Traditional skills are not just a thing of the past

PUPILS at Bedlington’s Meadowdale Middle School got to try their hand at some traditional skills after being paid a visit by English Heritage staff.

The youngsters learned about the techniques and materials used to construct and maintain historic buildings and were also allowed to have a stab at some of them themselves.

Heritage skills assistant Kathryn Banfield said: “Through practical, hands-on activities, we give children the chance to have a go for themselves and learn about heritage in a whole new way that will open up a range of career paths in heritage crafts they may have never previously considered.”

The visit was part of an education and training programme being run as part of Northumberland County Council’s Bedlington townscape heritage initiative.

Skills the youngsters got to have a go at included stone-carving, lime-pointing, cobbling, willow-weaving and pottery-making.

Cramlington county councillor Tom Brechany, the authority’s executive member for regeneration, added: “We are very pleased that, through the initiative, we are able to raise the profile of the area’s heritage and organise activities that help people to understand, care for and celebrate this.

“The school activities in particular have been developed to encourage young people to recognise the importance of understanding the town’s roots and to spark interest in their local environment.”