and Wales. Discover how the buildings and structures in your community are constructed and find out about the diverse range of skills and professions needed on site. Be inspired by this growing industry, and learn how to start your career in construction.  

Only 5.2% of the construction industry are female

StonemasonA recent survey from AXA shows that the number of woman working in the construction industry remains a very low 5.2%. One reason for the lack of female construction workers might be that traditional routes into the trades such as apprenticeships or on the job training are outside the formal education system and may be less appealing to young girls.  

Historic England officially objects to footballers ‘aggressive’ Mancunian Towers

Plans to build a pair of bronze-clad skyscrapers in central Manchester by former footballers footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, have left Historic England ‘deeply concerned’. The organisation fears the design, height and colour of the multiple storey towers would dominate the conservation areas of Deansgate and Peter Street, as well as overshadowing the Grade II*-listed Central Library and Grade I-listed Town Hall. Historic England’s spokesperson said the current plans were ‘not good enough to justify the damage it would cause to the streets around the site’.  

Jobs and Opportunities


2 x Management Trainee Opportunities at Coniston

Painted HallConiston are delighted to offer two site-based positions for Management Trainees at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) in Greenwich. These positions will initially be a one year fixed contract and will offer the opportunity to work towards a Heritage Level 4 NVQ in Site Supervision. The site is home to the Painted Hall, one of the most sumptuous painted interiors in Europe which is currently undergoing a major programme of conservation. The successful candidates will have a unique opportunity to work on this landmark project in a sensitive historic environment.  

Support Officers, The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF)

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is expanding its team of Support Officers. They are recruiting freelance part-time contractors in North East England and Northern Ireland and also an employed full-time post in Wales, all to start in April 2017. The Support Officers assist local communities who are seeking to rescue and re-utilise a historic building which they value.  

Want to share your news on Traditional Building Skills and related subjects?


Heritage painter and decoratorIf you would like to propose an item for inclusion in the NHTG Newsletter, please email details to [email protected] NHTG do not guarantee to publish any item and reserve the right to select and edit any item submitted to be considered for publication.

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