IHBC 2018 Yearbook

22 Y E A R B O O K 2 0 1 8 major draw for those attending the annual school and this article should enhance that interest. In his article, Andrew McClelland asks critical questions about regeneration and its desirability, from domestic gentrification to the re-imagining initiatives of ‘postindustrial’ cities. Having acted for some happy years as a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) consultant to a local authority, I can confirm that his review of that programme since its inception in 1998 asks further questions which we need to consider. The most fundamental of those, perhaps, is how diminishing resources are to be allocated between competing claims on our heritage, particularly in some deprived communities. While the THI programme is well known, I suspect that few professionals will be familiar with the Community Economic Development (CED) programme, also appraised by Andrew McClelland. Launched by the government in 2015, CED appears to have great potential, provided that it is underpinned by the public sector leadership needed to provide longterm strategic vision. Contemplating shared heritage from such strikingly different perspectives and in such diverse contexts is a reminder of the scope of the IHBC’s remit as a professional institute and of the varied nature of its membership. It reminded me, too, of the extent to which a culture of sharing permeates the institute – something which particularly struck me following my election last Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has long been a beacon of best practice, particularly through the medium of its wide-ranging and practical publications. Arising from that role is the development and establishment of the Engine Shed facility in Stirling. This is a building open to the public which offers educational and heritage experiences to tourist visitors as well as forming a workshop and test-bed for developing best practice. Creating a ‘melting pot’ by moving three professional teams (Science, Digital, and Technical Education) into the same building seems particularly innovative. Are there coffee machine interactions and exchanges of skills, ideas and enthusiasms? The Engine Shed now offers postgraduate training and I am pleased to note that the IHBC’s Areas of Competence (see page 12) form part of the programme’s foundations. As excitement begins to build ahead of this year’s annual school in Belfast, Kerrie Sweeney’s article on the city’s Titanic Quarter will be of particular interest to readers. She describes the regeneration of a 180-acre site over a ten-year period, during which it was transformed from an integral part of one of the world’s largest shipyards to a whole range of commercial, residential, educational and tourist attractions. The involvement of those who once worked in the shipyards in creating these new and reimagined places is surely a perfect example for future regeneration projects of similar scope and scale. Titanic Quarter will be a summer as secretary for Education, Training & Standards. I expected the sharing of knowledge and expertise between members, through formal lectures, courses, branch meetings and the like, as well as at the excellent day conferences arranged by the various branches. I also expected the professionalism that I have noted in the operation of the institute. What I hadn’t fully expected, though, was the companionship of the members of the institute. Some members are longstanding friends and colleagues who have aged gently with me over the years, but since I became more seriously involved in the workings of the institute, it has been a joy to encounter the collaborative friendship of other members. The publications, guidance notes and other communications produced by the institute are a logical extension of that spirit of sharing and professional fellowship and I commend them to all our members. For example, last year we issued our Conservation Professional Practice Principles in conjunction with the Historic Towns and Villages Forum and Civic Voice. Some wondered whether there was a gap in the market for such a publication but its release has induced something of a clamour from other organisations to get on board for future editions. Finally, to return to Darren Barker’s description of the Devetaki Project in rural Bulgaria, longstanding members will be reminded, as I was, of the IHBC’s initiatives with the Transylvania Trust in offering similar support to the Bánffy Castle programme under the leadership of David Baxter and Colin Richards. Devetaki seems to me to be a wonderful programme and hopefully the institute can offer technical advice and support to it as they did to its Romanian predecessor. Perhaps I’ll avoid recounting here the story of my arrest for jaywalking in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania many years ago. If you see me at the annual school, though, come and introduce yourself and I’ll share the experience with you, along with any heritage we can find to discuss. Andrew Shepherd, education@ihbc. org.uk A volunteer at the international Devetaki Project applies clay plaster to a traditional building (Photo: Darren Barker)