2015 Scholars and Fellows


Niall Bird

Scholars 2015_Niall Bird1During his postgraduate studies, Niall received the SPAB’s Philip Webb architectural award in 2009 and 2010 with regenerative designs for Hilsea Lido and Burslesdon Brickworks; both Hampshire-based projects. In order to gain a more conservation focused experience of architectural practice he moved to Ptolemy Dean Architects in early 2014. There he has been involved with a range of diverse and interesting projects; including various new work and conservation projects at Westminster Abbey. In his spare time, Niall has previously been involved with the Woodchester Mansion Trust in Gloucestershire and is currently a committee member and trustee of the Construction History Society. During the Scholarship programme Niall hopes to learn how to repair and maintain historic buildings in a sustainable way.

David Burdon

Scholars 2015_David Burdon1Growing up in Sydney, David wanted to be an architect after first seeing the city’s famous Opera House. A keen student of city growth, he developed an appreciation for Sydney’s historic sandstone buildings; his university thesis focussed on the introduction of the Victorian shopping arcades and their consequent influence on future planning. After working in a small conservation architect’s practice, David was employed by the Heritage Group of the New South Wales (NSW) Government Architect’s Office where he worked on a number of significant historic public buildings, often in close collaboration with the government’s own stonemasons. A registered Architect, David is a member of the NSW RAIA Heritage Committee and is current chairman of the NSW National Trust Built Heritage Conservation Committee. A keen traveller, David has studied in Denmark and visited nearly thirty countries. He feels quite at home in the UK where three of his grandparents and his mother were born.

Joanna Daykin

Scholars 2015_Joanna Daykin1Joanna likes sketching, photography, music and sport; she plays the flute and piano and enjoys dancing, ski-ing and hill walking.  She has travelled through Namibia with a friend and walked the Cotswold Way; sketching as she went. At her interview Joanna presented pictures of an installation for the Chelsea Flower Show where she was involved in using fabric-formed concrete, cast in vertical tubes to interesting effect. She has taken part in a variety of craft training days; slating, lime pointing and plastering and she has attended the SPAB’s Repair Course. Joanna’s appreciation for both historic and new works developed while studying conservation in Rome one summer. This experience impressed on her how good new design has a role to play in repair and conservation. She has worked on a variety of conservation projects particularly enjoying maintaining rural churches in Cumbria and thinking about their future use as congregations decrease.

Oliver Wilson

Scholars 2015_Oliver Wilson1A native of Donegal, Oliver’s interest in historic building springs from an early exposure to rural crafts in his local area; he was involved with craft groups and farming. Studying architecture has developed his interests in drawing, painting, making and sculpture. He has worked in Borneo, where he enjoyed an insight into indigenous crafts and culture, the experience invigorated his interest in vernacular buildings, particularly the rural cottages of his home town. Working with Dedalus has given Oliver the opportunity to work on a wide range of conservation projects at country houses, churches, medieval castles and vernacular buildings around the north west of Ireland. Drawn to ruins and keenly aware of the presiding attitude to redundant buildings where he lives, he is determined to use the experience gained on the Scholarship to bring the message of conservative repair home.


Joe Coombes-Jackman

Fellows 2015_Joe Coombes-Jackman1Introduced to blacksmithing by a family friend, Joe took to it straight away. Choosing to spend as much time as possible at the forge during his course at Hereford, he describes himself as obsessed with blacksmithing. He has worked with Brian Hall since completing his studies in July 2014. Taken on to work on a 19th century wrought iron railings project, Joe practiced on off-cuts, trying to match the quality of the original work. He has since helped on the repair of six cannons and their carriages dating from the battle of Waterloo. Taking his inspiration from Tijou, the Davies Bros. and Samuel Yellin, he has an appreciation for well forged traditional joinery. He hopes to gain a better understanding of associated crafts during the Fellowship whilst also promoting his own.

Ben Hornberger

Fellows 2015_Ben Hornberger2Ben’s first taste of carpentry came as a child, from working in balsa wood with his granddad, a cabinet maker and carpenter. After an early career in mostly new-build carpentry projects he eventually realised his preference for working in conservative repair. Since 2010 Ben has worked for Treasure and Son on the roof repairs at Hagley Hall, Worcestershire, amongst other projects. He is now self-employed. Ben is a dedicated volunteer with the SPAB’s Maintenance Co-operative Project team in Worcestershire, a project that aims to support and educate those that look after places of worship. He spoke at the Heritage Lottery Funded project’s first conference last year. Ben has encouraged participation from the Traditional Building Skills Bursary apprentices and led a group at the SPAB 2014 Working Party in carrying out repairs to the threshing floor. His contribution was invaluable and he enjoyed passing on his knowledge to others.

Emma Teale

Fellows 2015_Emma Teale1Emma began voluntary work in collections conservation with the National Trust and at Hampton Court Palace. She then worked at Oxburgh Hall as an assistant house steward for three years. Joining the conservation department at Rattee & Kett as a trainee she worked with senior conservators and went on a number of courses to improve her skills. Emma then went on to spend nine years at Skillington Workshop Ltd where she continued to develop in her field. She has experience in Doff, Torc and laser stone cleaning techniques, as well as stone and monument conservation, plaster conservation and decorative arts work. Emma has most recently worked on the 19th century mosaics at St George’s Church, Woolwich. She is keen to explore the architects’ side of the industry and also hopes to learn more about brickwork, metalwork and glazing. Emma is currently renovating a narrowboat with her partner.