A restoration expert at Stone Technical Services (STS) in Darlington has been nominated for one of the heritage sector’s most prestigious awards.
Kenny Brunskill has been singled out as one of the best in his business by Historic England, who organise the annual ‘Angel Awards’ to recognise outstanding achievements of people protecting local heritage.
Kenny was nominated by Martin Hulse from the Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT) for his work preserving and restoring the Corbridge Bottle Kilns, part of the famous 19th Century Walker’s Pottery and scheduled monuments on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register due to their poor condition.
The kilns had deteriorated in recent years and Kenny and the STS team carried out a range of preservation works to stabilise them and make them safe for visitors. The kilns are two of only 44 designated bottle kilns in the UK, with the majority of these found in the south of the country.
Kenny has been nominated for the Angel Award in the ‘Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project’ category and will find out later in the Autumn if he is an overall winner at a ceremony hosted by Andrew Lloyd Webber in London’s West End.
Kenny, from Willington, County Durham, joined STS in 2007 as an operative and, since then, has risen through the company to be a supervisor within STS Restoration. Kenny has worked on a number of prestigious projects for STS including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park and Lumley Castle, to name but a few.
Speaking about his award nomination, Kenny said: “To have been singled out in this way is just brilliant. Few actually get nominated so I’m thrilled. We were all really proud to be involved with the bottle kilns’ project as it meant such a lot to the local community. Preserving local heritage is such important work and should never be under-valued. I am privileged to get to work on some amazing sites so to be recognised for what I love doing is a great.”
STS’s is made up of five divisions- STS RopeSpec, STS Lightning Protection, STS Restoration, STS Maintenance and Facilities Management and STS Conservation. The company works all over the UK for organisations such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Central Hall, the Royal Courts of Justice, Ineos and BP and various local councils and housing associations, as well as with the National Trust and English Heritage.
STS was established by Darlington brothers, Dave and Grahame Stone, in 1998 and they now have offices in Edinburgh city centre, near Stockport in Cheshire and in central London as well as their HQ on Kellaw Road in Darlington