News article created on 26 September 2018

Young apprentices nominated for top award

Two of our apprentices from Wales have been nominated for a major award recognising their work to repair the two-centuries old Brynich Aqueduct on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

Rachael Cochrane and Liam Davies were shortlisted in the Apprentice or Craftsperson category of the Heritage Angel Awards Wales. Sponsored by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the awards celebrate the work of volunteers, trainees, apprentices, young people, and heritage professionals in repairing or rescuing historic buildings or making new discoveries.

Rachael and Liam worked alongside Glandŵr Cymru engineers and heritage experts to repair the Aqueduct, which had been in danger of collapsing onto the towpath. They used techniques replicating those used to originally build the canal, with the project taking over five months to complete.

Brynich Aqueduct is located on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, around two miles outside Brecon. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade II* listed - a similar category to The Coal Exchange Building in Cardiff and Battersea Power Station in London - which recognises its historical and architectural significance.

The aqueduct carries the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal over the River Usk. Built in the 1790s, the canal played a vital role in Wales’ industrial history, being used throughout the nineteenth century to transport food, agricultural and industrial materials to communities between Newport and Brecon. Today the canal is one of the most popular attractions in the Brecon Beacons National Park, providing a haven for wildlife, tourism, boating, recreation and exercise, benefiting the health and wellbeing of all who use it.

Winners announced 8 November

The winners of the Heritage Angel Awards Wales will be announced at a ceremony at Caerphilly Castle on Thursday, 8 November.

Mark Abraham, Glandŵr Cymru supervisor, says: "We’re absolutely delighted that Rachael and Liam have been recognised by the Heritage Angel Awards Wales. It takes real skill to solve modern day problems with 200-year old techniques and their commitment to such an important project was truly impressive.

"The aqueduct is one of the most important heritage structures on Wales’ canals. As a charity it’s vital that we maintain and improve the waterway so people can continue to enjoy all it has to offer. It’s essential that young people are continuing this work, so that the canal can continue to benefit the community for another 200 years. I wish Rachael and Liam all the best for the awards night itself."

Commenting on the Heritage Angel Awards Wales Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "I applaud everyone who enters the Angel Awards and showcases the marvellous work they are doing to rescue and sustain our heritage”. Baroness Kay Andrews, who headed the judges panel, said: “The judges had a very difficult task picking just three in each category because of the passion, skill and commitment shown by all of the people and projects nominated for an award."

More details about the Heritage Angel Awards Wales visit https://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/heritageangelawardswales/