Calling all architects, building professionals and craftspeople

Calling all architects, building professionals and craftspeople – have you got what it takes to be a 2018 SPAB Scholar or Fellow?

“From challenging personal conservation philosophies to trying out traditional crafts under the guidance of master craftspeople, the SPAB Scholarship has exceeded all expectations.” – 2016 Scholar, Gethin Harvey (architect).

“I feel confident discussing with anyone the pros and cons of various approaches to conservation. The Fellowship hasn’t just given me the knowledge to improve, it’s given me the confidence” – 2016 Fellow, Thom Evans (stonemason).

Scholar Aoife Murphy woodworking

Aoife Murphy (2017 Scholar) woodworking

The search is on for our 2018 Scholars and Fellows. If you’re an architect, building surveyor or engineer interested in building conservation then think about applying for the SPAB Scholarship. We’re also looking for craftspeople with a passion for old buildings and conservative repair for the Fellowship programme. Applicants must have completed their apprenticeship and demonstrate a high level of competence. These programmes offer a training opportunity like no other.

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Triona Byrne (2016 Scholar) mixing lime mortars at Duart Castle

After completing the nine-month programme, previous SPAB Scholars and Fellows have gone on to become experts in their field. Both the Scholarship and Fellowship programmes give successful applicants behind-the-scenes access to some of the country’s most fascinating built heritage projects.

SPAB Scholars and Fellows at Hampton Court Palace

Scholars and Fellows (2015) on the scaffolding at Hampton Court Palace

We aim to give our Scholars and Fellows first-hand experience of conservative repair in action; they will be meeting professionals involved in the full range of building management issues, working on site and in workshops and studios throughout the UK. Scholars spend the first six months travelling from site to site together, in the last three months they study, together or apart, aspects of the nation’s country houses.

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Solid earth wall construction with 2014 Fellow Alex Gibbons

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2015 blacksmith Fellow Joe Coombes-Jackman

The Fellowship is a six month programme but is divided into three blocks of two months, enabling the Fellows to return to their employment between each block. During the first two blocks they travel as a group, making daily site visits, studying repair projects, and meeting professionals, contractors and craftspeople. The final block is devoted to the individual needs and interests of each Fellow in consultation with their employers.

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2015 Fellows with Fellowship organiser, Pip Soodeen.

The application deadline for the Scholarship and the Fellowship is Friday 1 December. For more information and an application form please visit the Scholarship and Fellowship pages on the SPAB website. The Scholarship and Fellowship programmes run from mid March until the end of the year.

To get in touch with the programme organisers email education@spab.org.uk

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Scholars on the road again

By Aoife Murphy

As our first month draws to a close we have been thinking about what has jumped out at us the most. We couldn’t actually choose though. This nonstop month has thrown so much exciting information our way.

I have particularly enjoyed trying out the trades. We have had the opportunity to try work in a forge, plaster using materials like wattle and daub, carve lime wood, carve chalk stone, hew timber and rub bricks. This has given me a new appreciation for the detail and skill involved.

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Blacksmithing with Owlsworth IJP

We’ve had a chance to visit well-known beautiful places such as Canterbury Cathedral and Hampton Court Palace. However we got a different view to most people. We got to go up on roofs, behind closed doors and into the workshops.

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Scholars and Fellows at Hampton Court Palace

Every site visit has been unique and interesting for a different reason. The smaller sites such as Brook Hall and Landguard Fort have been fascinating as the work being carried out tries to be respectful to previous reincarnations of the building.

The people we have visited every day are so passionate about their work. It’s a pleasure listening to their stories. My favourite topic is how they have fallen into conservation. Everyone has a unique path into the area. There is no direct route. You have to seek it out.

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Aoife woodworking

For the first two weeks we got to spend a lot of time with the Fellows. This is something I feel should be encouraged as much as possible. The different knowledge and points of view open great dialogue and discussion.

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Find our updates on Instagram at #spabscholar2017