NHTG and Hayles and Howe run a heritage skills workshop in Bristol

The Heritage Skills workshop was a free training day hosted by the NHTG and Hayles and Howe, ornamental plaster specialists November the 9-10th in Bristol. The workshop was designed as an introduction to traditional building skills. Open to anyone to attend and get hands-on with fibrous plaster, scagliola, lime plaster and timber frame. Hayles and Howe were supported by Go Construct, who were on hand to give careers advice as part of an industry wide initiative that aims to attract, inform and retain a talented workforce for the construction industry. 


Heritage skills workshop



The workshop was held over two days and included two sessions per day. Opening each session with a talk on the history of fibrous plaster was expert and Chairman of Hayles and Howe David Harrison. David has been in the business for over 30 years, building up a client base all over the UK and further afield. His knowledge of the material, architecture styles and location of historic plasterwork around the world is second to none and his talk was enjoyed by all who attended.


New to the demonstrations this year was E.I. Flood and Sons. An award winning and highly professional ornamental plastering team who are now retired; Stan and Alan Flood have worked on some of the most prestigious buildings in the country and in Europe and joined the workshop to demonstrate the traditional building techniques of lime plaster. They started out their demonstration by building up a background of traditional timber laths then mixing and applying lime plaster to be followed by running a small cornice in-situ. Even the Hayles and Howe team took up a keen interest in this trade. Lime plaster is often used in today’s building projects, to restore external and internal features of listed buildings.


A major part of the workshop team and expert in timber frame construction is Nigel Howe of The Oak Frame Training Forum (OFTF), a training group set up by The Carpenters Fellowship (CF) designed to pass on the skills and knowledge of timber frame building to the younger generation. Nigel came with tools in hand to demonstrate the key factors when building such structures; hosting an interesting talk and supporting the rest of the team throughout the day.


It was a great pleasure this year to play host to a group visit from The Merchants Academy year 11 pupils. Taking precious time out from their mock exams, this budding group of craftspeople came along to witness what the traditional construction industry has to offer for newbies. The group spent the morning listening to the experts and getting hands on making plaster enrichments with the Hayles and Howe team and enjoying all aspects of the workshop.


The team worked hard this year hosting the free workshop and providing a creative space for anyone to learn traditional skills that will be kept alive in a fast growing world of technology. Feedback all round was the workshop is a great day for anyone who wanted to be involved, that everything being taught was engaging and interesting, and that people wished more trades did open workshops like this.


Hayles and Howe would like to thank the following for getting involved and supporting our efforts in maintaining the traditional building skills of historic English trades. 


Photos from the event can be seen on the Hayles and Howe facebook page.


National Heritage Training Group – Sophie Keegan

The Oak Frame Training Forum – Nigel Howe

E.I Flood and Sons – Bill & Stan Flood

Go Construct – Alan Greenfield

Hayles and Howe - Tony Hassett / Sam Pugh / Isobel Adderley / Matt Cridland / Paul English / Sophie Wilson / Nick Marden / Martin Henry / Niall Harris / Kelly Lawrence / David Harrison   



Heritage Solid Plastering specialist applied skills programme NVQ Level 3

This programme is designed to provide practical skills, theoretical knowledge and a recognised qualification to craftspeople who are preparing to specialise in heritage plastering trades.

NVQ3 Heritage Wood Occupations specialist applied skills programme Level 3 NVQ

This programme is designed to provide practical skills, theoretical knowledge and a recognised qualification to craftspeople who are preparing to specialise in heritage carpentry trades.