People Power - catalyst fro change


Thursday 23rd June

12.30 pm – 5.00 pm Annual School Registration;
Worcester University City Campus, City Campus, Castle Street, Worcester, WR1 3AS
Check in at the Halls of Residence from 2pm.

There is a room where left luggage can be stored until you return from your tour.

Thursday tours sponsor

Enterprise Retirement Living logo

Afternoon walking trails around Worcester

Study Tours all depart from the Halls of Residence but some tours can be met later at different locations. Start times vary to provide options for those who plan to arrive later and each start time is given below.Please only book tours you know you can arrive in time to make.

Leaves from Halls of Residence at 2:00

People Power in the Eighteenth Century Hospitals, subscriptions and staff
The tour of Worcester's beautiful former hospital building will reveal the historic building and the people responsible for it. You will be led by Sarah Ganderton, an award winning former history student of the University of Worcester in a journey through time. We will examine not only the structure of the 250 year old building and its subsequent expansions, but also the people behind its construction, finance and day-to-day running. We will sit in the historic board room, site of the establishment of the precursor to the BMA, and visit the delightfully restored Jenny Lind Chapel. There will also be time to see The Infirmary museum.

1767 drawing of the front elevation

Inside the Jenny Lind Chapel, built c1850

Boardroom with the over mantle explaining this was the room in which The British Medical Association (BMA) was founded.


The Hive

  • Unique challenges of bringing the University, City and County together to create a new library. Exploring and understanding the different client needs and aspirations.
  • Creating a vibrant, complex architecture – working with skilled specialists who brought and shared their expertise.
  • Spatial variety, hierarchy and contrasting needs of the broad intended user base, from children to university and further education. Creating spaces for different learning needs without it becoming a building of many boxes.
  • Mixed-mode buildings creating a positive environment for working in, allowing some user control with natural ventilation systems and daylighting, while acknowledging the challenge of a noisy City site.
  • BREEAM Outstanding – improving the environment for users, visitors and the city. For many this is a box-ticking exercise, but the team worked hard to try and get the most of the process.
  • Changing public reactions as the project developed. Interest, uncertainty, fear, support and delight.
  • Building in use – what we have learned about users, the building and what works well and what can be improved.

Tour Leader: Sarah Ganderton, an award winning former history student of the University of Worcester in a journey through time.

Leaves from Halls of Residence at 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00

The Cathedral

B. Stone yard & the Edgar Tower
C. The Upper Reaches (nave, tower, quire, roof spaces*)
D. The Context; grounds, topography and western end proposals
There will be a rolling programme of 3 x 45 minute tours between 2.00pm and 5.00pm.

Maximum of 15 per tour. Each tour will start at 2.00pm, 3.00pm and 4.00pm and last for 45 minutes. Please wear suitable clothes and shoes for the site visit – some parts are not normally open to the public and there may be hazards.  NB this tour has spiral staircases, many steps and uneven floors

Worcester Cathedral, before the English Reformation known as Worcester Priory, is an Anglican cathedral in Worcester, England, situated on a bank overlooking the River Severn. Built between 1084 and 1504, Worcester Cathedral represents every style of English architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic. With royal tombs of King John and Prince Arthur, medieval cloisters, ancient crypt and chapter house, and magnificent Victorian stained glass. There is also a fascinating ancient library and archive, which houses the second largest collection of medieval manuscripts in any cathedral in the UK. The significance of the building during turbulent periods of England’s history provides a rich source for investigation and study. In addition to the cathedral building, the historic site accommodates Kings School as well as residential and commercial properties.

The medieval buildings are constructed of sandstone from the Severn Valley, some of which is very soft and or ‘muddy’, which came from huge range of quarries long since closed down. Finding the most suitable stone for the on-going conservation of the cathedral and its associated buildings can be a challenge for which a methodology for the identification and selection has been developed. The Dean and Chapter of the cathedral are providing three rolling tours of the current most interesting and fascinating challenges.

