The Marsh IHBC Award for Successful Learning in Heritage Skills

This Award recognises the achievements of an individual who has acquired new skills or proficiencies in traditional building activities and craft skills. The Award was presented for the first time in 2016 and was created to promote the continued learning of heritage skills and recognise those who have worked hard to continue the encouragement of learning such skills.

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation is the principal professional body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment specialists working in the UK.

Pictured: New box sash windows being fitted into the Orangery at Hanbury Hall, a project that the 2016 winner, Sam Tinsdeall worked on

The 2017 winner is James Archer

James started working at the Canal & River Trust in 2014 as a Heritage Trainee on the HLF Skills for the Future programme, and since joining the programme he has shown a genuine and keen interest to learn new skills in the canal environment, particularly using sensitive heritage techniques on timber and masonry.

While working on site, James attended the Heritage Craft Alliance each month, where he worked towards a Level 2 qualification in practical and theory works. He is now a Construction apprentice and has chosen to specialise in masonry skills, recently being heavily involved in the repair of structures such as Lock 11W on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. This complemented the work that he had previously done on other canal structures such as lime pointing and repairing patches of historic brickwork in lock chambers on the Ashton Canal.

James has a great passion for the waterways and their special heritage environment. In addition to the work he does at the Canal & River Trust, he volunteers with the Waterways Recovery Group in his spare time, to help restore disuses and neglected canals around the country. James has also volunteered at the Transylvania Trust in Romania, where he carried out work at the onsite project at Banffy Castle. He took part in this project to further his own experience and skills which he now shares with others, delivering training sessions around the traditional skills of mixing and working with lime mortars.

Pictured: James receiving his Award from Charles Micklewright, MCT Trustee


3 Stafford Rd
Tunbridge Wells



Previous Winners:

2016 Sam Tinsdeall