Friday 5 November 2010

Our Man at the CCT: An Introduction (1)

Hello Labbers, Lab affiliates, Lab coats and Labradors,

My name's Mark, I used to be a masters student at Leicester and a full-time New History Lab groupie. Now I'm working as an intern in London and around the country with the Churches Conservation Trust and still clinging to my studenty past for dear life.

My posts this year will hopefully turn into a little series covering topics like the world of work in an office with a team rather than on a thesis by yourself, and visiting sites rather than visiting journal archives, the skills that can be transfered from studentdom to a 9-5 job, as well as the skills that studentdom definitely didn't prepare me for, the trials and tribulations as well as the fun and excitement of commuting to central London, and [hopefully] how to survive for a year in London without being paid for my work!

I should probably point out now that this will be an organic series as I only have a vague idea what the next year really has in store for me, but the idea is that it'll come in useful for students who're planning on following a similar path, giving them some clues as to what they might experience (or so they can work out how they could improve on my trailblazing example).

So, introductions:
The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT): The CCT was established in 1969 so that redundant churches (those that are no longer being used as places of worship), which have significant historical, aesthetic, archaeological, or community-centred aspects were maintained, conserved and made useful.

(go on, click it)
The Regeneration Taskforce, where I work, is the newest part of the Trust, which is specifically angled towards making redundant churches into ongoing concerns that make money for maintaining the church, as well as complementing the community surrounding the church. Some exciting and visual examples are:

St Paul's Church, Bristol
Was a grade 1 gothic church, now a circus school. AWESOME. Before the 7 year conservation scheme, the church had stood derelict and vandalised for 15 years. Since it opened its had c.14,000 visitors per year and keeps winning awards!

All Souls, BoltonAll Souls is a current project for the Regeneration Taskforce, its new use as a multi-functional community space will use the 'pods on stilts' method of creating buildings within the building, protecting as much of the historic fabric as possible. ALSO AWESOME. It has a strong focus on community involvement, as examplified through this page.

So, there's a little introduction to me and my new job, watch this space for updates, revelations, musings and hopefully a little bit of advice.

Ciao historistas!

(source for info and images: