Alston Moor Partnership

Townscape Heritage SchemeEvents & Training

Community Involvement

Activities, events and skills training

Here you can get some idea of the ways the Townscape Heritage project benefitted the wider community. From builders and other contractors through to local children, everyone gained knowledge, experience or just plain fun from the various things that happened beyond the properties themselves.

The Scottish Lime Centre provided in-depth training for our local contractors, who participated in the town centre project work and went on to undertake more such work with their high-level skills in conservation masonry. A maintenance calendar and the potential use of a thermal imaging camera meant that local house owners are able to ensure that their historic properties are as warm, dry and comfortable as possible. Our local expert stonewaller got others started on the real skills of good – and decorative – dry stone walling.

From Halloween walks and window dressing to the unveiling of a massive teapot, an exhibition of videos, there really was something for everyone

The Events

31 October 2015 Halloween Craft & Walk (50 attendees)
Lantern- and mask-making workshop, followed by a fancy dress and lantern-carrying walk with stories of local legends and mysterious happenings


31 October 2016 Halloween Shop Window Decoration competition


4 November 2016 Heritage Week Open Forge (7 attendees)
Open day with a traditional blacksmith specialising in wrought ironwork and hand-crafted architectural metalwork


4 November 2016 Ryder House Teapot Unveiling (40 attendees)
The huge teapot which had hung outside Ryder House was replaced with a new one made by the same craft pottery as the original.


April 2017 Ryder House Video Launch
Short film about the repairs and traditional skills that contributed to the work at Ryder House, the first property in the scheme. Available to watch below Video by Simon Danby


Summer 2017 Shops Past and Present (22 shops)
Exhibition of historic photographs and information about the former businesses and owners of 22 shops in Alston town centre


August 2018 Clock Shop Video Launch
Short film about the history and proposed work on the former Clock Shop. Available to watch below. Video by Simon Danby


Summer 2020 Heritage Trail Leaflet
Distributed to local businesses, hotels and pubs. The Covid-19 restrictions meant that a planned guided walk to launch the leaflet could not go ahead. The leaflet can be seen here


Summer 2020 Maintenance Calendar
A month-by-month guide to looking after your home was distributed to all properties in Alston. It can be seen here.


23 November 2021 Maintenance Calendar Launch
Having been delayed because of Covid-19 restrictions, the calendar was launched at Alston Town Hall


November-December 2021 Plaques installed
Plaques were fixed to all thirteen of the properties that had been improved through the scheme


Videos by Simon Danby

Training Courses & Talks

25 February 2016 Contractor Opportunities (12 participants)
Drop-in event for local contractors to find out about property works and skills training


23 March 2016 Maintenance and Energy Seminar (31 participants)


31 October & 1 November 2016 Making and Using Lime Mortar (12 participants)
Accredited Level 1 course, making and using traditional mortars, delivered by The Scottish Lime Centre


2 November 2016 Best Practice and Understand JCT Contracts (0 participants)
No local contractors wished to engage in formal tendering processes


3 November 2016 Open Site Visit, Stokoe House (3 participants)
Local contractor showed people around the work, on scaffolding and inside the building


16 March 2017 Damp in Traditional Buildings (60 participants)
Informative talk, followed by questions and answers, with local conservation architect Peter Kempsey and Roger Curtis from Historic Scotland


28 April 2017 Lime Renders for Insulation and Breathability (40 participants)
Information and practical demonstrations of working with lime


19-20 and 21-22 September 2017 Dry Stone Walling Course (11 participants)
Two chances to attend a two-day beginners’ course, led by local master craftsman, Laurie Lambeth of Lambeth Stonework, a qualified instructor with the Dry Stone Walling Association


20-24 November 2017 Conservation Masonry Skills (12 participants)
A five-day course delivered by The Scottish Lime Centre Trust, leading to a Level 3 SQA National Unit in Conservation Masonry, covering complex repairs and conservation work, using lime mortars


February-March 2020 Thermal Imaging Camera
Two directors of the Alston Moor Partnership were trained to use the camera for future assistance to local residents wanting to improve the thermal efficiency of their properties


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Alston Moor Partnership - Townscape Heritage Initiative - Events and Activities