What’s it like to be: Building Conservation Trainee – Richard Toogood

Building Conservation Trainee, Richard Toogood, reflects on his time working at the Museum. Richards’s 6-month placement, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, runs from January 2016 – July 2016.

“I had wanted to be involved with the Museum since I visited when I was 17 – to become more involved with traditional crafts and working with historic buildings. When the traineeship came up, I embraced the opportunity to take up skills in the field of building conservation and traditional building crafts. Also, there was the invaluable opportunity to work with and learn from the highly skilled Joe Thompson, who is Carpenter in Residence at the Museum.

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I had previously trained in various rural crafts and was a self-employed traditional woodworker. I have been involved with a few small construction projects on old buildings and new natural builds in the past. What I lacked was an understanding of conservation theory and the complications of working with old buildings. This traineeship has enabled me to establish an understanding of best practice and gain more experience alongside skilled people. It has also given me the opportunity to develop my understanding of and confidence with conservation.

The most enjoyable part of my traineeship has been being immersed in a place so dedicated and involved with traditional crafts and historic buildings, whilst learning from Joe and other skilled teachers.

Conversely, the most challenging aspect of my traineeship has been the vastness of the subject of conservation; there is a huge amount of knowledge, judgement and experience required to establish professional confidence.

I will definitely take my new-found knowledge away with me and apply it to my next traineeship, which this placement has helped me to gain.”

The Museum team would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting the role of Building Conservation Trainee for six months, and also Richard for his hard work. We wish him the best of luck with his next traineeship.

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