Contribution of volunteers recognised at Scottish Heritage Angel Awards
Second annual awards sees brick collector, television channel run by young people, and famous memorial restoration project scoop prizes
A project to collect and record bricks, the restoration of a WWI memorial in Orkney, and a television channel run by young people to highlight an archaeological dig, were amongst the winners revealed at the second annual Scottish Heritage Angels Awards, held in Edinburgh tonight (Tuesday 18 October).
Funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Angel Awards culminated in winners being named across five categories at a ceremony hosted by author and broadcaster, Vanessa Collingridge. The evening and awards programme was a celebration of the efforts of remarkable volunteers, or ‘Angels’ who give up their time to help better understand, appreciate, protect and celebrate Scotland’s heritage and history.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose charity, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, established the awards, said: “The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards highlight what can be achieved when local people get involved in rescuing and restoring heritage throughout Scotland – from Dumfries to Orkney to Bo’ness.
Huge congratulations to the winners, and indeed to all who were shortlisted, not only for the work they do but for being outstanding ambassadors for heritage.
"I urge everyone to use the light we shine on these projects and their unsung heroes to unlock further funding and to inspire others to get involved.”
Among the award recipients were Mark Cranston from Jedburgh, who was named as winner of the Investigating and Recording category.
Four years ago, Mr Cranston embarked on a remarkable project to research and record as much information on the Scottish industrial brick industry as possible – significantly adding to the current level of information available on the subject. Over those years Mark has travelled the country, collecting more than 2000 bricks in the process, each one of which tells its own story of an industry which was once thriving, and a fundamental part of Scottish industry as a whole.
The Caring and Protecting category was won by Neil Kermode and the Orkney Heritage Society, for their work to restore the HMS Hampshire, or ‘Kitchener’ memorial on Orkney. The memorial is dedicated to more than 737 men who lost their lives on 5 June 1916 when the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hampshire struck a German mine just 1.5 miles off the shore from Orkney. Amongst the casualties were Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, who is perhaps most famous now as the face of the ‘Your Country Needs You’ recruitment posters.
The group worked tirelessly to restore the memorial to its original condition in time for the centenary commemorations, as well as to better remember all those who lost their lives – not just Lord Kitchener – with the installation of a wall with the names of all the casualties of the tragedy. The research carried out by the group increased the previous total figure for the number of victims considerably.
The Friends of Kinneil scooped the award for best project in the Sharing and Celebrating category, in recognition of the outstanding work they do in championing the heritage of Kinneil House, museum, estate and nature reserve in Bo’ness.
2016 is the charity’s 10th anniversary, as well as the 250th anniversary of James Watt’s invention of the condensing steam engine. Much of the formative work to create that invention was carried out at the house and the group have led on the Scottish commemorations as well as delivering a number of local events, including the Big Roman Week.
In a very competitive section, the Young Heritage Angel Award was won by the ‘Dig TV’ young volunteer group, who designed and operated television content, focusing on a major archaeological excavation in the Black Loch of Myrton, near Whithorn.
The young volunteers created engaging content, carrying out all the filming, directing, interviewing and editing to enable nightly bulletins to be broadcast, which presented archaeological findings almost as they happened, engaging with an entirely new audience in the process.
The Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment award was presented to Brian Watters for his work relating to the Carron Iron Works in Falkirk, by Historic Environment Scotland Chief Executive Alex Paterson. The award was recognition for Brian’s work which he has been researching for more than 30 years. During those years he has devoted much of his spare time to undertaking hours of research; delivering countless talks and presentations with local schools, community groups, and historical societies; published two books on the subject; and done much to advance the local, national, and worldwide knowledge on the iron works and its related industrial history.
Commenting on the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The awards provide a platform to celebrate those selfless individuals around the country who devote their time and energy to a cause bigger than themselves – to the benefit of their communities and further afield. Often with little or no recognition or thanks.
It is equally important that we recognise the contribution of every person who has given up their time for no pay, in order to help, in some small way, all of us to better understand, protect, and value our heritage. I hope that their dedication inspires many others to get involved as well.”
The winners of this year’s Angel Awards were decided by a judging panel consisting of Professor John Hume (OBE), conservation architect Andrew Wright (OBE), Georgia Vullinghs, of the Scotland’s Urban Past Youth Forum, Colin McLean, Chair of the Scottish Civic Trust, and Vanessa Collingridge.
The awards are delivered in partnership between the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Scottish Civic Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Archaeology Scotland and the Scottish Government. The Scottish Civic Trust is the main delivery partner.
John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, added:
The Angel Awards are proof of the amazing work done by thousands of heritage volunteers across Scotland. Their achievements are of great benefit, in economic, social and cultural terms, to Scotland’s historic environment.
