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Subject: Conservation Awards

Conservation Awards

From: Susan Hughes <consawards<-a>
Date: Thursday, November 24, 2005
"Extreme Conservation"
Wins Top Award
London, 22 November 2005

The UKP15,000 Award for Conservation - presented by British Museum
Director Neil MacGregor has been won by Tim Martin of Context
Engineering Ltd. for the conservation of Force Crag mine machinery,
a National Trust commission.

Context Engineering played a crucial role in fulfilling the National
Trust's plan to open the site to visitors and let them experience
the rugged working conditions. The 15-strong team triumphed over the
extremes posed by the remote site and the unpredictable Cumbrian
weather while sorting through a vast array of rusting machine parts.
They identified, cleaned and treated the parts to protect them,
while working out what went where inside the old mine buildings.
Their success was confirmed when a party of former miners made a
tour of inspection and were amazed to see that everything was back
in place just as they remembered it.

The team of highly-skilled conservators worked with meticulous
precision and speed to re-assemble the machinery from the
ore-processing plant of the last working mineral mine in the area.
Lead, zinc and barytes had all been extracted from the mine from as
early as the 1600s. The machinery had been partly dismantled and
left to the mercy of the elements after Force Crag mine was
abandoned in 1991.

Liz Forgan, Chair of the Judges, commented, "Mining is at the heart
of our industrial heritage, and Tim Martin's superbly planned and
thoroughly researched work at Force Crag holds lessons for others
working in this field. The judges were particularly impressed by the
minimal intervention approach of the conservation team, which is
still all too rare in industrial heritage conservation. As much
scrupulous care and thought has been lavished on these heavy metal
objects as we would expect from a conservator approaching a work of
fine art. This is a truly remarkable and awe-inspiring project."

Sarah Staniforth, Director of Historic Properties at The National
Trust said, "The National Trust congratulates Context Engineering
Ltd on winning the Conservation Award 2005. The conservation of
Force Crag Mine is an exemplary project demonstrating how
conservation can help to make our industrial heritage understandable
and relevant for the public. Furthermore, it shows the breadth of
the National Trust's conservation responsibilities, which are wider
than collections in country houses! Here is a collection in a site
of great archaeological significance set in a dramatic landscape."

Other major awards went to:

       *    Opening up London's past: The new UKP10 000 Award for
            Care of Collections, focusing on improvements in the way
            collections are housed, has been won by the Museum of
            London for opening up its huge collections of objects
            held at the London Archaeological Archive Research
            Centre (LAARC) in Hackney. LAARC houses a fascinating
            mix of objects from 5000 excavations across London,
            including pottery, metals, stone, bones and soil, which
            throw light on the lives of Londoners over two
            millennia. The project team faced a huge challenge - how
            to get this mass of material into order so it could be
            accessible to the public. The scale of the task was
            daunting: 150,000 recorded artefacts, ranging from Roman
            pomegranate seeds to Saxon jewellery and Tudor tankards;
            120,000 boxes of finds including ceramics and building
            materials, 75 tonnes of architectural stonework, 4000
            environmental samples and over 17,000 human remains.
            Recruiting volunteers from different backgrounds aged
            from 15 to 87 made the task manageable and involved the
            community in caring for the collections. As a result of
            their hard work, anyone can now discover the archaeology
            of their local area through the Museum website and then
            come in to view the finds.

            Presenting the Award, Mark Wood, Chairman of the
            Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA),
            commented, "It is encouraging to see so many people
            taking an interest in conservation issues. One of the
            priority areas for Renaissance, MLA's project to
            re-vitalise England's regional museums, is to enhance
            the care and conservation of collections. The Awards
            celebrate the immense expertise and leadership of the
            UK's conservators and their vital contribution in caring
            for the nation's heritage."

    *   Maintaining digital materials over time: The UKP5000 Digital
        Preservation Award was presented by Loyd Grossman to a
        US-based team for the achievements of PREMIS - the
        Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies Working
        Group. Digital materials can be easily altered and the
        technology used to access them changes very rapidly.
        Information that records relevant details about digital
        materials is needed to make sure they can be managed over
        time and that they remain authentic and accessible. This
        information is called preservation metadata. The Group has
        published a Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata and
        other tools to provide guidance for institutions which need
        to create, manage and use digital materials.

        Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library,
        presenting the Award, commented, "The ground-breaking work
        of the group, involving more than thirty experts from five
        countries, will help to ensure that all the information
        necessary to maintain digital materials over time can be
        applied in a more standard way. Many organisations will need
        preservation metadata to support the long-term management of
        digital materials and the Data Dictionary fills a critical
        gap in the technical infrastructure needed to support the
        preservation of our growing digital heritage."

    *   Contemporary sculptures in the spotlight: The coveted
        UKP10,000 Student Conservator of the Year Award goes to
        Katey-Mary Twitchett and Northumbria University for her
        imaginative project to explore the preservation of
        contemporary works of art, looking at conservation issues
        raised by sculptor Ron Mueck's hyper-realist works. Liz
        Forgan OBE, Chair of the judges, described the project as
        "inspiring work which has made a real contribution to the
        understanding of materials used in contemporary artworks.
        Over time, museums and galleries will undoubtedly need
        answers to the questions Katey-Mary has begun to ask. The
        judges were tremendously impressed by her personal
        commitment to the conservation of contemporary art and the
        way she engaged with the artist. She is already an asset to
        her chosen profession and an outstanding Student Conservator
        of the Year."

