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English Heritage chairman to speak during Carter Group Heritage Week

14 September 2005

One of England’s foremost authorities on heritage, Sir Neil Cossons, will deliver the keynote address at the official opening of the annual Carter Group Heritage Week in Christchurch, at 5.30pm, 7 October.

Sir Neil was flown from England by Beca as the Carter Group Heritage Week guest of honour to participate in the annual celebration of the architectural, social and environmental heritage of Christchurch.

Bookings are essential for Sir Neil’s keynote address at the Regent on Worcester, Worcester Boulevard, (phone 365 2486) where he will draw on a lifetime of experience and contribution to the conservation of buildings, landscapes, and collections in England.

He is a past director of London’s Science Museum, and the Ironbridge George Museum, in Shropshire, and London’s National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, which are now both World Heritage sites. He is chairman of English Heritage, the government-led body for the conservation of England’s historic environment which is responsible for historic environment legislation, grants and opening more than 400 historic sites.

An authority on the history of technology and industrial archaeology, Sir Neil has helped spearhead the conservation of many industrial and technological sites in England. One such site was a former steam locomotive watering point at St Pancras station, which was relocated and opened at a new site on 22 June, this year. The gothic-style waterpoint is the only survivor of seven such structures which once stood behind the station to supply water for steam locomotives.

Sir Neil will speak on changing attitudes to heritage - how we see it, understand it, value it and care for it at the two Power of Place Workshops for Industry Professionals to be held at the Arts Centre William Sutton Room at 10am and 1.30pm, on 7 October. Costing $25 a person per session, there is a limit of 30 places at each workshop, so bookings are necessary.

The public can also catch Sir Neil at a public talk on The Challenges of Heritage Tourism on Sunday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm, 9 October, at the Christ’s College Old Boys’ Theatre, Rolleston Avenue, for $5 per person. The entry fee will be donated to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Sir Neil has worked with a wide range of organisations in New Zealand, including city councils, and many museums and heritage services.

The main theme of this year’s Heritage Week is “Restoration – Hands on Heritage”. The week’s key event will also include a series of restoration workshops offering heritage home restorers and building enthusiasts practical information, advice and hands-on experimentation for the care of their heritage homes, buildings, antiques and landscapes.

The programme of events can be viewed on or bookings made by contacting Tenth Dot Management on (03) 365 2486.

Initiated and core-funded by the Christchurch City Council since 1993, Heritage Week is sponsored by Christchurch businesses: the Carter Group, Aalto Colour, Beca, Fletcher Construction, and a grant from The Canterbury Community Trust.

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