"The awards are an opportunity to highlight their efforts and acknowledge their commitment, passion and enthusiasm. We are very grateful to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation for their support for these unique awards.”
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland said: “Last night’s awards are a great way of recognising the contribution of these fantastic volunteers to Scotland’s heritage sector, but it represents only a small cross-section of the work that is taking place in communities across the country to celebrate, share and enhance that sector on a daily basis.
As much as tonight is about taking a moment to celebrate and applaud all of the nominees – not just the winners - for their outstanding efforts, I hope that the wider impact of the awards will be to highlight the many benefits of voluntary work, and inspire others to get involved.”
Recognising the positive impact that volunteers have on Scotland’s heritage, the awards align with the key underlying principles of Our Place in Time, the first historic environment strategy for Scotland, which places a strong focus on supporting and enabling participation across the historic environment.
Category A, Investigating and Recording: Mark Cranston
Category B, Caring and Protecting: Orkney Heritage Society Kitchener Memorial Working Group
Category C, Sharing and Celebrating: The Friends of Kinneil
Category D, Young Heritage Angel Award: Dig TV
Category E, Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment: Brian Watters
Full shortlist for the 2016 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards
Investigating and Recording:
Baberton Mains History Group for their social history and heritage project exploring the 1970s Wimpey Baberton Mains housing estate development, Edinburgh
Castlemilk Park’s Local History Group for the How Old are Yew? Project, looking into the history of the now demolished Castlemilk House and its grounds, Glasgow
Mark Cranston for his work focussing on a unique part of Scotland’s industrial heritage in recording Scottish brick makers and brick markings, Scottish Borders
Caring and Protecting:
Jess Smith for her work to ensure the safeguarding of Tinker’s Heart and celebrating Scotland’s traveller community and their culture, Perthshire – with the project being undertaken in Argyll and Bute
Volunteers at Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works for their efforts towards the £2.9million High Mill Open Gallery Project which brought a derelict building back into community use as well as the conservation and display of previously unseen objects from the museum’s collection, Dundee
Neil Kermode and the Orkney Heritage Society Kitchener Memorial Working Group for the centenary year restoration of The Kitchener Memorial to better remember all those who lost their lives on HMS Hampshire on 5th June 1916, Orkney
Sharing and Celebrating:
The Dig It! TV Team for their volunteer-led YouTube channel which aims to engage people with Scotland’s history in a new and exciting way and encourage them to discover their own local history and heritage for themselves, Edinburgh and throughout the country
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust for the restoration and bringing back in to community use the Victorian-built Burgh Halls as well as the safeguarding of an important collection of objects, Glasgow
The Friends of Kinneil for their on-going dedication in promoting the rich history and heritage of Kinneil House, its Museum, Estate and Nature Reserve, Bo’ness
Young Heritage Angel Award:
The DigTV Young Volunteer Group for their work with the Whithorn Trust to engage people with archaeology and history through film and digital media, Dumfries and Galloway
Dunfermline Young Archaeologists’ Club for the recording of graves and monuments as part of the Dunfermline Abbey Graveyard Project led by Dunfermline Heritage Community Projects, Fife
Junior Park Rangers for their work in Holyrood Park contributing towards looking after the royal Park’s heritage and raising awareness of a safer countryside for all, Edinburgh
Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment:
The overall winner of this category will be announced at the awards ceremony in October.
About the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards
The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards are supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. The initiative is a partnership between the Foundation, Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Civic Trust, and Archaeology Scotland.
The awards programme supports the delivery of Scotland’s Historic Environment Strategy, Our Place in Time, with its strong emphasis on community participation in heritage.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation was set up by Andrew in 1992 to promote the arts, culture and heritage for the public benefit; since inception Andrew has been the principal provider of funding for all its charitable activities.
In 2010, the Foundation embarked on an active grant giving programme and has now awarded grants of more than £13.6m to support high quality training and personal development as well as other projects that make a real difference to enrich the quality of life both for individuals and within local communities. Significant grants include £3.5m to Arts Educational Schools, London to create a state of the art professional theatre, £2.4m to The Music in Secondary Schools Trust £1m to The Architectural Heritage Fund, $1.3m to the American Theatre Wing and over £350,000 annually to fund 30 performing arts scholarships for talented students in financial need.
In 2015, the Foundation awarded over £1.5million in 46 new grants to organisations, made 17 grants totalling £860k to projects in their second and third year of funding and provided 30 musical theatre scholarships worth over £300k to young performers on the brink of their careers. The grants focus on the enhancement of arts education and participation, improving access to the arts for all, and increasing diversity across the arts, culture and heritage sector.
We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
2016 is the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design (IAD). Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland's position as an "innovation nation", its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and supported by a variety of partners.