Tour Leaders: Camilla Finlay (cathedral architect), Chris Guy (cathedral archaeologist) and Darren Steele (head mason)

Leaves from Halls of Residence at 2:15
Industrial heritage drawing
Worcester at Work – legacies of industry and trade

“A Worcester man can boast that of firms of world-wide fame, or of firms whose products go to every part of the globe, civilised or uncivilised, his city contains within it, in proportion to its size, more than any city or town in the world”. So said ‘Worcester at Work’, a special trade and industrial edition of the Worcester Daily Times in 1903. Certainly, Worcester is well known even today for its exports of porcelain and sauce.

This walk around the city centre will take in some of the better and much less known industrial sites of the 19th and early 20th-century, exploring standing buildings with reference to Worcester City’s extensive collection of historic building records, maps and photographs, which are now more widely available than ever before.

Tour Leader: Sheena Payne-Lunn who has been Worcester City HER Officer since 2003.

Leaves from Halls of Residence at 2:30

Tour of Diglis Basin and Lock Island - the canal, basin and river which was the significant means of transport for Worcester’s industrial products before the railways.

Taking in:

  • the narrow lock at Sidbury 
  • the canalside development on the broad section
  • Diglis basin
  • two broad locks and the river junction
  • the Taylor Wimpey riverside development
  • the Oil Basin and footbridge
  • Lock island
  • Diglis Bridge
  • Riverside walk between the first lock and Cathedral

These are interesting conservation locations at a variety of stages of renovation from the basin where change is completed running through the Oil Basin where it is an ongoing process and the lock island where it is at the preliminary discussions stage. 

Each presents a different set of challenged with, undoubtedly, the island being the most challenging because of flood and access issues. 

Tour leaders: David Viner, heritage advisor at Glandŵr Cymru (The Canal & River Trust in Wales) and  Audrey O'Connor, Senior Framework Heritage Adviser at the Canal & River Trust.

Evening Reception at the Old Palace

Deansway, Worcester, WR1 2JE

Leaves from Halls of Residence at 6.00pm
6.30 pm Tours of the Old Palace
7.00 pm Reception at the Old Palace & drinks
7.15 pm Welcome from the Bishop, West Midlands Branch and IHBC
7.30 pm Drinks and food

Reception sponsor

CGMS logo


(Information taken from The Old Palace website

The Old Palace was the official residence of the Bishop of Worcester until 1842. The building was sold in 1846 to the Dean and Chapter and used as the Deanery. Later it became a Church House club and Diocesan Offices. Along with the Cathedral, it is the oldest building in Worcester, indeed there was a bishop living here before there was a King of England. The Old Palace also has many royal associations including Queen Elizabeth I who kept her Court at the Bishop's Palace in Worcester for seven days in 1575. King Charles I stayed briefly in 1644 and James II stayed at the Palace in 1687. The Old Palace became a Grade I listed building in 1954.

Friday Day School

Friday Day School


Friday 24th June

Day School Programme

Principal sponsor 

Iceni logo

Day School Venue:
Worcester University Arena Hylton Road, Worcester, WR2 5JN


8:45-9:45 Registration, Refreshments & Business displays
9.45 Welcome: Setting the Scene
David McDonald, IHBC President, Chair for the morning session

Session A: Past – Conservation as Action and Reaction

This opening session looks at where conservation has come from and assesses where we have got to now. From its origins in antiquarianism we will take a whistlestop tour of changing attitudes to our shared built heritage, from William Morris and Alois Riegl, via the Baedeker raids and the Euston Arch, to the Venice, Burra and Nara Charters. This tour will examine the changing relationship between the conservation world and the wider public, central to which is the perennial question of ‘Whose heritage is it anyway’?

10.00 Vox pop film clips. How I got into conservation
10.10 Conservation as a Reaction Nigel Walter, Archangel Architects 
From which academic reflection develops policy and subsequent action is developed by key people. Origins in 17th century, Riegl, ICOMOS Venice, Burra, Nara etc; Post WW2 reaction.

