Marsh IHBC Award for Successful Learning in Heritage Skills

This Award is designed to recognise the contribution of an individual for their significant learning in traditional building activities and craft skills. The Award aims to help keep the essential conservation skills and knowledge alive through training, shared experience and example.

Anyone interested in how people care for our places may nominate an individual for the Award, whether they are, for example, a teacher, fellow practitioner, client, civic representative, property owner or planner. Nominations for the Award can be made via the IHBC website.

Entries for the Award are judged by a panel consisting of representatives of the MCT and IHBC and the Awards are presented at the IHBC Annual School in June each year.

Leask Mackie and Jess Burrows 2022

Leask Mackie 

Leask has a consistent commitment to developing his building conservation skills, using them to maintain and repair a range of listed buildings on his farm. Leask has attended the Lead Wilding and Bossing course arranged as part of the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration programme, the Lime Pointing course at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust, the Surface Repair of Stone course and the contractor level C2 Traditional Masonry Repair course. In 2017, he gained 2 SQA National Units in Conservation Masonry. In 2018 Leask took the Slate Roofing course, and in 2019, the Retrofit Masterclass. In 2020, he took the Lime Plastering course, and in 2021, the Structural Repair of Historic Buildings course in February, followed by Sash and Case Window Repair course in October. In parallel he’s taken certified courses in gas, tiling and plastering. A longer term aligned ambition for Leask is restoring the farm’s historic sawmill machinery, to manage woodland, and produce structural timber for farm building repairs. 

Jess Burrows 

Jess graduated with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh’s MSc in Architectural Conservation in 2021. Jess used newly acquired technical skills to intersect data overlaying the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) with Scotland’s Conservation Area boundaries. This wholly new dataset enables critical appraisal of recent heritage-led regeneration efforts in Scotland’s towns. Jess makes recommendations for future heritage-led regeneration projects which will allow the UK heritage sector to better evaluate targeting and impact of regeneration programmes.Since graduating, Jess has joined Built Environment Forum Scotland and the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust as part-time Project Officer, giving her the opportunity to put her newly-acquired skills into practice. She now has first-hand experience assessing grant applications, making offers and preparing Quarterly Reports. The skills she gained as part of her MSc are of immediate benefit to the historic environment, contributing to the heritage sector’s self-critical discourse and will enhance its future ability to deliver regeneration benefits for local communities. 

Previous Winners

George Hollowway

George has had some experience of practical conservation work on ironmongery and wanting to consolidate that experience he enrolled onto the Foundation Degree in Historic Building Conservation in 2018, a Kingston University qualification taught at the Building Crafts College. Alongside his academic work, George also enrolled onto a woodworking course at the college and, using the skills he acquired during his degree, he undertook a practical piece of work for his second-year project. This project saw him investigating the technical make up and practical use of the medieval window shutter. He produced a clear, concise and easy to digest report on his findings, which included detailed research and evidence of practical use of the medieval shutter that he produced. During his two years of undertaking his foundation degree, George has developed his understanding of conservation and its practical application and hopes to use the skills he has learnt to teach others in the future. 

Paula Baron

Paula has been with the Canal and River Trust for almost three years and in that time has shown great commitment to expanding her skillset and knowledge. While attending the Heritage Craft Alliance, she learned heritage carpentry, masonry and bricklaying and achieved a level two NVQ in conservation and restoration. Now continuing on to her level three, Paula is a committed student and is incredibly focussed on learning and enhancing her masonry skills, largely thanks to her keen interest in history.

Paula is always willing to take her skills where they are needed the most and takes every opportunity given to her to learn from more experienced masons and bricklayers as well as the carpenters in her team. She is a great ambassador for the trust and demonstrates perfectly how an academic love of history can be put into practice, working on structures that are over two hundred years old, always with the greatest level of respect and care.

Rachael Purse

Rachael is in the third year of her PhD Scholarship Project, ‘Bringing Back the Mack’, funded by the Glasgow School of Art and Historic Environment Scotland. Her aim is to secure a research legacy for the restoration of the Mackintosh Building after the fire of 2014. On 25th June 2018, a second and more devastating fire struck the building, when the restoration was only months away from completion. Rachael provided a critical analysis of the 2014 fire and subsequent restoration project with a focus on what lessons can be learnt, and is currently working on a critical analysis of the second fire and the salvage process that followed.

Rachael is a frequent lecturer to GSA students and visiting students on the history of the Scottish conservation movement, the lessons learned, and discoveries made during the first restoration project, as well as contemporary conservation and restoration philosophies. During the restoration, she conducted site visits to the Mackintosh Building with students and professionals, to ensure that the lessons learnt were disseminated within the wider heritage community. Rachael has been working on the salvage of the Mackintosh Building following the 2018 fire, and is working alongside Historic Environment Scotland’s Collection Team to share research and contribute to guides being written on salvage and emergency planning.

Rachael is a confident lecturer and passionate advocate of the built environment and shared cultural heritage and is looking forward to continuing her career in the heritage industry following her PhD.

Amy Ward

Amy has worked as a stonemason and conservator since 2012. She shows great initiative and experience in her role, and the company she works for, Mono Masonry Ltd are funding her Master’s Degree in Conservation Studies at the University of York. Her practical experience has helped her transition to Lead Conservator with the company and her Degree will provide her with the opportunity to progress even further.

Last year, Amy completed her first draughtsmanship project, creating a new façade for a private property that was in keeping with the original building. Since then she has been working on a project in Warwickshire, to undertake a condition survey on Studley Castle Hotel and set out new crenellation parapet details, Dutch gables and mullioned windows.

Amy is a proficient and important member of the team at Mono Masonry. Her experience helps bridge the gap between heritage conservation and stonemasonry and she recently spent a week training two apprentices in draughtsmanship of traditional masonry mouldings.

Before working for Mono Masonry, Amy completed a bursary placement at York Minster and worked on the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Canada for two years.

James Archer

James started working at the Canal & River Trust in 2014 as a Heritage Trainee on the HLF Skills for the Future programme, and since joining the programme he has shown a genuine and keen interest to learn new skills in the canal environment, particularly using sensitive heritage techniques on timber and masonry.

While working on site, James attended the Heritage Craft Alliance each month, where he worked towards a Level 2 qualification in practical and theory works. He is now a Construction apprentice and has chosen to specialise in masonry skills, recently being heavily involved in the repair of structures such as Lock 11W  on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. This complemented the work that he had previously done on other canal structures such as lime pointing and repairing patches of historic brickwork in lock chambers on the Ashton Canal.

James has a great passion for the waterways and their special heritage environment. In addition to the work he does at the Canal & River Trust, he volunteers with the Waterways Recovery Group in his spare time, to help restore disuses and neglected canals around the country. James has also volunteered at the Transylvania Trust in Romania, where he carried out work at the onsite project at Banffy Castle. He took part in this project to further his own experience and skills which he now shares with others, delivering training sessions around the traditional skills of mixing and working with lime mortars.

Sam Tinsdeall

Sam joined the Direct Labour Team a Clumber Park in 2012 as an apprentice joiner and upon completion of this apprenticeship has obtained a full time position and is a valued member of the team. He has completed a number of joinery courses, including in Bench Joinery and Heritage Skills Construction. Sam uses traditional joinery techniques and detailing to create a range of fixtures and fittings which are in keeping with the building he’s working on, but that are made to the current standards.

Sam has played an important role in a number of large conservation projects, including the restoration of the Long Range Glasshouse at Clumber Park, a Grade II listed structure which had originally been constructed in 1910. Sam also exceeded in winning a place at the Workshop for the Young Crafters from Europe in 2015, travelling to Norway to meet other young crafters like himself and also participate in an intensive 7 day workshop which focused on the traditional crafts and building techniques of Norway.