BILSTHORPE firm Robert Woodhead Ltd played a major role in this year’s 1000 Years of Traditional Crafts Festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.
The event also gave the public the first chance to visit the city’s new Heritage Skills Centre built by Robert Woodhead.
The centre was officially handed over on Thursday 4th October and a formal opening will take place in February.
The first new building inside the castle for over 100 years, the £1.5m centre will provide training workshops for recruits to learn traditional crafts such as stone masonry and lead work, as well as being a new visitor attraction for Lincoln Castle and Lincoln.
At the festival, Robert Woodhead also provided stone and lead work demonstrations, plus films showing how the Heritage Skills Centre itself was built.
During the weekend event, there were numerous enquiries about the types of courses available at the Heritage Skills Centre. Centre manager, Claire Butler said: “I was really enthused by the level of interest from such a wide range of ages. Having seen the working displays of craftspeople in the castle grounds, visitors were keen to know the list of courses available and when and how to enrol.
“Main areas of interest were stone masonry, stained glass and lead work. There were also numerous requests from owners of period houses wanting to learn restoration skills and traditional upholstery for the hobbyists.’’
Robert Woodhead also took members of the public on a guided tour of the castle walls, currently being conserved by Robert Woodhead’s specialist Heritage division, Woodhead Heritage.
The walkers were taken up scaffolding by head mason on the Castle Walls project, Heath Shakespeare, and heritage manager Simon Butler, to see what is involved in the restoration.
Mr Butler said: “Events like this are so important to highlight the need to retain traditional skills and conservation practises to preserve the past for future generations.”
Jessica Marshall, from Lincolnshire County Council which organised the event, added: “Feedback from both the demonstrators and members of the public has been brilliant with many comments about how interesting and interactive the event was. Children seemed to enjoy all the activities.”
For more information on the company’s work, go to www.robert-woodhead.co.uk
For further information on courses available, follow the centre on facebook.com/HeritageSkillsCentreLincoln or twitter.com/HSCClaire or contact HeritageSkillsCentre@lincolnshire.gov.uk