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Carol Heidschuster

2016 Askins Achievement Award Recipient

"This is very important, the Cathedral has an ongoing restoration programme for at least the next 25 years. Our major stonemasonry projects use in the region of 100 tonnes of Lincoln Limestone per year."

The award was presented by Simeon Warren, Dean Emeritus and Chair Traditional Masonry Program at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, South Carolina. The text of his nomination statement is as follows:

"As a young man I worked in one of the most rewarding organisations a young person can be exposed too. Through this organisation I became the person I am. Without the ability to work on an amazing structure and learn architectural stone carving, installation and quarrying I personally have would not have learned as much as I did in such a short time and as such I would not have been able to have built the American College of the Building Arts. Beyond my self the person I am nominating has affected a generation of craftspeople in fields as broad as carpentry, timber framing, glass working, Lead work to name a few.

Although not a craftsperson herself, she has created a structure that is supportive to the people that work alongside her. She allows young individuals to explore and grow within their craft and if they show true promise to become a leader in their field. Her work in educating craftspeople is beyond doubt. When you see the capabilities of the team she has put together you will understand the strength of this nomination. By fully allowing these craftspeople the space to apply their preservation trade skills they cannot help to their own commitment, whether they knew it at the time of their initial employment, to become the building trade masters of this century.

At present the English Cathedral and Workshop which she manages is undergoing a massive change that will fundamentally redesign and redevelop the way this cathedral is viewed and perhaps many set a new precedent for the management of historic facilities. At present a massive funding program is underway which will open up the old Deans Palace as a visitor center and expose the west wing to the public for the first time in generations. Alongside this program eventually the whole workshop facilities will probably be redeveloped and become a state of the art workshop fit for the future conservation work which will continue for generations to come. In other words, not only has she effected a generation of Craftspeople already she is reimaging how a modern cathedral can be conserved and viewed for future generations. This vision to look forward extends to growing the grand oaks for the cathedrals roofing system which have been planted today so that people will be able to harvest them 200 years from now.

In closing by the time this individual has finished her work I believe she will have left in place a lasting legacy for generations to come. Not only in terms of the craftspeople that she has developed but also in term of the organisational structure she has and is putting in place to maintain this Cathedral for this and following Millennia.

Through her work Craftspeople, Conservationists and laypeople will be able to work, study and enjoy a majestic structure in a much more fulfilled manner than without her commitment and work over the last 28 years.

I propose that the Askins Achievements award committee accept that the first female Clericus Fabricae in English History has fully fulfilled the awards criteria and that Carol Heidschuster nomination for her work at Lincoln Cathedral alongside her dedicated team of craftspeople is without doubt a worthy award Nominee and recipient."

Award speech by Simeon Warren

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