Carrying on tradition: Kevin Forster, of Mason & Forster Stonemasonry shows East Durham College Painting & Decorating student Neil Foster the ropes

Construction Students Learn Old School Techniques

Thu, 2002-06-20 01:00

Students on a range of construction courses at East Durham College spent last week learning about traditional building skills.

Arranged by the North of England Civic Trust, as part of their Heritage Skills Initiative, the students spent time at the College’s Houghall Farm looking at a number of different traditional construction skills.

The students were shown how to survey the buildings around the farm and decide on correct methods of traditional restoration, before working with a number of professionals to use different techniques to fix the different maintenance problems identified.

The skills the students worked on included traditional woodworking, dry stone walling, leadwork, lime pointing and stonemasonry.

Dominic Hunt, construction lecturer at East Durham College, thanked the Heritage Skills Initiative team for putting together the week long programme of workshops and believes it was great to show the students these traditional and important techniques.

Dominic said: “It really was a fantastic week for the students, they all enjoyed their time learning about these traditional construction techniques. 

“It’s important to keep these specialist skills alive and this is a fantastic initiative that gives people the opportunity to try them out and carry them on for future generations.”

Kevin Forster, of Mason & Forster Stonemasonry in Sunderland, was one of the training providers that delivered the workshops to the students and was really happy to have been asked to be part of this exciting programme.

Kevin commented: “This exciting initiative is fantastic for these students to come and get a go at these different traditional construction techniques.

“Things like stonemasonry clearly aren’t as popular as they used to be, but its programmes like this that can keep the trade alive by passing it on to younger people who are looking to get into areas of construction as a career.”

For more information on the Heritage Skills Initiative please contact the North of England Civic Trust or call 0191 232 9279.

And for more information on the range of construction courses that are available at East Durham College please get in touch with our Students Services team on 0191 518 8222.