2009 Yearbook

44 Y e a r b o o k 2 0 0 9 BUILDING · CONSERVATION INSTITUTE · OF · HISTORIC · Stephen Bradwell My professional career began in local government, first as a development control officer, then, later, as professional interests and opportunities developed, moving into conservation. At the time I was eager to learn more about the historic environment that I was dealing with, and conservation seemed more enjoyable and rewarding than development control work. After serving my time in local government, I was presented with an opportunity to move to a private planning consultancy with the prospect of developing the conservation side of the business. This was not easy because, just as in local authorities, the pressures of mainstream planning and development always seemed to have priority. However, working in a private planning consultancy provided some invaluable lessons in business practice beyond my experience in local government. These included dealing with money, promoting the business to attract work, and time management. After some deliberation I felt confident enough to set up my own planning consultancy, Trigpoint Conservation & Planning, with a view to specialising in the historic environment. So far I have survived the first four years, combining locum work for local planning authorities, including a long-term consultancy with Nottingham City Council, with a steady stream of private work, particularly from local architectural contacts. My original intentions were to generate sufficient work to sustain myself full-time in order to keep the business at a manageable size and to offer a personal and flexible service, but as the business has developed I have been able to establish a small support network. I can now call on colleagues involved in planning, archaeology and historic buildings. This has proved useful in broadening the services that the company can offer and creating the opportunity to call on a second opinion. I have undertaken work for both the private and public sectors. Perhaps the two key areas of work have been the preparation of conservation area appraisals for local planning authorities, where we have been able to provide short-term additional capacity for the lifespan of the project, and in the private sector, the preparation of impact assessments. Going forward, I hope that our company will continue to develop, helped by our listing with the IHBC’s HESPR service. The introduction of HESPR should increase the profile of the institute and also enhance the recognition of the role of the professional heritage consultant in the development process. The rear elevation of the foundry, Nos 60–62 Constitution Hill, Birmingham: so much information tantalisingly hidden The former cart entrance with the royal coat of arms of the 1801–37 type, dated by the smaller shield in the centre that bears the Hanoverian arms mâché products and furniture, which enjoyed a considerable degree of popularity in the early to mid 19th century. The historic research revealed something of the production processes and organisation associated with this industry, which involved a range of heavy and often dirty industrial processes, some of which were put out to other specialist workshops in the area. Unfortunately, all evidence of papier-mâché production had been removed from the site by its subsequent use as a foundry, but the company’s office and showroom building on the street frontage still survived. Jennens and Bettridge were obviously very proud of their buildings as trade directory adverts from 1846 invited ‘persons of respectability’ to view the works. Stephen Bradwell is a chartered town planner and an experienced historic buildings consultant. He is a member of the RTPI and IHBC and an affiliate member of the Institute for Archaeologists.