One of the most encouraging developments in 2015 was the increased collaboration between the Building Limes Forum and other organisations, including the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Historic England/English Heritage, Historic Scotland, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, and the University of Bath.
The main practical activity of the BLF in 2015 has been in relation to hot-mixed mortars – a further reassessment of methods used by our ancestors. Following on from the two hot-mixed mortars events in Scotland in 2014, the BLF in 2015 held seminars and demonstrations on hot-mixed mortars in York, Dartmoor and Canterbury.
There was also a lime masonry day held at the Princess Helena College, near Hitchin. These four events were attended by about 300 people. The annual Conference and Gathering, attended by over 120 delegates, was held at Clare College, Cambridge.
BLF members were involved in the Irish-led Hot Lime Mortars Project; funded by government and commerce, this has looked at the current state of knowledge about hot-mixed mortars and has proposed topics for future research.
Research has also continued at Bath University, with a project on hydraulic limes supported by Historic England and the BLF. The BLF contributed to the SPAB Briefing on Lime and Historic Scotland’s INFORM guide on Hot-Mixed Lime Mortars; both carried the BLF logo, with BLF involvement in the content, the writing, and the review.
The Building Limes Forum will hold further events featuring hot-mixed lime mortars in 2016. The BLF will also collaborate with other organisations for joint events. The Conference and Gathering in 2016 will be held in the Liverpool Medical Institution with the theme of Lime and Aggregates.
Members of the Building Limes Forum form a community of lime enthusiasts and practitioners, most of whom are producers, suppliers, specifiers or users of lime.