Cannington Shaw Heritage Skills Community Day – Sunday 12 May 2024

The Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust CIC is a community business working in the heart of St Helens – a global glass making town in the North-West of England whose work focuses on the historic site of the former #7 Bottle Shop at Sherdley Works.

Last year Cannington Shaw was awarded a £244,661 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the creation of a new Heritage Skills Academy.

The Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust CIC and their delivery partner Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside (CLM) will operate the site as a live centre of excellence for heritage conservation skills.  The Heritage Skills Academy will deliver a blended learning programme of training, skills development and work experience that will run alongside the main £1.3m construction works project funded by St Helens Town Deal.

Made possible thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Skills Academy will launch in Summer 2024 and will offer a mix of learning interventions including: apprenticeships; heritage construction experience for local construction students; a professional development programme for students of architecture; a schools programme; an artisan skills taster programme for the wider public; themed open days; and a volunteer conservation programme.

The Trust is pleased to open up the site to the community and will be holding its first Heritage Skills Community Day on Sunday 12 May from 11am to 4pm.  The event will be held on Tesco’s car park next to the Click and Collect and adjacent to the gates into the bottle shop.

Commenting on the Community Day, Caroline Platt, Director at Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust CIC said: “The Trust has been working hard over the last few years through Heritage Open Days and local heritage events in St. Helens to raise awareness of Cannington Shaw. Now that we have secured ownership of the site it is incredibly exciting to be able to host our first event here, people can come and see the building for themselves, learn about its’ story and the unique position it has in St. Helens glassmaking history”.

People will be able to try out a range of skills workshops through our St. Helens College taster sessions including:

  1. Bricklaying/masonry
  2. Joinery producing bird and bat boxes plus frames for mosaic tile workshop
  3. Painting (producing traditional stencils for use on the bird boxes as a production line)
  4. Mosaic Tile
  5. Environmental Technology with solar kits to be built with families plus an electric buzzer puzzle is being made by the College beforehand
  6. Artisan Meet the Maker session

There will also be other community stalls available on the day including Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust, Groundwork, TESCO Community Champion, Standing Tall Foundation, Traditional Victorian Sweet making.

John Tabern, Chairman and Project Director, will be taking participants into the front of the site to give them a “distanced” talk on the history of the Bottle Shop.  Talks for the general public will happen every 30 mins.

Brendan Cassin, Heritage Skills Academy Project Manager of Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside added: “It is really exciting to be able to invite local people to our first Heritage Skills Academy Community Day, to get their hands dirty and learn new heritage skills.  St Helens College are our key delivery partner at the Heritage Skills Academy. Their tutors, many of which are older local skilled tradesmen, are champing at the bit to pass on their skills and knowledge to a new generation of learners and put their town’s history and the restoration of the No 7 Bottle Shop, up in lights. It will be a fun, informal day of learning, with lots of activities to participate in or watch and learn from the professionals.  Hot food and refreshments are available free of charge as a welcome to our fantastic project”.

Friends of Cannington Shaw

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