Session B: The Challenges Before Us
10.40 Keynote Address Loyd Grossman
Overview of the big issues and challenges facing the Heritage Sector in the very different funding environment and economic priorities of the twenty teens and twenty twenties.
Break for coffee, networking and business displays & stands

Session C: Who's City is it Anyway?
11.40 Issues around 'People Power' James Simpson (Architect) and Euan Leitch, (Director of BEFS - Built Environment Forum Scotland)
A general consideration of 'People Power' and linked issues in the context of a current case study of a planning controversy relating to the St James Centre proposals in Edinburgh and their wider and longer term implication.
12.20 Q & A
12.35 Introduction to 2017 School
12.40 Lunch
Refreshments, and a chance to network and view the stands
Session D: Present – People Power as a Change Driver
People as Champions, Community engagement, Volunteers

Mike Brown, IHBC Chair, Chair for the afternoon session
14.00 Communities regenerating historic churches – CCT’s experiences
Matthew McKeague, Churches Conservation Trust, Head of Regeneration
14.30 Made possible with volunteers David Viner & Audrey O’Connor Canal & Rivers Trust
14.50 Not the graveyard slot Sarah Hayes
The Coffin Works invigorated by social media
15.10 Expertise and activism: Valuing inclusivity within the heritage sector Rebecca Madgin, Senior Lecturer in Urban Development and Management at University of Glasgow
Rebecca will draw on two recent Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research projects entitled ‘How should heritage decisions be made?’ and ‘Engaging Youth in Cultural Heritage’ to explore the ways in which change happens in ‘heritage’, using instances of Do-It-Yourself Heritage activism to explore connected and networked approaches to change through collaborations between politicians, professionals and communities.
15.30 Q & A
15.45 Refreshments, networking and business displays & stands
Session E: Future - People Power to Make and Break
16.15 World Heritage site - good and bad John Rodger, Blaenavon
16.30 Crowd Funding Karen Houghton, Ancoats Dispensary
e.g. SpaceHive
16.45 Hearth: conservation for the people, by the people, despite the people Karen Latimer
‘Hearth’ a Northern Ireland BPT that provides social housing - speaking about Heritage Benefits for People
17.00 Q & A
17.15 IHBC & Iceni Projects - Thoughts on the day
17.20 Close
  Followed by
17.30 IHBC AGM

Annual Dinner in the Guild Hall

7.30pm for Dinner at 7.45 pm

After dinner programme includes Gus Astley Student Awards, IHBC Marsh Awards & Entertainment

The City's Guildhall dates back to 1721. At one time it was the seat of justice for the city and housed a prison. It was visited in 1788 by King George III who declared it 'a handsome gallery' and presented the city with his portrait to commemorate his visit which can be seen in the Assembly Room. Described by Pevsner as a 'a splendid town hall, as splendid as any of C18 England' it gives visitors an insight into Worcester's rich and varied heritage.

Annual Dinner sponsor 


Saturday 25th June

Friday Day School

Saturday 25th June

Tour leaves the Halls of Residence at 9.30am, returning to Worcester on the coach between 3.00pm – 4.00pm.

This tour looks in some detail at the Jewellery Quarter, an industrial area which, after the meticulous study by English Heritage beginning in 1998 and published in 2001, was identified as being unique in a European context. For nearly 200 years jewellery has been manufactured here and in 2002 the whole area was included in the Jewellery Quarter Conservation Area. The Quarter is still responsible for 40% of the UK’s jewellery manufacture and around 4,000 are employed in the trade, an enormous reduction from the 70,000 in 1913.

Today there are numerous longstanding vacant listed buildings within the conservation area, but the proximity of the City Centre brings renewed pressure for residential redevelopment and conversion in a booming residential property market.

