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Volunteers honoured for their hard work at Scottish Heritage Angel Awards

Volunteers, professionals and organisations from all over Scotland have been thanked for their tireless work as the winners of the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2017.

Hosted by author and broadcaster Vanessa Collingridge at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, the ceremony saw winning finalists in each of the four award categories crowned in a celebration of the groups, individuals, volunteers and professionals who have played a special part in caring for the nation’s historic environment.

The categories were Best Rescue of a Historic Building, Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by a Young Person, Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project and Best Rescue, Recording or Interpretation of a Historic Place.

Pat Cassidy of Govan Workspace

Scooping the award for Best Rescue of a Historic Building was Pat Cassidy of Govan Workspace and a group of volunteers who led the project to restore the shipbuilding offices of the former Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Govan, Glasgow. The historic site now hosts a community-based museum on shipbuilding, as well as commercial offices.

Kieran Hobson picked up the award on behalf of the Apprentice Guides at the National Mining Museum of Scotland

The apprentice guides at the National Mining Museum topped the Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by a Young Person category. The seven pupils from Gore Glen Primary School in Gorebridge worked with museum staff to create their own tour of the site for other schools.

The Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project was won by Leslie Merriman

The Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project was won by Leslie Merriman, now assistant works manager with Historic Environment Scotland, for his work with the Orkney Monument Conservation Unit. Leslie served his stonemasonry apprenticeship after joining HES and now mentors new apprentices.

The Whithorn Trust were recognised with the Best Rescue, Recording or Interpretation of a Historic Place award.

The Whithorn Trust were recognised for their project to build a full-scale reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse in Dumfries with the Best Rescue, Recording or Interpretation of a Historic Place award.

Launched in 2014 with funding from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation (ALWF), and run by the Scottish Civic Trust in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Archaeology Scotland and the Scottish Government, the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards celebrates both groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote, protect and, in many cases, rescue Scotland’s heritage.

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, said: ‘Heritage projects across Scotland play a vital role in protecting our historic environment. At HES we work closely with a diverse range of groups, individuals, volunteers and professionals, supporting the work they do through investment, as well as sharing our guidance and expertise.

‘The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards is an opportunity to celebrate the positive difference these heritage projects make to communities all over Scotland – from restoration work that gives new leases of life to historic buildings, to research and recording that shapes our understanding of the history of local areas.

‘The dedication and enthusiasm shown by this year’s winners and nominees is inspiring, and I’d like to congratulate all the projects honoured this evening, wishing them continued success in their endeavours.’

John Pelan, director of the Scottish Civic Trust, agreed: ‘The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards have been a joy to deliver.

‘The judges had an extremely difficult job to choose four winners from each of the categories, and all the shortlisted groups and individuals deserve huge praise for their achievements in rescuing, recording and celebrating Scotland’s historic buildings and places.

‘In the end, those nominees who demonstrated the best evidence of sharing of skills, overcoming adversity and creating a legacy made it to the top. Congratulations to all the nominees, and particularly to our four winners.’

The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards run parallel to Heritage Angel Awards in England and Northern Ireland. This year, an overall winner from the three award schemes will be selected and crowned at the London ceremony on Monday, November 20.

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