Looking back over the past 12 months I realise I’ve given ten external talks about the Trust’s work of managing and conserving waterways heritage.
I started last April with the Northern Canals Association meeting on the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals, which was very interesting. Then in May I gave a talk at the Louth Navigation Trust’s AGM. I followed this with the North Walsham & Dilham Canal Trust (Norfolk’s only canal) in July. In August I took a break while we made a short film about our heritage team and volunteers before going in October to the IHBC’s London conference on Heritage at Risk, where I talked about how the North Warehouse in Sharpness was rescued through repair.
This was followed the same month by another talk at the well-attended Wilts & Berks Canal Trust AGM (which included a fascinating tour of restoration sites). Then in January – March came three HELM (Historic Environment Local Management) events, in Stratford on Avon, Manchester and Brighton. Here, alongside colleagues from English Heritage, I presented the Trust’s ideas for developing a National Listed Building Consent Order. It’s a bit ‘technical’, but will help us a great deal if it comes about (it has to be debated by both Houses of Parliament first). Finally, just recently, I spoke to the Basingstoke Canal Society in Chobham and the Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society in Derby.
So where am I going next? Well there’s the Wey & Arun Canal Trust and the River Gipping Trust in June, the AWCC Rally in July, the Staffs & Worcester Canal Society in September… not to mention another five or six HELM events.
It’s all worth doing and it gets the message across. The message that the Trust, along with a lot of other people up and down the country, cares passionately about the waterways and is keen to work with others at keeping them as living, working heritage that will continue to transform places and enrich the lives of generations far into the future.
As national heritage manager, Nigel’s role is to lead the Canal & River Trust’s team of regional heritage advisers in England and Wales. He has over 25 years’ experience of working in the conservation, archaeology and interpretation of historic buildings and places. He is a member of the editorial board of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. He has written numerous articles concerning heritage conservation and is the author of several longer published works, including the English Heritage Book of Canals.See more blogs from this author