In the year under review, The Building Limes Forum continued to promote the use of lime in building through events, publications and research, albeit without gatherings or face-to-face meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of people coming together, as much as possible of the BLF activity was moved on-line.
The three-day event planned for the Isle of Man in May and the 2020 Conference and Gathering scheduled for Exeter in September were cancelled. The loss of face-to-face events was deeply felt; the online delivery of the Baker Memorial Lecture by David Wiggins provided some consolation in a bleak year.
Despite lockdown, the BLF was able to continue to spread the lime message through the annual Journal of The Building Limes Forum and four quarterly newsletters for members. The Building Limes Forum website informs the public at large about lime and provides links to other sources of information.
Remote working has – paradoxically – brought the lime community closer. Committee meetings held on-line could include Australian and American members and representation from Ireland no longer involved carbon-emitting flights across the Irish Sea. Familiarity with platforms such as Zoom made on-line meetings of the various sub-committees easier, and more productive than email exchanges. International communication should become more frequent and more fruitful.
Spreading the word about lime has continued with the lime message and knowledge of the BLF disseminated through the use of social media (especially FaceBook and Twitter) and providing articles written by BLF members in the publications of other organisations and specialist-interest and trade magazines.
None of these activities could take place without the dedication of individual members who give their time to organise events, gather material for publications, or contribute as participant.
Plans for 2021 and Beyond
The coordinators of the Conference and Gathering are looking at ways of streaming talks, Q&A sessions, demonstrations and site visits. It is hoped that members will be able to gather locally to watch the live-streaming as a group and indulge in some socialising. With travel and gathering limited, the publications, website and teh use of social media will come to the fore.
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.