Conservation Masters Graduation, 2016-17

Conservation Masters degrees this year were awarded on Saturday 20 January by the University’s Chancellor, Sir Malcom Grant, at the Graduation ceremony in Central Hall on the Heslington West campus, together with an honorary degree awarded to the journalist, Orla Guerin MBE, who gave an inspiring and moving address.

In all, 18 students graduated with their MA in Conservation Studies and Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) from the 2016-17 year. A number of others, who were finishing their studies part-time, will receive their awards at the summer graduation on 26 July.

You can watch the ceremony on YouTube here. The Conservation awards begin around 28 minutes in to the recording.

Jess Western and Tom Pinner celebrating at the graduation reception.  Tom is now working as Heritage and Design Officer with Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Council. Jess, from New Zealand, is planning to continue her studies in a PhD programme.


Scholastic recognition

There were several members of the graduating cohort who were recognised for their scholastic achievement at an evening reception in King’s Manor after the graduation ceremony.

Of note, Amanda Brocklehurst received the prestigious conservation medal award from the York Consortium for Craftsmanship and Conservation. This is awarded by the Consortium to a student whose work has made a significant contribution to conservation practice. Amanda’s dissertation was an investigation of Grade 2 heritage buildings at risk in the North East of England and strategies for addressing the issues of neglect and under-resourcing. Amanda’s degree award was one of the highest distinctions in recent years. She is continuing to work as a conservation consultant in the North East.

Copy of CL3_7465
Amanda Brocklehurst receiving the prestigious conservation medal award from the York Consortium for Craftsmanship and Conservation.

The Department’s Conservation Prize for the highest marked conservation dissertation in the year was received by Helen Mulholland for her innovative research into proteinaceous additives in lime mortars. She also received the Yorkshire Philosophical Society’s Herman Ramm prize for the highest marked dissertation in the whole cohort across all programmes.

Copy of CL3_7481
Helen Mulholland received the Department’s Conservation Prize for the highest marked conservation dissertation in the year.

Meanwhile, Sara Volkman was presented the York Conservation Alumni Association’s award for her outstanding contribution to her year, as the student representative on Board of Studies and as an ambassador for the programme. She also received a distinction in her degree award. Sarah, from the USA, has been volunteering in the Honduras since the end of the programme and is now working back in the USA.

In addition to student achievement, Tracy Wilcockson was recognised for her three years of outstanding service as YCAA Chair prior to stepping down in the summer. Under her stewardship, the YCAA expanded its social media activity, worked to establish contacts with international alumni, and expanded its presence with current students of the programme. Tracy continues her work as a Preventive Conservator at the University of York’s Borthwick Institute for Archives.

Copy of CL3_7472
Tracy Wilcockson presented the York Conservation Alumni Association’s award to Sara Volkman for her outstanding contribution to her year.



Newcastle-upon-Tyne YCAA Alumni & Student Study Trip

York Conservation Alumni Association is delighted to announce its free Spring study visit to explore the northern city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Saturday 17 March 2018.

Designed by Michael Atkinson, YCAA’s new Chairman, and bonafide NorthEasterner, the day will involve two walking tours to take in the city’s sites and buildings in order to explore the rich heritage at the historic heart of the city and the iconic setting of the quayside and bridges.

To book your free place on the tour, please register on the tour’s Eventbrite page.


Newcastle-on-Tyne: A Context

The city developed around the Roman settlement Pons Aelius and was named after the castle built in 1080 by Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror’s eldest son. The city grew as an important centre for the wool trade in the C14, and later became a major coal mining area. The port developed in the C16 and, along with the shipyards lower down the River Tyne, was amongst the world’s largest shipbuilding centres. The city was a powerhouse during the Industrial Revolution with advancements such as the invention of the steam turbine and ‘Davy Lamp’ credited to the area.

The Tyne at Newcastle in the mid-C18. Image: UGC /

Cultural heritage also flourished and by the C18 the city was the fourth biggest printing industry in the UK. Establishment of the Literary and Philosophical Society in 1793 attracted intellectuals and academics.

The C20 brought about a steady decline in heavy industry during the interwar period affecting its coal mining and ship building pedigree. In response, the city has adapted and transformed itself into a cultural landmark.


The Study Day: An itinerary†

† The schedule of the day is subject to change pending the weather and any other unforeseen factors.

The visit begins at 10.45am, meeting at the glazed entrance portico of Newcastle Central Railway Station (1850, grade I listed), a distinctive public building designed in a classical style. A regular train service is in operation from York with trains departing at both 9.32am and 9.36am arriving direct into the city in time for the meeting point.

The Black Gate (1250, grade I listed/ASM) and Castle Keep (1178, grade I listed). Source: Wikipedia.

The morning walking tour concentrates on Old Newcastle and will take in the Church of St. John the Baptist (C12, grade I listed), historic market streets (Bigg, Groat and Cloth), The Literary and Philosophical Society (1822, grade II* listed), Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas (C14/C15, grade I Listed), The Black Gate (1250, grade I listed/ASM), Castle Keep (1178, grade I listed) and High Level Bridge (1849, grade I listed).

Lunch will be taken between 12.45pm – 1.45pm on Newcastle Quayside where there are a selection of street cafes and bars. Alternatively, a picnic lunch can be brought or bought on arrival at Newcastle Central Railway Station. Continue reading