        Katey-Mary tested the effects of light exposure on the
        pigments, polyester resins and silicone rubbers used by
        Mueck and showed that over time, the appearance and
        intention of his work could be markedly altered. She
        recommended conservation measures to help retain their
        hyper-realistic appearance. Ron Mueck commented, "Before
        meeting Katey-Mary, I was much more vaguely aware of the
        question of the longevity of modern plastic materials. As a
        result of her project, some of my concerns relating to the
        materials I work with have been confirmed and brought into
        focus. She has provided me with a definitive list of
        requirements for the handling, presentation and storage of
        my works in the future."

    *   Definitive double-glazing for churches: Stained-glass expert
        Mark Bambrough was the winner of the prestigious Anna
        Plowden Trust Award for furthering conservation research and
        innovation, awarded for his invention of a new kind of
        secondary glazing system for stained-glass windows. Existing
        systems alter the external appearance of the windows through
        reflection and glare, damaging the appearance of the
        building. Presenting the Award, Francis Plowden commented
        "Mark's system is a vast improvement on present solutions in
        retaining the aesthetic appearance of these historic
        windows, while protecting them from environmental damage."
        The system has been used with great success at New
        Kilpatrick Church in Glasgow.

For further information on the Conservation Awards please visit
<URL:> or
contact Susan Hughes, the Awards Administrator on +44 20 7326 0995
or email admin<-a t->consawards< . >instituteofconservation< . >org< . >uk

Separate press releases on the Collections Care and Student Award
are available from the website. Pictures are available from
<URL:> under English Heritage/Conservation

A separate press release is available on the Digital Award at

Sponsored by Sir Paul McCartney, the Digital Preservation Coalition
and the Anna Plowden Trust, the Awards are managed in partnership by
key organisations in heritage conservation and collections care -
the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), English Heritage,
the National Preservation Office and Icon, the Institute for
Conservation. 2005 marks the 10th anniversary of the Conservation
Awards. Arrangements for the next round will be announced in the
spring of 2006.

Judging Panel members: Award for Conservation, Award for Care of
Collections and Student Conservator Award: Chair: Liz Forgan OBE,
Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Heritage Lottery
Fund and the Scott Trust; Dan Cruickshank, television presenter and
historic buildings expert; George Ferguson, Immediate Past
President, RIBA;  Sir Simon Jenkins, author and columnist; Maev
Kennedy, arts and heritage correspondent, The Guardian; Gillian
Lewis, formerly Head of Conservation, National Maritime Museum;
Georgina Nayler, Director, The Pilgrim Trust; and Alice Rawsthorn,
Director, The Design Museum.

Digital Preservation Award:  Chair: Richard Boulderstone, Director,
e-Strategy, The British Library; Sheila Anderson, Director, Arts and
Humanities Data Service; Kevin Ashley, Head, Digital Archives,
University of London Computer Centre; David Dawson, Head, Digital
Futures Team, MLA; Hans Jansen, Head of Research and Development
Division, National Library of the Netherlands; Maggie Jones,
Executive Secretary, Digital Preservation Coalition (sponsor of the
Digital Preservation Award); Chris Rusbridge, Director, Digital
Curation Centre; and David Seaman, Executive Director, Digital
Library Federation.

The Anna Plowden Trust Award for Research and Innovation in
Conservation is judged by the Trustees.

The Anna Plowden Trust was established by the friends and family of
the late Anna Plowden CBE. As one of the first scientifically
trained conservators to work in the private sector, Anna Plowden was
committed to the promotion and development of the conservation
profession through both training and education, which she believed
should be of the highest possible standard. The Trust seeks to
promote her ideals and interests. Further information is available
from The Anna Plowden Trust, 43 Lansdowne Gardens, London SW8 2EL.

The Digital Preservation Coalition was established in 2001 to foster
joint action to address the urgent challenges of securing the
preservation of digital resources in the UK and to work with others
internationally to secure our global digital memory and knowledge
base. For further information see <URL:>

English Heritage is the Government's statutory adviser on the
historic environment and is responsible for protecting and promoting
England's unique legacy of historic buildings, landscapes and
archaeological sites for the benefit of this and future generations.
It also manages over 400 sites and welcomes more than 11 million
visitors to these each year. For full details visit
<URL:> or contact English Heritage
customer services on 0870-333-1181.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is the national
development agency working for and on behalf of museums, libraries
and archives, advising the government on policy and priorities for
the sector. MLA's roles are to provide strategic leadership, to act
as a powerful advocate, to develop capacity and to promote
innovation and change. For further information see

The National Preservation Office provides an independent focus for
ensuring the preservation and continued accessibility of library and
archive material held in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Based at
the British Library, the NPO is supported by the Library, The
National Archives, The National Libraries of Scotland, Wales and
Ireland, The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Oxford
University Library Services, and Cambridge University Library.
Further information on the NPO is available at

Icon, The Institute of Conservation is the lead voice for the
conservation of cultural heritage in the UK. Its membership embraces
the wider conservation community, incorporating not only
professional conservators in all disciplines, but all others who
share a commitment to improving understanding of, and access to, our
cultural heritage. For further information see

Context Engineering Ltd, established in 1995, is based in West
Sussex and Powys, and is a single-person practice of accredited
metalwork conservator, Tim Martin. Context Engineering specialises
in in situ work, much of it undertaken in historic houses as well as
industrial locations. Specialists from other disciplines are brought
in to work on specific projects as necessary.

Susan Hughes
Administrator, Conservation Awards 2005
Institute of Conservation (Awards)
3rd Floor, Downstream Building
1 London Bridge
London SE1 9BG
+44 20 7326 0995

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:28
                Distributed: Tuesday, November 29, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-28-003
Received on Thursday, 24 November, 2005

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