Traditional construction skills demonstrations at Penicuik high schools
Pupils at Beeslack and Penicuik high schools are to be given the opportunity to learn about traditional construction skills as part of the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project.
The youngsters can look forward to expert demonstrations on repairing stonework, roofing repairs and maintenance, sign writing and marbling techniques.
The tutors will come from Edinburgh College, one of the training providers appointed by the Penicuik regeneration project, with specialist equipment provided by the Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum.
Hands on experience
The demonstrations will take place on Wednesday 11 March at Beeslack High School and Thursday 12 March at Penicuik High. Pupils interested in following this up with hands on experience will be able to attend workshops at Edinburgh College over 4 days in May. At the college, they will be given health and safety training and, under the eye of the experts, will be able to have a go at stone and roofing work, using the correct equipment and materials.
Pupils who are keen to do some outdoor project work will also be able to do some on-site training in June, including repairing and repointing some of the stone boundary walls at St Mungo’s Churchyard in Penicuik. This will be organised by Craig Frew Conservation Ltd, another training provider appointed by the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project.
Midlothian Council Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Russell Imrie says that it is vital that young people gain an understanding of traditional construction methods.
“These craft skills are dying out as skilled craftsmen and women retire,” explained Councillor Imrie. “We need new custodians to take on the work to ensure that Scotland’s rich architectural heritage is conserved for future generations to enjoy. I hope that the local pupils will enjoy the experience and that some may take this on as a career opportunity.”
The Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project is a 5-year project, currently in its second year. It is funded by the National Heritage Lottery, Historic Environment Scotland, Midlothian Council and Penicuik First and supported by the Penicuik Community Development Trust, and Penicuik and District Community Council.