Applications are now being invited for The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) 2016 William Morris Craft Fellowship.
There are only four on offer each year. They do tend to alter the lives of those who take part in them because a SPABâ€ˆFellowship is highly regarded, making a significant addition to any CV. Plenty of stonemasons have had their lives changed for the better by a SPAB Fellowship.
The Fellowship requires a significant time commitment from those taking part. However, all training and administration costs are borne by SPAB and Fellows receive a bursary of nearly £6,000 towards basic travel and living expenses.
The Fellowship involves a countrywide conservation tour, offering hands-on experience in the repair of historic buildings under the guidance of some of the country’s most highly regarded conservation craftspeople.
SPAB Fellows are people who have already completed apprenticeships and shown a high level of competence in their chosen craft. They will also have a passion for old buildings and conservation repair.
The Fellowship is an advanced training programme devised to encourage and nurture practical craft and work competency skills by people at the beginning of their careers. They can be involved in any trade relating to the repair of historic buildings. As many historically significant structures are made of stone, there are often stonemasons among the successful candidates for Fellowships.
The Fellowship involves six months of practical training, divided into three blocks. That way Fellows can return to their employment between each block.
During the first two blocks the Fellows travel as a group, making daily site visits, studying repair projects and meeting professionals, contractors and craftsmen. The final block is devoted to the individual needs and interests of each Fellow in consultation with their employer, if they have one.
SPAB has organised and administered the Fellowship since 1986 to promote and develop the specialised skills required for the repair and maintenance of historic buildings and to promote understanding of the importance of conservation repair. As well as masons, Fellows have included carpenters, thatchers, plasterers, leadworkers and glaziers.
The 2016 programme runs from 14 March to 9 December.
You have to present a written case by 1 December of why you should be included. Those who make the best cases will be invited to an interview in London on 3 February.
Interested? Full details and an application form can be found at bit.ly/SPAB-Fellow.