The Newman Brothers Coffin Works, a late 19th century Grade ll* Listed Building, is the starting point of the tour. Complete with all its contents and archive which we shall see, the factory was acquired from the owner by the Birmingham Conservation Trust in 2010 and reopened as a visitor attraction in 2013. It was in fact a small factory for the manufacture of coffin fittings and also shrouds in many colours, popular with Aston Villa fans in claret and blue – perhaps appropriately?

The whole of the Quarter is within a Business Improvement District and in 2011 a Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (CIC) was established.

Tour Leader: David Mahony is an architect and principal of PCPT architects who occupy their own purpose built office within the Quarter. The practice has carried out numerous new build and restoration schemes across the West Midlands and did work for the successful THI bid. David was the first chair of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust and is AABC and an affiliate of IHBC.

Tour leaves the Halls of Residence at 9.30am, returning to Worcester on the coach between 3.00pm – 4.00pm

The tour looks at the Victorian legacy of landmark buildings in the central area and also some of the more significant post war developments. Starting at the Victoria Law Courts there is a rare opportunity to see inside one of the most impressive court buildings in England. There was an open competition with Alfred Waterhouse as assessor and the winners were Aston Webb and Ingress Bell in 1886. Externally the building is faced with a hard red terracotta and internally the lavishly decorated Great Hall is in a yellow colour with a hammerbeam roof doubtless intended to be reminder of Westminster Hall.

New Street has a collection of buildings of mixed quality, but they include Grosvenor House by Cotton, Ballard and Blow of 1951-3, one of the first post-war office buildings and listed Grade ll. The angled projections, iron balustrades and brise-soleil result in a design described as ‘flashy but undeniably effective.’Directly opposite is the Piccadilly Arcade, built as a cinema in 1910 by Nicol and Nicol with a Baroque facade in white and green faeince. At the other end of New Street is the impressive classical composition of the former Midland Bank by Edward Holmes 1867-9, Grade ll with the magnificent banking hall now home to the Apple Store.

Tour Leader: Mary Worsfold 
Mary was a chartered surveyor for ten years before gaining a MSc in Historic Conservation at Oxford Brookes. She became an Architectural Adviser to the Victorian Society and subsequently worked as a conservation officer at Birmingham City Council and Bromsgrove District Council. Mary represents the Amenity Societies on the Archdiocese of Birmingham Historic Churches Committee and is a member of St Chad’s Cathedral Fabric Committee; she is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Birmingham and West Midlands Group of the Victorian Society.

Tour leaves the Halls of Residence at 9.30am, Leaving Dudley with a dropoff at Birmingham New Street Station (3.20pm) returning to Worcester on the coach at 4.30 pm

Town centre regeneration
Originally a market town, Dudley was one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution and grew into an industrial centre in the 19th century with its coal, iron ore and limestone industries with raw materials locally sourced bringing immense wealth to the owners and significant changes to the locality and its inhabitants.

Following the decline of these primary industries and the relocation of its retail heart to the nearby Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the 1980s, Dudley became significantly impoverished and lost its reputation as the capital of the Black Country.

The Dudley Town Centre Area Development Framework was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance in December 2005 focusing on local community needs. In 2008, Brierley Hill was designated as the new strategic town centre for the borough necessitating a transformation of the town centre. However with the current tourist attractions of Dudley Zoo, Dudley Castle, the Black Country Living Museum and Canal Basin (c. 600,000 visitors per year) few make it into the historic town. Years of under-investment brings considerable challenges and the authority’s conservation officer will brief delegates about the regeneration objectives.

Dudley Zoo
The Zoo site is located around the historic Castle and is owned by Dudley MBC. The zoo has the world's largest single collection of buildings designed by the Tecton Group led by led by Russian-born Berthold Lubetkin which were granted World Monuments Fund status in 2009

The recent conservation of four of the concrete structures was led by Bryant Priest Newman Architects Ltd of Birmingham. Members of the BPN staff will give delegates a presentation about the project.

