Places, buildings, people

The programme for Oamaru’s annual Victorian Heritage Celebrations is so full we’re spoiled for choice and I hadn’t planned to attend the annual *Forrester and Lemon Memorial Lecture.

However, the chair of the local branch of the Historic Places Trust which organises the lecture, was at Wednesday’s races and promised much of it.

She was right. Sir Neil Cossons, who was Chairman of English Heritage, the United Kingdom Government’s principal adviser on the historic environment, delivered a fascinating lecture on recycling heritage buildings.

He spoke of the importance of the relationship beween buildings and places if they are to be enjoyed by people.

He also promised a case of champagne if anyone could help them with the challenge of finding a new use for an old building with ceilings only 6 foot 4 inches high.

Among the audience for the lecture were people taking part in the pre-conference tour for the Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference which starts in Dunedin on Monday.

*Forrester and Lemon were the architects repsonsible for most of Oamaru’s beautiful Victorian buildings.

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