NHTG Newsletter, May 2019


Dear Reader

Prince's Foundation summer school imageThis month's devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral has brought home to many people globally, how fragile historic buildings are and without proper funding for repair and maintenance, these buildings are at risk of fire or flood damage. More on this topic here.

This month we have been busy beginning to organise our forthcoming heritage courses, funded by the B&CE Charitable Trust. We're working with some great partners to deliver the training, more details will be coming soon.

We've had a some new members join the NHTG Membership scheme this monthincluding two fantastic built heritage organisations: The Prince's Foundation and SPAB, who are introduced below. Our membership model has now changed and we are offering a two year membership term for only £100. To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member see here. If you would like to become a member, please get in touch.

With Summer on it's way, it's a good time to have a go at a new built heritage craft skill or to develop the skills you already have, please see below for the events and training courses coming up or search in your area here.

With best wishes


Sophie Keegan
Marketing, Events and Helpdesk Manager
Helpdesk telephone number: 01246 252363


The NHTG membership scheme is open to members, who work within the built heritage field. There are lots of great membership benefits you can read them here and you can see our expanding list of members in our membership directory here. If you are interested in becoming a members please email info@the-nhtg.org.uk for more information.   The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) SPAB LogoSPAB believes old buildings have a future. From cottages to castles and from churches to cathedrals we are here to help buildings and the people who care for them.

Founded by William Morris, Philip Webb and others in 1877, the SPAB is the oldest and most technically expert national charity fighting to save old buildings from decay, dilapidation and demolition. Based on years of experience and research we understand how old buildings work.

SPAB offer courses and training for homeowners, enthusiasts and building professionals. There Scholarship and Fellowship programmes provide unique training to craftspeople, architects, structural engineers and surveyors, many of whom now care for the UK’s most loved buildings.

SPAB give free, independent advice to hundreds of callers each year, promoting good conservation practice for old buildings to those who need it most. They help the planning process for listed churches and secular buildings, to help prevent harmful works and encourage high quality design and craftsmanship. Join today to support their positive, practical approach to building conservation.

  The Prince's Foundation The Prince's Foundation logoAt it's heart, the Prince's Foundation is about supporting people to create community. Whether through building sustainable housing or regenerating neighbourhoods, developing family attractions or teaching traditional arts and skills, the Prince's Foundation is leading the way forward.

The Prince's Foundation offers innovative and inspiring skills-based courses in a broad range of subjects, from traditional arts and heritage craft skills, to architecture and design, science, engineering, horticulture and hospitality, all emphasising the greater social cohesion that transpires when members of a community learn, as well as live, together. Programmes will take place within and beyond the charity’s sites, including at Dumfries House, with its Education Farm, STEM centre and Health and Wellbeing Centre, and in Shoreditch, East London.

The Projects tier concentrates on the restoration of historic buildings and the construction of new sustainable developments. Working with local community groups and partners around the country, The Prince’s Foundation will ensure much-loved sites are carefully rejuvenated and new developments properly planned and designed to benefit all for the future.

Finally, the Attractions tier will focus on promoting The Prince’s Foundation’s notable centrepieces – whether taking a dip in the New Cumnock Swimming Pool or dining in the Rothesay Rooms restaurant. Such crowd-pleasers are the connective tissue of a community: they build economic growth and preserve cultural history, as well as provide landmarks for future generations to enjoy.

From transforming our public realm to providing skills-based education, The Prince’s Foundation is about championing and celebrating the most important part of any community: its people.



RC1 19: Repair of Old Buildings Course

13th - 17th May, London A short course has been presented by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings since the 1950s. Run over five days, this course delivers an intensive programme of lectures and visits to building repair projects. It runs twice a year - in the spring and the autumn.

Presented by leading building conservation professionals, the Repair Course considers British and international approaches to the conservation of old buildings. The SPAB philosophy of repair and maintenance - established by William Morris in 1877 - underpins the course programme of case studies, presentations and site visits.


Conservation and Repair of Slate and Stone Roofing

13th - 16th May, West Sussex

This course starts with an understanding of how roofs work, the different materials used, including regional variations and methods of construction. Modern codes of practice and standards are covered, along with practical demonstrations and hands-on work in making and preparing slates and mortar and their application to roofs, including setting out, recording and the construction of both random and single-sized roofs. The course will be supplemented by films and practical sessions on surveying old roofs, traditional detailing, writing specifications and finding sources of information.


