Historic England Angel
Awards 2016 Short List Announced
A group of young "Heritage
Hunters" are encouraging their community to celebrate local heritage.
The short list of 20 heritage groups and projects in 2016 have now been chosen
to go forward to the finals of the:- 'Historic England Angel Awards'
that are to be held in London, on Monday, 31 October 2016.
Founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber and supported by his Foundation, the Historic
England Angel Awards celebrate the efforts of individuals and local groups all
over the country who put hours of hard work and enthusiasm into saving derelict
or damaged historic landmarks and bringing them back to life. We are told
that in 2016 the group have expanded the award categories to recognise the
inspirational young people who are helping to protect, save and share their
local historic places.
Other new categories celebrate...
► The 'Best Community Action Project'.
► The 'Best Research Project'.
► The 'Best Rescue of a Heritage Site'
► The 'Outstanding Contribution to
The award will go to an individual or group who has worked tirelessly to
save and share a part of our heritage.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said:- "The Angel Awards celebrate once again the
unsung heroes of heritage. I am passionate that our heritage is protected,
valued and enjoyed by all. I am particularly thrilled that this year we
recognise the increasing role of young people in preserving our heritage. In a
year when Westminster has been put on the World Heritage register as a site at
risk, it is exciting that this year's shortlist proves that people of all ages
are dedicated to preserving our heritage and doing so in ever more inventive
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:- "This year's
shortlist shows that heritage angels come in many guises and all are dedicated
to saving and sharing our spectacular historic environment. The impressive young
people among those we are celebrating this year show that our historic places
speak to all generations and that anyone can get involved in protecting and
championing our heritage."
Groups from all the shortlisted entries have been invited to attend the Historic
England Angels Awards ceremony at the Palace Theatre in London's West End which
the judges:- George Clarke, Emma Bridgewater, historian Bettany Hughes and the
Dean of Westminster, John Hall will also be attending.
Historic England are now inviting members of the public to vote for their
The Shortlist is as follows...
Best Contribution by a Young Person
► William Fakes, Leeds,
West Yorkshire: William is an amazing 13 year old pupil at Royds School in Leeds
who has helped found the Leeds branch of the Young Archaeologists' Club. He is a
passionate and enthusiastic member of the group who goes out of his way to
encourage and support newer members of the Club, helping them learn about the
subject he has become so excited about. Through his love of archaeology, William
has gained the confidence to overcome bullying at school and in the club has
found a place where he belongs.
► Josh Aitken Dunkeld, Isle of Wight, South East
- Josh 1st joined the Friends of Frank James; a group dedicated to saving a
derelict Grade II listed hospital- when he was just 16 years old. He quickly
became a key member of the group, taking responsibility for digital championing
of the site. He led the way in highlighting the plight of the building to the
public and telling the sad story of Frank James by setting up the website,
creating beautiful YouTube videos and running its social media presence. Without
these vital communication channels the group would not have been able to gain
support locally or reach out to grant giving bodies.
► Heritage Hunters, Auckland Castle, North East
- The Heritage Hunters are a 12 strong group of young people from County Durham,
aged 9 to 25, from a variety of backgrounds and learning abilities, who aimed to
find ways of encouraging other young people and families to visit Auckland
Castle, hear its stories and see it as an asset to their community. They all
knew of Auckland Castle but most had never ventured inside before they joined
the Heritage Hunters. Several of the group have disabilities so felt confident
in advising on accessibility and inclusion, whilst developing ideas for how to
make the castle accessible and exciting for all. They are funded by the Heritage
Lottery Fund and Auckland Castle Trust was so impressed by the scheme that it
has decided to continue supporting them.
► Fishponds Church of England Academy, Bristol,
South West - Year 6 of this school are a proud part of Historic England's
Heritage Schools programme and the 1st school group to successfully get their
local war memorial listed. The children worked with a local war historian to
better understand the story of their area at the time of the 1st World War. They
learned the value in protecting communities' war memorials and attended the
remembrance service on 11 November. Members of the Staple Hill Royal British
Legion told the children how much they appreciated young people from the local
community taking an interest in their contribution to the war and the memorial.
Best Community Action Project,
sponsored by The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS)
► Operation Nightingale,
Netheravon Barrows, Spitfire P9503 Crash, Wiltshire, South West - From 2011
Operation Nightingale has helped Service Personnel who have fought for the
British Armed Forces recover using archaeology. The project has worked on
archaeological sites across Britain and overseas. 3 of the soldiers involved
have now gone on to work as professional archaeologists, one has achieved a 1st
Class honours degree in archaeology from Exeter University, and many have
declared a lifelong love of archaeology as a result.
► Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust Ltd,
Somerset, South West - The Trust was formed to bring the Grade I listed Clevedon
Pier back to life, following its collapse and near demolition in the 1970's.
Over the decades the Trust has raised funds to bring, according to John
Betjeman:- "the most beautiful pier in England" back into use. In
May this year, a new visitor centre was opened marking the end of the
restoration. The Trust knew the local community was central to their efforts and
organised a community share offer. More than 1,100 shareholders signed up,
raising over £250,000.
► Richard Jefferies Museum Trust, Swindon, South
West - The Richard Jefferies Museum Trust was set up by local people to rescue a
small, under-resourced museum from the threat of being sold to developers. The
museum is brimming with history and tells the story of Victorian writer Richard
Jefferies who, in his short life, explored his passion for nature through
different literary genres. He has been called:- "the 1st and truest nature
conservationist." The Trust are all volunteers who wanted to prevent any
more of their town's heritage from disappearing. In July this year Swindon
Borough Council transferred full charge of the site over to the community. They
now run the museum as a 'cultural hub' and it attracts ten times
as many visitors from all walks of life.
► West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust, Former
Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapel, Stourbridge, West Midlands - West Midlands
Historic Buildings Trust (WMHBT) is a volunteer led building preservation trust
with a history of rescuing and re-purposing historic buildings that have fallen
into dereliction. The Trust brought the vandalised and neglected Grade II listed
former cemetery chapel in Stourbridge back to life over a period of 13 years.
Local school children helped make new stained glass windows, education resources
for schools have been set up and work experience for construction students was
carried out throughout the restoration process. Echoing the spirit of community
action that saved the building, a public competition was held for the 1st
wedding at this new venue. Thanks to donations from local wedding suppliers, the
1st couple won a free wedding package worth over £6,000.
Best Rescue of a Heritage Site
► Julie and Howard Duckworth,
Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire - Since 1983 husband and wife team Julie and
Howard Duckworth have been bringing empty properties back into use. They have
invested over £4.5 million into the regeneration of Goole, particularly on Aire
Street, which was the heart of the historic Aire and Calder Company Town. Their
first restoration in Goole, of the Station Hotel, created 38 jobs and 12
affordable, environmentally friendly apartments. They are now beginning to turn
around the fortunes of the Goole Conservation Area, currently on:-
'Historic England's At Risk Register.'
► The Arkwright Society, Building 17, Cromford
Mills, Derbyshire - Cromford Mills was purchased by the Arkwright Society, a
Building Preservation Trust, in 1979. The site is Grade I listed and has become
a key attraction of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, that is the
only 1 in the East Midlands. By 2008 the site and the Society were facing
significant problems: they were in £1.2million of debt while 50% of the site
still remained derelict and on Historic England's At Risk Register. Thankfully,
new management saved the site from foreclosure and fought to bring the disused
building back into economic use. Now several workspace office units have been
developed and managed by Cromford Creative. The site also enjoys far more
visitors and 100 volunteers carry out over £250,000 of voluntary activity every
► Suffolk Mind and the Churches Conservation
Trust for the rescue of St Mary at the Quay, Ipswich, Suffolk, East of England -
This church was rescued and transformed through a partnership between the
Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) and mental health charity Suffolk Mind.
Suffolk Mind knew the CCT were looking for ways to regenerate St Mary at the
Quay and saw the building as the answer to its plans for a wellbeing venue,
which is now known as Quay Place. The project has delivered a beautifully
repaired and adapted historic church with a modern extension for therapy
services. The church was used as a living classroom during construction,
providing work experience to local construction students who had the rare chance
to work with historic fabric. Through a diverse programme of learning and
artistic activities, the community has also created an interactive
interpretation which explores the maritime history of Ipswich and the stories of
people who once lived there.
► Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council for the
rescue of Ashton Old Baths, Greater Manchester, North West: This project has
been led by Tameside Council working in partnership with Place First Ltd. The
aims were to create a Business innovation Centre in a timber pod structure
within the restored Grade II listed Ashton Old Baths (targeting at Creative,
Digital and Media businesses) and to get the building off the Heritage at Risk
Register by conserving and restoring the building.
Outstanding Contribution, sponsored by Aon Estates
Alan and Griselda Garner, Toad Hall and the Old Medicine
House, Cheshire, North West - In 1957 Alan Garner bought the dilapidated, late
medieval timber framed Toad Hall and since then the couple have worked
tirelessly to save it from complete dereliction and the nearby Old Medicine
House from demolition. They have also researched, with others, 10,000 years of
the area's history and shared the stories with the community, especially with
young people who have been inspired to get involved in the investigation. The
couple acknowledge and celebrate the lives of the area's previous inhabitants,
urging people to see the place as a valuable resource, steeped in history and
accessible to all.
