IHBC Summer School 2015, Norwich

Last week I was lucky enough to be heading down to Norwich for the annual IHBC (Institute of Historic Building Conservators) Summer School in Norwich, a city I had never visited before, but will definitely be visiting again.  I had a fantastic time, exploring Norwich on two tours organised as part of the School, and being surrounded by architecture so different from Scotland’s was incredibly refreshing.  It was also fascinating to hear about the challenges faced by the custodians of a medieval city like Norwich; we learned about the plans to sensitively restore the castle, and we saw for ourselves the huge amount of regeneration going on on the banks of Norwich’s rivers.  It will be interesting to see how this beautiful city continues to develop from hereon in.   The speakers at the Day School were of an excellent calibre, and a particular highlight was Michael Morrison’s lecture.  He explored some of his incredible architectural and heritage conservation work as one of the Senior Principals of the Purcell partnership in Antarctica and beyond, and all delivered in a very deadpan manner with incredible visuals.  If he ever wrote a biography I would definitely buy it.  The mark of a good lecture is one which made you think and talk about it long after it has finished, and all the speakers achieved that.

Most of all though, it was the attendees and organisers that made the Summer School such a roaring success, I really did have a great deal of fun, everyone was incredibly warm and friendly, and I learnt a lot from my fellow attendees as well as from the lecturers and tour guides about conservation, architecture, and this industry.  There is too much to cover in one blog post, so I thought I would show some of my highlights through the medium of interpretive dance photography, with explanatory captions.

A canvas bag to add to my collection, and the packed Summer School programme.
The rooftops of Norwich, the Norman castle just visible in the background at the left.
The interior of Norwich’s imposing Norman Castle which will be undergoing extensive and thoughtful restoration works to enhance visitor experience.
Just one of the clever ways the interpretation of the castle is being enhanced for visitors. A projector ‘paints’ the now bare stone arch leading into what was once the great hall, giving an impression of what the castle looked like in its hey-day.
The incredible roof of Norwich’s medieval cathedral, if you like stained glass, wall-painting and tombs then this is the place for you!
The monument to Norfolk born war-hero Edith Cavell, 1865-1915, executed by the German government for aiding the escape of Allied soldiers despite giving German soldiers life-saving medical care throughout the war.
Just one of many glam new developments on the river banks of Norwich, the whole area is undergoing regeneration and was giving me serious property-envy. This building was a mill.
Elm Hill, a medieval street in the heart of Norwich, completely gorgeous. It escaped post-war demolition and is now a Harry-Potter-esque haven.

Views, as always, are all my own.

To find out more about the IHBC click here.

To find out more about visiting Norwich, which I definitely recommend, click here.



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