Pupils from Limekilns Primary School visited Charlestown Workshops to help design features and amenities for our development proposals for our Yard Project. Robin Sharp from our local history interest group, the Gellet Society, gave the pupils a presentation on the history of Limekilns and Charlestown from medieval times onwards. Nick Bowen of Ian White Associates (Landscape Architects), Lead Professional for the feasibility study of our ‘Yard’ at Charlestown Workshops together with Scottish Lime Centre training staff Roz Artis, Dave Clark, Scott MacAskill and David Scott delivered an interesting set of traditional building skills activities. First off, the P7 pupils watched in amazement at quicklime (the product material from a limekiln) being ‘slaked’, the alchemy of boiling and bubbling ‘cooked’ limestone when it is combined with water. Next, the P7s were asked what their own homes were made of? And very soon, an impressive list of materials was compiled featuring sandstone to brick and from slate to pan tile and everything else in between. Then the practical activities began, designing and carving an individual ‘masons’ mark’ on pieces of limestone and casting traditional plaster ‘enrichments’ in Plaster of Paris that would have adorned Victorian ceilings all to take away.
The workshop was enjoyed by the youngsters and indeed the ‘not so young’ (actually we were all exhausted afterwards!) and was a fitting ‘wind down’ for the pupils before their October holidays.