► Carlo Diponio - Construction Supervisor, at
Dudley Zoo, Tecton Buildings, at Dudley Zoo, in the Black Country, West Midlands
- Carlo is the construction supervisor, at Dudley Zoo who has made a huge
contribution to the restoration of the Tecton Buildings, at Dudley Zoological
Gardens. The Tectons were designed by Russian born architect Berthold Lubetkin
and Dudley Zoo boasts the world's largest single collection of Tecton buildings.
All 12 of them are listed and in 2009 the buildings were granted:- 'World
Monuments Fund' status, giving it the same status as Machu Picchu and
the Taj Mahal. In 2014 Heritage Lottery Funding was granted to refurbish these
amazing structures. Carlo is the Zoo's expert in the field of concrete and knows
the best techniques for restoring these buildings which were instrumental in
bringing modernist architecture to the UK.
► Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, Head Gardeners,
West Dean Gardens, Chichester, South East - Many years ago, husband and wife
team, professional gardeners Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain began restoring the
19th Century landscape of West Dean Gardens and it has become their life's work.
The pair has restored the derelict gardens back to their original glory by
working within the historic framework but adding their own contemporary
contributions and ensuring the 240 acre gardens could be easily maintained with
limited resources. The gardens today are internationally respected for both the
quality and variety of horticultural practice and historic features, attracting
around 60,000 visitors annually from all over the world. While open, a programme
of public events is held annually, including an open air community theatre and
an award-winning Chilli Fiesta, founded by Jim and Sarah in 1995, which now
attracts 25,000 visitors.
► David Lovell, Britain from Above and Enriching
the List, across England: David has made around 65,500 contributions to the
Britain from Above website, identifying a huge archive of aerial images from the
1920's onwards, including 300 images from 600 unlocated photographs. He has also
worked closely with Historic England on its new initiative:- "Enriching
the List", where the public can add their own knowledge to information
on listed places. David has contributed over 1500 images to this recent project,
and has a library of 20,000 catalogued images which he hopes to share in due
Star Carr Research Group, Star Carr Early Mesolithic Site,
near Scarborough, North Yorkshire: Star Carr has been an internationally
significant site since its first discovery in the late 1930's. The recent
excavations by the Star Carr Archaeology Group have saved its rapidly decaying
archaeological evidence and completely changed the picture of how we understand
this little known part of early British prehistory. The Project team has
collaborated with partners across Britain and Europe, focussing on how people
have adapted to and lived with climate change; something we consider a very
modern problem. The group have shared their work through academic and popular
publications, several public events across North Yorkshire, school
interpretation days and open days. The results of the archaeological work are
also being used to create a physical interpretation of the Early Mesolithic
► Pride of Place: England's LGBTQ Heritage,
across England: This project records and celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual,
trans and queer (LGBTQ) history and heritage across England. The Pride of Place
team from Leeds Beckett University has worked closely with Historic England and
LGBTQ community partners across England to ensure that LGBTQ heritage is
recognised and celebrated by all communities. An online, crowd sourced map of
LGBTQ locations across England has been created as part of this project. It has
gathered over 1600 entries, showing that LGBTQ heritage is everywhere in England
and from all time periods.
► Fylde Decorative and Fine Arts Society, Lytham
St Annes Town Art Collection stored at the Fylde Council Town Hall, Lancashire,
North West: Fylde DFAS were determined to save, share and better store their
decaying Town Hall Art Collection, one of the finest in the UK. Volunteers
learned how to research and catalogue the Collection and even learned some
museum curatorial skills to properly care for it. An online and printed
catalogue of the Collection was produced, with images and information about it
fully accessible for the 1st time. Now local people can better understand how
important a resource this is and how central it is to the town's culture and
Port Sunlight Village Trust and Wirral Borough Council, The Wirral,
North West: The Port Sunlight Village Trust (PSVT) is a registered charity which
manages the Port Sunlight Museum, all of the green spaces, around 250 houses and
8 principal buildings in the village. Their aim is to conserve and maintain the
Port Sunlight conservation area, encouraging a better understanding of its value
as a heritage site. The charity worked with Wirral Borough Council to implement
the Local Listed Building Consent Order as a positive way of conserving and
enhancing Port Sunlight. This saved diminishing resources within the local
authority and provided greater clarity to homeowners. Through their hard work
and collaborative approach they have actively addressed local conservation
issues and are a positive case study for future local groups and councils to