If you think the Fringe is just about theatrical performances then think again. For the third year The Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival is providing an opportunity to learn about the skills and materials used to build and maintain traditional buildings for future generations.

This was a fascinating insight into the knowledge and skills of modern-day craftsmen working to preserve and restore the treasures of the past

The crafts and techniques used to work with materials such as stone, wood, slate and wrought iron are being displayed in a series of demonstrations which provide an insight into the work of today’s craftsmen.

Keith Swann, curriculum manager for carpentry and decorating at Edinburgh College, Institute of Construction and Building Craft led this session. He was ably assisted by Ryan King, an apprentice at K Construction Ltd., additional sponsors for this event, who not only demonstrated his skills with sash and cord windows but also illustrated that learning old crafts can provide a secure job future.

Keith used a clear power-point presentation to cover a wealth of technical information and details and indicate the problems that people with sash and cord windows can face in terms of diagnosing rots, getting repairs done and meeting building regulations, particularly in listed buildings. Throughout he dealt with questions from his audience.

This and other events in the series are made possible by a successful collaboration between the sponsors of the festival: Historic Scotland, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, the Stone Federation Great Britain and CITB. Edinburgh World Heritage Trust has donated its premises for events most of which take place in the open-air courtyard, often under large garden umbrellas to shield everyone from the rain

This was a fascinating insight into the knowledge and skills of modern-day craftsmen working to preserve and restore the treasures of the past and it’s served up with free tea and coffee, biscuits and scones and jam.  

Reviews by Richard Beck

Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Prairie Flower

★★
Jermyn Street Theatre

About Leo

★★★★
Orange Tree Theatre

Losing Venice

★★★★
The Queen's Theatre

Abi

★★★★
The Queen's Theatre

Abigail's Party

★★★★
The Fruitmarket Gallery

Picasso's Women

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival celebrates Edinburgh's traditional buildings and offers everyone an opportunity to learn about the skills and materials used to build and maintain them for future generations. Traditional skills are the crafts and techniques used to work with materials such as stone, wood, slate and wrought iron. These skills are vital to maintaining Edinburghs' world-renowned architecture. Hands-on demonstrations will show the importance of these vital skills and provide an interesting and valuable insight into each trade.