Update from the Skills Team

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Hello from the Skills Trainees!  We have had a very busy couple of months since our last blog post and have been involved with a number of different projects during this time.

During November, we assisted colleagues from Historic Environment Scotland and Archaeology Scotland with the social media promotion and general organisation of Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference.  Like previous years the conference placed emphasis on community groups; allowing them to showcase their work and in turn helping to promote a variety of heritage sites throughout Scotland.  The conference took place over a weekend at the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry and saw groups from all over Scotland- as far as North Uist, coming for the weekend.  It was a very enjoyable event which consisted of lectures, poster talks, workshops, guided walks and the ever popular ‘one minute madness’ presentations.  Click on the link here for the 2015 conference programme:


Recordings of the lectures, poster talks and one minute madness presentations can also be found on the ‘Recording Archaeology’ channel on YouTube:


At the end of November, we went to London for a week long cultural trip with our project supervisors.  During the week we visited a number of different heritage organisations and learned more about the work that they do.  The first place we visited was Bennetts Associates Architects, where previous Skills Trainee Kate now works.  Kate told us about a large project her company is involved in to convent the old Midlands Goods Shed into a new cultural space for the Guardian Project.  We are looking forward to following the progress of this ambitious project.

We then spent a day at The National Archives in Kew.  We were given a tour around the archive’s stores and learned more about the different archive material held by The National Archives.   We also met other members of staff who told us about The National Archives traineeship programme and the development of the archive’s online outreach and education work.


Skills Trainees and Iain outside The National Archives


We also visited the London Metropolitan Archives where we had the opportunity to speak to members of the conservation team about the different work they do to conserve and store the archive material.   We then met Maureen Roberts, the Senior Interpretation Officer, who told us about their education and outreach programme and the different communities in London who have been involved with projects at the archive.

Learning about conservation at the London Metropolitan Archives

Learning about conservation at the London Metropolitan Archives


Our final stop was a visit to the British Museum.  At the British Museum we found out more about the traineeships and staff development programmes offered by the museum and we also heard more about their education and outreach programme.  Highlights of the trip were a behind the scenes visit to the Ancient Egypt store room and a chance to look around the new ‘Celts’ exhibition.

During the past couple of months, we have also been working on our individual heritage projects.  Chris has been studying Edinburgh’s town walls, Fiona H has been researching the stained glass window designs held in the John Sinclair House collections and Fiona M has been researching Edinburgh Castle and planning activity sessions for Gaelic speaking schoolchildren.

Look out for blog posts telling you more about our individual heritage projects in the next couple of weeks!