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THI Events

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The success of the THI will depend in part on investing in people’s confidence and community pride. The THI will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the needs of the area’s heritage, and the benefits of conservation-led regeneration. We intend to organise activities and events that the community can take part in to learn more about and enjoy their local heritage, and how to care for it.

Latest Event - Book Now - Tour of the Foyer

After falling into a near derelict state of repair, the Grade II listed former YMCA building in Whitehaven has now been restored, with a grant of over £500,000 from the Whitehaven Townscape Heritage initiative.  The THI is running two tours of the building, which is now known as the Foyer, prior to its official opening to the public.  The tours are at 10am and 11:30am on the 30th March 2017 and 12 places are available on each one.   If you would like to book please click on one of the links below, depending on which time you would like to attend:


10:00am Tour 

11:30am Tour


Skills Masterclasses 





We are looking for local contractors to get involved with the work around Whitehaven’s Townscape Heritage Initiative.

If you have heritage skills and would like to register an interest in bidding for work in the THI are please contact us, using the contact us tab, calling Jane Taylor on 01946 598351 or emailing her on  Contractors are also invited to sign up for free masterclasses.  The masterclasses are open to all construction firms and sole traders who feel they or their staff may benefit from gaining or improving specific heritage skills.  Attendees will get hands on experience working on various projects.  The masterclasses will be led by experienced craftsmen, please see below for details of future and past masterclasses.

Planned for the summer of 2017, Masterclasses in Stonemasonary and Leadwork



Insitu Plaster Coving Masterclass

 Held on 11th & 12th January 2017 at 48-50 Market Place, Whitehaven

This was a hands on event for local plasterers to learn the art of repairing and making plaster cornicing.  It was a chance to work with master plasterers Lee Richards and Colin morris.  By the end of the two days attendees had gained full knowledge of how to complete a straight run cornice including finishing angles and corners by hand.  

An Introduction to Building with Lime


Held on 29th & 30th September 2016 at Muncaster Castle 


This was a practical two-day course for students, building contractors and those interested in working with lime. It was led by Lee Richards L.C.G.I and Master Plasterer, who examined all aspects of using lime in building works.


Roofing and Lead Work

Held on 4th-6th March 2015 

Attendees worked with roofing expert Bob Wall, who will shared his vast knowledge and experience of working on heritage projects, giving advice on all aspects of slate roofing, including choosing, cutting and fitting slates, lead welding and what you need to know when dealing with listed buildings and bats.

Lime Render

11th-15th May 2015

This was an excellent opportunity for contractors to work with Rob Williams, a time served plasterer, with over 25 years’ experience working on heritage projects and specialising in listed buildings and churches.  Attendees received hands on experience of applying the render, controlling the suction of the background and protecting the render while the curing takes place.  He explained the benefits of using lime over cement and sand and the different mixtures used.





Community Activities


Taster days

A series of taster days have been held and others are planned to provide demonstrations, hands-on experience and introductory information on topics relevant to the THI and the buildings and spaces in the area. To date taster days have been held in lime rendering, pointing and plastering, laying setts and insitu plaster coving.  Other proposed topics includemay include:

  • damp, breathability and rainwater goods
  • understanding the needs of your building
  • maintenance and repair
  • stone masonry
  • wood carving 

Please contact us if you are interested in attending any of the taster days no experience is necessary. 


Walks, Talks and Tours

Numerous walks, talks and tours have been held, taking in the THI area, its interesting historic buildings and the stories behind them.  Tours of the Former YMCA building have been held and further tours are planned for 30th March 2017, details to follow.  Local people have also visited the archive centre to examine records and been invited to walks on how to maintain traditionally constructed buildings.


Tour of the Former YMCA building September 2015, led by architect Stuart Woodhall.


Young People’s Workshops

Young people are encouraged to think about the importance of their local heritage and possible career paths into the field.  They have been invited on tours of the Conservation area and harbour and been taught about the history of the area.  A group of students from St. Benedicts School attended a creative writing workshop with local poet Emma McGordon and assisted her with the creation of the poem, which can be seen engraved in the seat backs on the plaza at the end of James Street.  The poem talks about the horse drawn waggon way which ran down James Street, Pow Beck which runs under it, the businesses which have operated around the plaza over the past three hundred years and the new buildings which now stand where foundaries once stood.

And so, the strands unravelling continues;from the clop of horses to the clip of heels. Where once metal was melted, moulded, solidified,now stands steel beneath a new, clear sky. Below all this runs a beck, hidden like a vein, blood-full of memory; the sons who became fathers, the daughters who bore, memories of the butchers, the bakers, the hands of the soap-makers and all those who walked, walk and one day will be walking.



A series of informal lectures will be held to provide detailed information on a range of topics relevant to the THI and the buildings and spaces in the area.

A full day of lectures took place on the 4th June 2015.  The event titled Understanding Traditional Buildings was held at the Copeland Centre for property owners and professionals.  It looked at maintenance issues, the use of lime, the restoration of sash windows and energy efficiancy in traditional building.



If you would like to receive information about events as and when they are organised please click here to register.