Using traditional lime and clay renders and plasters

14th May, Yorkshire Lime and clay plasters have been used historically and this day provides advice to those who wish to restore their period property and demonstrate how breathable renders and plasters can be efficiently applied to new buildings. The day will discuss lime renders, lime & clay plasters and historic & breathable paint finishes, including practical demonstrations and workshops.



Fire Folk, Celebrating Heritage Skills

26th May, Bath Join us in Bath's Parade Gardens for a fresh line-up of talented local folk bands to celebrate the installation of the BathIRON bandstand balustrade – a beautiful sculptural piece which was hand-forged by teams of blacksmiths from all over the UK during BathIRON Festival in June 2018. There’ll be a bar and food stalls, and we’ll also be celebrating the traditional heritage craft of the artist blacksmith with forging demonstrations throughout the evening.



Conservation and Repair of Plasters and Renders

28th - 31st May, West Sussex This course begins by examining the original methods of framing and construction and then concentrates on problems, failures and methods of repair. It comprises of lectures, case studies, demonstrations, practical exercises, discussions and tours of the Weald and Downland Living Museum’s timber buildings, with particular reference to the development of timber repairs undertaken at the Museum over more than forty years. It includes lectures on fungal decay, insect attack and their conservative treatments, with current research and recent case studies on the subject.


Hot Lime Workshop

31st May, Essex This one day course will examine the appropriate use of the whole range of lime mortars in the context of material science, actual built fabric and historic texts upon lime use and 12 years of experience using quicklime mortars. It will give trainees an understanding into hot mixed and other traditional lime mortars, building on recent research carried out by Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, CADW and the statutory heritage bodies of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

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Job Opportunity: Assistant Stonemasonry Instructor (Carving)

World Monuments Fund Britain image of stonemasonry trainee in JordanWorld Monuments Fund Britain is seeking a stonemason with experience in carving and an interest in conservation to help train Syrian refugees in the craft.

Since Sept 2017, World Monuments Fund Britain has been running a training centre in Mafraq, Jordan, twelve miles from the Jordanian border. The project, which is supported by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, is seeking to address three issues that arise from the conflict in the Middle East: war that has damaged the historic fabric of Syria, Iraq and other countries; a lack of skills to conserve that heritage once war ends; and large numbers of refugees and displaced people who are in search of a future. Our project, in its own small way, is a solution which gives Syrian refugees the skill to restore their own heritage.
So far over 45 refugees and local Jordanians, men and women have been trained.

A second phase of activity is commecing, in which 20 current students are being trained to a higher level, with the express aim of getting them into employment and improving livelihoods. For more information about the initiative please visit the WMFB website

WMFB are seeking an Assistant Instructor to work alongside our Master Mason and a support team which includes an architectural lecturer and project manager, all of who are based at our Mafraq centre.

The Assistant Instructor will support the Master Mason in all aspects of training, including to:
• Assist with general masonry training
• Assist with development of training in carving
• Plan and implement carving exercises involving a wide range of ornamental and architectural styles
• Liaise with the project manager and architectural lecturer as appropriate
• Support the project manager, architectural lecturer and Master Mason in ensuring that appropriate Health & Safety and safeguarding policies are maintained
• Contribute towards project communications, reporting and promotion, with partners at the Petra National Trust, the British Council and World Monuments Fund Britain

We are looking for a confident individual, someone who is resilient and self-reliant and able to work in the environment of this Jordanian border town. An understanding of Arabic is not necessary for training purposes, but a willingness and ability to engage people of diverse backgrounds and cultures is important.

Flights and transport to Mafraq will be provided by WMFB.


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

A historic painted celingIf you would like to propose an item for inclusion in the NHTG Newsletter, please email details to info@the-nhtg.org.uk. 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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Please note that the NHTG Helpdesk phone 0739 4857 123, is open from 9 - 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Wednsday morning. There is an Answerphone facility at other times. We aim to respond to all enquiries within five working days.

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If you wish to use or quote from items in the NHTG Newsletter, always check the accuracy and current position with the source. The NHTG cannot guarantee the accuracy of, or accept any responsibility for, the contents of the NHTG Newsletter.


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.