View of a group of buildings at Chatham Dockyards.
The Grade II* No 1 Smithery at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, has been rescued and converted into a gallery and museum collections storage, making maritime treasures available to visitors. © Historic England DP232822
The Grade II* No 1 Smithery at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, has been rescued and converted into a gallery and museum collections storage, making maritime treasures available to visitors. © Historic England DP232822

Historic England Angel Award Winners 2018 Revealed

  • The restoration of Liverpool’s historic boys’ club, a project which trains Great Yarmouth’s young people in conservation skills, a traditional brick making company in Suffolk, an online mapping resource for Bristol that lets the public explore their local heritage, and the major regeneration of Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent are all celebrated as winners
  • Wilton’s Music Hall in London wins the public vote
  • Foyle Civic Trust in Northern Ireland crowned Overall Winner for the UK

Last night (Tuesday 27 November 2018) the winners of the Historic England Angel Awards 2018 were revealed at a ceremony hosted by historian Bettany Hughes at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in London.

Supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Historic England Angel Awards celebrate the efforts of individuals and local groups across the country that have devoted their time and energy to bringing irreplaceable historic places back to life. Finalists came from across the country to celebrate the achievements of all groups.

Huge congratulations to all the winners. These people have worked tirelessly to help preserve England’s heritage. I would like to thank them and their communities for the brilliant projects and schemes which play a vital role in protecting historic buildings and landscapes and encourage young people to develop traditional craft skills.
Andrew Lloyd Webber

The 2018 awards were judged by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Dean of Westminster - the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, historians Bettany Hughes and Dr Suzannah Lipscombe and Historic England’s Chief Executive Duncan Wilson.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation supports the Angel Award scheme across the UK. The awards launched in 2011 in England, followed by Scotland in 2014, Northern Ireland in 2017 and Wales for the first time this year.

UK Overall Winner

Chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber and an Angel Award judge from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

The Foyle Civic Trust, Derry - Part of The Walled City Partnership

 A legacy of the troubles is the destruction of historic buildings around Derry’s walls. Repairs were perceived as a short term measure with owners aware of the possibility of further damage. It was against this backdrop that the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme emerged, recognising that Derry’s built fabric was an asset to the city.

Initial success in securing support from the Heritage Lottery Fund by the project instigators, the Foyle Civic Trust, supported by its statutory partners, led to the development of the Walled City Partnership Limited, working to create a fantastic city centre to visit, work and live. As of June 2018 the THI will have facilitated the repair and restoration of over thirty historic properties

Historic England Followers’ Favourite

Chosen by public vote

Wilton's Music Hall, London

Wilton’s Music Hall in the East End of London has a turbulent past, surviving life as a rowdy Victorian music hall, Methodist mission and rag warehouse, as well as a fire and plans for demolition. Its restoration as a modern-day theatre and performance venue blends old and new to retain much of the building’s historic fabric and unique identity. Without the efforts of staff and volunteers, the remarkable comeback of the cherished East End venue would not have been possible.

Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording

Pete Insole for Know Your Place project, Bristol

The Know Your Place project is a digital mapping resource that lets members of the public not only explore their local heritage but contribute to it, building new layers of history in counties across south west England. The brainchild of Bristol City Council’s Principal Historic Environment Officer, Pete Insole, Know Your Place invites people to participate in managing heritage by sharing their stories. Community contributions enrich the historical archive and uncover history that would otherwise have stayed hidden.

Best Craftsperson or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project, sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance plc

Bulmer Brick & Tile Company for the craft of traditional brick making, Suffolk

For over 80 years Bulmer Brick & Tile has been mining rich seams of London clay in Suffolk to hand make bricks for heritage projects all around the UK and further afield. The family firm is run by Peter Minter whose extensive knowledge about the historic fabric of buildings enabled the family to grow from a small firm matching bricks for individual customers to a thriving business working on prestigious buildings like Hampton Court Palace and the law courts at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London.

“As the UK’s leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, we believe it’s crucial to invest in traditional craft skills to preserve the UK’s heritage. We’re delighted to sponsor the award for Best Craftsperson or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project. Many congratulations to the winner, The Bulmer Brick and Tile Company, a family-run traditional brick making company. This award celebrates their craft skills and knowledge of historic buildings.
Adrian Saunders, commercial director at Ecclesiastical

Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place, sponsored by Keymer (projects under £5 million)

The Florence Institute, Liverpool

The Florence Institute, affectionately known as “The Florrie”, is the oldest surviving purpose-built boys’ club in Britain. It was founded in 1889 by former Liverpool mayor Bernard Hall and named as a tribute to his daughter, Florence, who died at just 22. For a century it provided safe recreation to boys from poor communities in south Liverpool and it was these same people who led the long struggle to not only restore the building to splendour but bring it back to life for local people. Even after it had been damaged by fire and constant exposure to the elements, the building in the Dingle remained a repository of childhood memories for generations of working-class youth in the area. Its rescue and transformation into a modern, multi-purpose community hub means it is once again a place where people of all ages can create memories.

It is an honour and a privilege to sponsor and present this year’s Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place Award to the Florence Institute, Liverpool. At Keymer, we are proud to be associated with Historic England, and to work closely with them, to ensure that our historic buildings live and breathe for generations to come. The Florence Institute is a fantastic restoration, which returns this magnificent building to its original splendour, and offers a place where the community can once again come together.
Christine Leadbeater from Keymer

Best Major Regeneration of a Historic Building or Place, sponsored by Selectaglaze (projects over £5 million)

The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent

For almost four centuries, the Royal Dockyard at Chatham on the Medway River made naval ships, including Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory. Its closure left a chasm for communities whose lives had revolved around it for generations. For the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, the question was how to regenerate an 80-acre site to make it self-sustaining. Its entrepreneurial strategy of “preservation through re-use” has created a thriving multi-purpose site for future generations and a major tourist attraction in the South East.

We are very pleased to support this award as it recognises the importance to communities of retaining buildings with significant architectural heritage. The regeneration of the Historic Chatham Dockyard in such a sensitive and sustainable way allows it to be enjoyed today and by future generations, making it a worthy winner.
Meredith Childerstone, Chairman of Selectaglaze

Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People

The Young Person International Training Project, Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust

The Young Person International Training Project was created to bridge the gap between the lack of training and opportunities for young people in Great Yarmouth and the millions of pounds for heritage funding that the town attracts because of its historic significance. The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust teaches young people transferable conservation building skills in England and at workshops at a farmhouse in Bulgaria, where British youth work alongside trainees from other countries to create an international conservation community.