Tour leaves Halls of Residence at 9:30 for train leaving Worcester Foregate Street at 09.55 arriving at 10.14
(2 hour walking tour-Lunch in Town or Priory Park). Returning on the 14.27 arriving back at 14:44)

Great malvern station
Priory Gateway

The HER Survey ‘Buildings of Worcestershire Project’ is a community project led by the Louisa Davidson of Rock Davidson Associates [RDA] with volunteers from Malvern Civic Society for the Historic Environment Record [HER] database in Worcester. The volunteers have surveyed many buildings from the period up to 1885 over the last two years but many others postdating this 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map were surveyed and described separately by RDA that enabled RDA to put together a Heritage Building Record of locally interested buildings. Most buildings are Victorian Gothic and Classical Italianate but many are buildings from the Edwardian and Arts & Crafts period and the 1920s and 30s/50s and 60s. The battle of the styles and topography creates a problem when deciding on design references for new build in the C21 in the town.

This walking tour in the Great Malvern Conservation Area will look at many of the unlisted buildings included in this Survey that are now on the HER database Worcs Archaeology & Archive and Historic England’s Heritage Gateway but this tour will also include many of the fine listed buildings, e.g. the Priory and Priory Gatehouse found in Great Malvern, starting with the GDII Listed Great Malvern railway station, the starting location of the tour. Great Malvern Worcestershire is a satellite town 8 miles south of the city of Worcester.

Tour Leader: Louisa Davidson MA [Dist]HistEnvCons BA(Hons) ALCM AssocIHBC is a practising part-time freelance Historic Building Conservation Consultant for Rock Davidson Associates (RDA) in the Midlands UK based in Malvern, and is an IHBC W Midlands Branch Member, Assisted by Jacob Rock RDA & Brian Iles Local Malvern Historian.

Delegates will be guided from the Halls of Residence at 9.45am.

Church interior 1
Church interior 2

The walking tour starts at the entrance to St Swithuns Church, in Church Street off the High Street by Superdrug, at 10.00am and finishes in St Nicholas, (the Slug and Lettuce) at 12.30pm.

During the Civil War, which impacted the city over a 9 year period, the city was besieged and occupied three times by the opposing armies. Consequently, the churches suffered artillery damage and ‘borrowing’ for defensive works. Other priorities prevented rebuilding and by the 18th century repopulation the nine city parish churches were dilapidated and unfashionably gothic - four churches were rebuilt in the Georgian style over a 40 year period from 1735. 

In recent times, population movement away from the inner city and viability issues have arisen; one remains in parish but two others have become ‘redundant’. The tour will therefore include both an inspection of the buildings and explore sustainable uses.

St. Swithuns Church
The rebuilding was completed in 1736 to a design by the Woodwards of Chipping Camden. Grade 1 listed, it was put out of use and was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust in 1977.   

Old St Martins Church
This was the latest of these churches to be rebuilt and it was opened in 1772.  Anthony Keck was the architect. In 19th Century the parish was split with a new parish being created in a suburb to the south.  The original church was closed and the new church dedicated to St Martin. 

St Nicholas
A city centre church, the principal parish church of Worcester with a barn-like nave built to suit the fashionable Georgian residential area of Foregate Street, yet with a dwindling and an ageing population it closed in the 1980s and was leased to a brewery.

Tour leader: Will Scott was, for over 25 years, the City’s principal conservation officer.  In retirement he became the Chairman of the Friends of St Swithuns which has developed a number of initiatives to care for the church and increase its visitor numbers.  The lottery supported restoration of the organ and the current projects have arisen from ideas and pressure from this group.

Delegates will be guided from the Halls of Residence at 9.45am.

The tour starts at the Edgar Tower, the entrance to College Green from Edgar Street at 10.00 and returns there to finish by 13.00. It will take almost three hours and will include some stairs. 

