Seminar: The Conservation of 20th-Century Military Architecture

Over the last decade, the heritage profession has seen a step change in understanding and appreciation of 20th century military heritage. As time passes since periods of conflict, it’s place in history and archaeology is increasingly understood and valued, yet military fabric is often vulnerable, through circumstances such as poor construction, military disposals and the perceived need for secrecy/security. This is leading to loss of fabric through neglect, decay and demolition, and as a result, legal protection of these sites is now occurring more often, and conservation has been urgently required. Investment of public money brings a desire and sometimes a requirement for public access, in turn, requiring better facilities than have existed in the past.

Yet no clearly articulated conservation philosophy has entered the literature, leading to difficulties in understanding how to design projects, whether by owners or conservation professionals. The recent project at RAF Kenley was one such project, and this gap in knowledge was identified early in the project planning stage. It was decided to make this part of the project: investigate how such sites can and should be conserved to preserve fabric and significance, whilst designing the practical conservation for the site itself. This seminar will outline how the project unfolded and bring together other experiences and approaches to conservation of this increasingly vulnerable fabric.

The seminar will conclude with a keynote presentation by Wayne Cocroft, Senior Investigator with Historic England and leads on 20th-century military heritage. He has undertaken numerous surveys of recent military sites and has published on the archaeology of gunpowder and explosives manufacture, the Cold War, and the archaeology of rocketry. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

 

Senior Investigator with Historic England and leads on 20th-century military heritage. He has undertaken numerous surveys of recent military sites and has published on the archaeology of gunpowder and explosives manufacture, the Cold War, and the archaeology of rocketry. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Full programme of speakers:

10.00 Registration and Coffee

10.30 Introduction

10.35-11.05 RAF Kenley – Jane Sidell, Historic England

Morning Session 1 – 11.05-13.00

11.05-11.35 Stow Maries First World War airfield – Simon Buteux, Historic England

11.35-12.05 Hooton Park, Wirral, First World War hangars – Jonathan Howard, Hooton Park Trust

12.05-12.35 First World War hut project Bury St Edmunds – Taff Gillingham, Great War Huts

12.35-1.45 Lunch

Early Afternoon Session 1 -1.45-3.25

1.45 -2.10 Greenham Common Control Tower and airfield – Meg Thomas, Director Greenham Common Control Tower, Ed Cooper, and Mike Hall, Greenham Common Control Tower

2.10-2.35 Bletchley Park Huts – Janie Price, Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects

2.35-3.00 Harperley Prisoner of War camp – Lee McFarlane, Historic England

3.00-3.25 Bicester airfield – Nicola Lauder, Historic England

3.25 – 3.45 Tea

Late Afternoon Session 2 – 3.45 – 5.30

3.45 -4.10 – Alconbury airfield, Cambridgeshire, Second World War control tower and Nissen hut – Rebecca Britton, Urban & Civic, Communications, Communities and Partnerships Manager

4.10-4.35 The Farnborough Wind Tunnels & Airship Hangar and the Dover Tunnels – Clive Dawson, Hockley and Dawson Consulting Engineers

4.35-5.00 RAF Barnham Atomic bomb store – Trudi Hughes, Historic England

5.00-5.30 – The challenges of conserving 20th century military architecture – Wayne Cocroft, Historic England

Tickets £10 (including lunch)

A limited number of free places available for students

For tickets visit: kenleyconservation.eventbrite.co.uk

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May 2019
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