Spring Lecture Series


Work worth doing: the SPAB & craft skills

2017 Spring Lecture Series

In 2017 the SPAB marks the 30th Anniversary of its William Morris Craft Fellowship training  programme, which fosters traditional building skills and supports craftspeople in the early stages of their career.  Join us in March for a series of lectures celebrating this unique scheme and the skills that enable old buildings to flourish. Past Fellows will share their insights and love of their craft, and talk about their work and where life has taken them since their Fellowship year.

Photo credit (from left to right): Alex Gibbons at a mud walling course in Leicestershire (the SPAB), Thom Evans supervising stone conservation at Greatham Church (the SPAB), Karl Grevatt moving grain at Charlecote Mill (Coventry Telegraph)

Glorious Mud!
Building with Earth
Thursday 2 March
Alex Gibbons, Earth Builder - SPAB Fellow 2014

Building with unfired earth is a widespread but often under-appreciated tradition, which goes by many names across the UK. Alex trained for a time in Oregon in the USA before becoming the first earth builder to complete the SPAB Fellowship. Passionate about not only the recognition and repair of historic earth buildings, but also the continued potential of the material, Alex is currently renovating a cob house in Normandy and developing his business repairing the clay dabbin cottages of Cumbria’s Solway Plain.

Wonderful Walls
Repairing Welsh Churches
Thursday 9 March
Thom Evans, Stonemason - SPAB Fellow 2016

After initial training with his stonemason father, Thom developed his skills and later joined Coe Stone Ltd in Carmarthenshire. Raised near Cardigan Bay, Thom is an eloquent advocate for vernacular buildings and distinctive regional building stones and, following his year on the conservation trail with the SPAB, he hopes to encourage other young craftspeople in Wales to work with historic buildings. He’ll describe two recent church repair projects with their contrasting approaches, techniques and materials.

A Miller's Tale
Caring for Charlecote
Thursday 16 March
Karl Grevatt, Carpenter and Miller - SPAB Fellow 2009

Having begun his career as a carpenter and joiner - including repair work at Brill windmill - Karl’s enthusiasm for mills and milling developed during his Fellowship year. In 2012, he leased historic Charlecote Mill - the last working watermill in Warwickshire - taking over from John Bedington (who had rescued the mill from dereliction) on his retirement. Karl maintains and operates the mill commercially and, using grain grown locally, supplies flour to local bakeries. He also holds open days and aims to teach others about milling and the skills needed to look after and run a watermill successfully.

To book tickets to one or all of these talks, please download our booking form and return it to the Education Team, The SPAB, 37 Spital Square, London, E1 6DY or email to education@spab.org.uk.