We recently hosted a training day organised by Richard Jordan, a master slater, and his daughter Sara-Mae, a slate worker for a group of trainees working through a pre 1919 training course as part of their SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) recognition. The trainees are all skilled in their own field and keen to work on historic buildings using traditional techniques.
Due to Covid, this two module course has been running on Zoom over several months so the day was “hands-on” with an examination at the end of the day.
It was an early start as we had BBC Radio Lincolnshire in attendance in the form of Kathy Green performing an outside broadcast back to the Breakfast Programme.
Hot mortar mix (using lime and soil) was demonstrated with techniques and application discussed in some considerable depth.
Sara-Mae covered slate splitting, dressing and finishing as used in the manufacture of handmade roofing slates.
These skills and many others will be required in the repair/replacement of the transept roof on the church and it is planned to complete that work this year. Funding will come from Historic England and it is hoped that not only will the roof get repaired but it will be a training exercise to further the qualifications of the next generation of master craftsmen.
This is the roof in question and where the skills being taught will be put to good use.