The modern city centre of Worcester with its commercial bustle stretches northwards from the cathedral for about a mile.  In the other direction, and immediately to the south, lies College Green, the cathedral precinct, and a collection of buildings housing The King’s School which occupies most of the houses around College Green – a mixed assortment of nineteenth century villas with fragments of 13th century fabric and grander eighteenth century houses.

The Birmingham practice of Associated Architects (AA) has been working with the school for nearly twenty years. They were involved in developing strategies for a master plan,  several small-scale interventions sometimes contrasting with the ‘period’ styles of the host buildings and more recently in substantial additions to the school’s estate - all within the conservation area.

The walking tour aims to explore answers to such questions as “How does it benefit an institution to work consistently with one set of design professionals?” “Why did the school choose to commission such artful buildings?” and “How might designers learn from the environs so as to create such effective interventions?”  Because the school will be in operation on the Saturday morning the numbers will be kept strictly limited and the route may be subject to change.

Tour leaders:  John Christophers and Galen Bartholomew
Branch assist: John Kirwan

The tour will start in the Corn Market at King Charles’s House at 9:45

King Charles’s House lies at the north end of New Street and the tour will proceed through the richest area of the city in terms of its timber framed buildings along New Street and Friar Street. The notable buildings include The Old Pheasant Inn, and Nash’s House (where Freddie Charles the great expert on local timber framing had his offices for many years). In Friar Street there is the Greyfriars (which never had anything to do with the monastic establishment), The Cardinal’s Hat, (a fine 1930s neo-Tudor pub), Tudor House (a 16th century terrace of weaver’s houses). Then a short walk will take us into the Commandery, a late medieval hospital which has been extensively tree-ring dated where the tour will finish.

Historical sketch of the Commandery in Worcester

The Commandery
Most of the building dates from the late fifteenth century and is of timber framed construction. Much of this timber frame would have been cut to size and fitted together in the timber yard before being dismantled and re-erected on site, making timber framed buildings amongst the first "pre-fabs". So that each piece was put together in the right order, the timbers were marked by the carpenters. These marks can be seen throughout the building usually in the form of roman numerals. The spaces between the beams were in-filled with wattle and daub. The wattle, a woven construction of wood was covered by the daub, a plaster whose ingredients could include mud, lime, cow dung, horse hair or straw.

After serving its original function for nearly 500 years, the hospital was among the last monastic institutions to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. From this date onwards the Commandery was to fulfil a number of vastly varied roles that would see it the focus of national events during the Civil War through to quieter times as a family home. The building itself would undergo a range of improvements, repairs and re-buildings throughout its history as each successive owner sought to make their stamp on the place.

Tour leader: Nick Molyneux has worked as an Inspector of Historic Buildings for Historic England for 26 years. He started his career recording buildings in Birmingham and Worcester, and has a particular interest in timber framing of the 16th and 17th centuries. He published a small booklet on the history of Friar Street, Worcester in 1984 with Dr Pat Hughes and has done extensive work on the history of the Commandery.
Tour leaves Halls of Residence at 9:45

The sculptor William Forsyth was a key figure in establishing the character of late Victorian Worcester and Malvern, and worked widely elsewhere. Although he is less well known than his brother James (who famously carved the fountains at Witley Court as well as contributing to many cathedrals), his practice was typical of many provincial artists of the period. Recent research into his archives has revealed a complex network of artists, architects, patrons, builders and suppliers of raw materials (eg brickworks). Working in stone, wood, metals, plaster and terracotta, Forsyth’s sculptures enlivened a wide range of buildings both externally and internally.

The walk around the city centre and (slightly) beyond will give a chance to see examples of Forsyth’s work in ecclesiastical, commercial and other contexts, and in a variety of materials, as well as decorative carvings by his contemporaries. Examples include a hop merchant’s offices, the head office of a local bank, and Forsyth’s own workshop.

Tour leader: James Dinn has been City Archaeologist in Worcester since 1997 and leads the heritage team at Worcester City Council.

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