Heritage volunteers from across Scotland gathered at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre this evening (Monday 28th September) as the winners of the very first Scottish Heritage Angel Awards were revealed.
The volunteers or ‘Angels’ involved in one of Europe’s most significant cemeteries, Scotland’s firefighting past, the country’s unique canal and waterway heritage, the safeguarding of a pair of historic buildings in the North of Scotland and an individual who has dedicated more than 20 years to Scotland’s archaeological sector were all celebrated as winners as they each received an Angel Award.
Funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, this initiative, the first of its kind in Scotland, culminated in winners being named across five categories at an awards ceremony hosted by Scottish writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson. The evening and the awards programme acknowledged and celebrated remarkable individuals and their efforts in helping to better understand, appreciate and protect Scotland’s heritage and history, for both present and future generations alike.
Commenting on the inaugural Scottish Heritage Angel Awards, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who also presented the Angel Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment, said: “The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards celebrate and pay tribute to all that is best about those volunteers who are engaged and passionate about Scotland’s heritage and history and recognise the contribution they make towards better understanding, protecting and valuing our heritage.
“In its inaugural year, this initiative is an exciting first for Scotland’s heritage landscape. These awards demonstrate the dedication and commitment of volunteers who work on a great variety of worthy projects throughout the country, who might not otherwise receive the recognition they deserve and these Angel Awards are in celebration of that.
“I was honoured to present Patrick Cave-Browne with the Angel for ‘Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment’ in recognition of his long volunteering association and work with Archaeology Scotland – which spans more than 20 years. This was made doubly special in a year that also recently welcomed the launch of Scotland’s first Archaeology Strategy.
“The valuable efforts of these remarkable volunteers will help ensure that future generations will be able to fully appreciate the wonderful and unique elements that make up Scotland’s rich and culturally diverse historic environment.”
Scotland’s first ever ‘Angels’ were decided upon by a judging panel made up of Professor John Hume OBE; Dr Peter Burman MBE, Vice Chair of Built Environment Forum Scotland; Harriet Eadie, Chief Executive of Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, Andrew Wright OBE, one of Scotland’s foremost conservation architects and Sally Magnusson.
Amongst the volunteers to be named a Scottish Heritage Angel were the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis. The group were presented the Angel for Investigating and Recording for their ongoing work and dedication to digitally capture and create a permanent record of some 3,500 graves, memorials and mausolea throughout the 37 acre site. The Angel for Sharing and Celebrating was awarded to some of the 200 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service volunteers, throughout Scotland, who help raise awareness and tell this lesser-known part of the nation’s story – which includes the founding of the world’s very first municipal fire brigade in Edinburgh in 1824.
Other Angels to be celebrated as winners included the local community volunteers of the Forres Heritage Trust, who claimed the Angel for Caring and Protecting for their work in securing the future of two iconic and historic landmarks, placing them at the centre of local community life once again. Some of the 162 disadvantaged 16-25 year olds and the 24 volunteer mentors who were involved in the two year Scottish Waterways Trust canal college programme were presented the Angel for Capacity Building.
Recently announcing Scotland’s 10-year Archaeology Strategy, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, presented the Angel for Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment to Patrick Cave-Browne. A volunteer at Archaeology Scotland for more than 20 years, Patrick was responsible for fostering the use of hands-on skills and educational outreach programmes to children at the Royal Blind School and those with special education needs – an area that Archaeology Scotland continue to be active in today through their online resources and loan investigation kits.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose charity, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, established the awards, said: “My earliest passion was for architecture and I am thrilled that my Foundation is one of the major supporters of the Angel Awards in England and now, for the first year, in Scotland. Madeleine and I have been incredibly proud to see the extraordinary array of people and projects nominated, from canal and waterways heritage work to the restoration of historic landmarks. Today, we say a huge thank you to all nominees as well as the winners for their incredible dedication, determination and tireless hard work protecting our heritage at risk for future generations to enjoy – congratulations to you all!”
Recognising the positive impact that volunteers have on Scotland’s heritage, the awards align well with the key underlying principles of Our Place in Time, the first Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland, which places a strong focus on supporting and enabling participation across the historic environment.
The 1st of October will see the bringing together of Historic Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) to form a new lead public body Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Chair, Jane Ryder, OBE commented: “The ethos on which these awards are founded complement and support the underlying principles of Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment – Our Place in Time. As we look ahead to our new heritage organisation coming into full effect later this week, the Angel Awards are a great example of how we hope to work with the sector to deliver this strategy, which places an emphasis on celebrating and championing our heritage as an asset for all.”
The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards are delivered in partnership between the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Scottish Government, Historic Scotland, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Scottish Civic Trust and Archaeology Scotland.
John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, added: “Honouring and acknowledging volunteers whilst recognising the benefit that their work brings to their local communities and the nation’s wider historic environment is at the very core of the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards.
“The inaugural year of this initiative has been hugely successful. From receiving over 80 high-quality applications to then narrowing this down to our shortlist and then choosing five overall winners has proven a challenge for our judges. This year’s Heritage Angels winners showcase the great diversity of important volunteer work that is being carried out at a local heritage level throughout the country.”
To view the full details and to view the films of the inaugural Scottish Heritage Angel Awards winners please visit www.scottishheritageangelawards.org.uk
Scottish Heritage Angel Awards Winners 2015
- Friends of Glasgow Necropolis in the category of Investigating and Recording for the surveying and archiving of graves and monuments, Glasgow
- Forres Heritage Trust in the category of Caring and Protecting for the restoration and bringing back into community use of two local historic landmarks, Nelson Tower and The Tolbooth, Moray
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Volunteers in the category of Sharing and Celebrating for their Scottish fire heritage project, South Lanarkshire and throughout Scotland
- Scottish Waterways Trust – Canals College in the category of Capacity Building for their canal and waterways heritage work, Falkirk
- Patrick Cave-Browne for Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment in recognition of his valuable contributions to Scotland’s rich and diverse historic environment
– Award presented by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs