2019 Conference, Stirling

The 2019 Conference and Gathering was held from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September at the Historic Environment Scotland Conservation Centre at The Engine Shed, Stirling, Scotland. The BLF is most grateful to HES for its support of this event.  A highlight was dinner in the Great Hall of Stirling Castle where the Baker Memorial Lecture was presented by Tim Meek.  The conference themes were Lime Finishes and Lime in Extreme Climates with papers on these topics interspersed with contributions from members. The papers in the full programme were:

Friday 20 September:

  • David Mitchell, Historic Environment Scotland, welcoming address
  • Mark Thacker, University of Stirling: mortar archaeology & historic landscapes
  • Tom Addyman, Addyman Archaeology: historic historic lime harl, render & plaster in Scotland
  • Tim Meek, University of Stirling: integration of mortars and the implications for robustness and longevity in an exposed environment
  • David Wiggins, Curtins: functional performance of lime harling
  • Steven Harper & Andrew Allan, Harper & Allan Masonry: lime harling case studies
  • Richard Fraser, Limerich: best practice for maintenance of limewash
  • William Napier, Adams Napier Partnership, Callum Graham, HES, Steven Blench, Chalk Plaster Design: traditional plasterwork research in Scotland
  • Rory Young: building a boundary wall

Saturday 21 September:

  • Roz Artis, Scottish Lime Centre: celebrating 25 years of the Scottish Lime Centre Trust
  • Roger Curtis, Historic Environment Scotland: lime in a changing climate
  • Andrew Bradley, stonemason: lime vs. severe wind-driven rain at Duart Castle, Isle of Mull
  • Kinlay Laidlaw, Laidlaw Associates: micro-grouting to resolve water ingress at Burns Monument, Alloway
  • Duncan Strachan, stonemason: conservation of ruins in extreme climates
  • Martin Hadlington, conservation architect: 25 years of adventure – learning from exposed buildings on the West coast of Scotland
  • Philip Scorer, Vitruvius Conservation: rope access building conservation and the challenges of using lime mortars
  • Lucie Fusade, University of Oxford: drying response of lime-mortar joints in granite masonry
  • Nicola Ashurst, Adriel Consultancy: lime projects in Australia
  • Steve Waite: Waite International Conservation Architects: lime projects in Cuba & Hawaii
  • Chris Pennock, Nidaros Cathedral: lime projects in Norway

Sunday 22 September:

  • Roger Curtis, Historic Environment Scotland: project/research update
  • Alison Henry, Historic England: project/research update and Corfe Castle wallhead trials
  • Keith Blades, Consultant, Onatrio: the challenges of the ‘like for like’ approach: from hot limes to early Portland cements
  • Cecilia Pesce, Northumbria University: investigation on the effects of steam slaking on the characteristics of Portlandite crystals in hot-mixed mortars
  • Nigel Copsey, Earth, Stone & Lime Co: lime slaking and mortar proportions
  • William Skinner, Cliveden Conservation: structural repairs at Bradwell Abbey – earth and earth/lime mortars
    … and an innovation for 2019:
  • Question Lime: a discussion panel with members drawn from across the lime sector answering questions from the audience. Panellists: Nigel Copsey (builder and trainer, Yorkshire), Ashley Pettit (architect, Isle of Man), Roz Artis (building surveyor, Scottish Lime Centre Trust), David Wiggins (engineer, Curtins, Cumbria) and Laurent Tedeschi (lime supplier, St Astier, France). Chaired by Will Napier PhD (building surveyor, Adams Napier Partnership, Peebles).

Friday afternoon saw activities at Doune Castle and Charlestown.  Two small-scale kilns had been built at Doune and one at the Scottish Lime Centre at Charlestown. There were wall-head and scaffolding tours at Doune and tours of the istoric planned village and limekilns at Charlestown.

On Saturday, there were visits to see the stunning interiors of Kinneil House (wall- and ceiling-paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries), Bannockburn House (a 17th century mansion house with sumptuous plaster ceilings), and to Dunblane to see its medieval cathedral with stunning 20th century stained glass and the historic Leighton Library.

The gathering ended on Sunday afternoon with guided tours of Stirling Town and Stirling Castle.

The Gathering was supported by Historic Environment Scotland with receptions and dinners sponsored by Laing Traditional Masonry Group Limited, VICAT, Edinburgh Stonemasons ltd, Sandy McLean & Co, David Narro Associates, and Collective Architecture.

Historic Environment Scotland

Support from Historic Enviornment Scotland enabled the BLF to award 35 bursaries, the largest number ever supported.  This support allowed 180 delegates to attend the Conference and Gathering, the greatest number yet.

Next Conference

4-6 September 2020, Exeter. Looking Back, Looking Forward: learning from the past to inform the future. Booking will open in the spring.

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The theme for this year’s annual conference at Stirling was Lime Finishes and Lime in Extreme Climates.

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