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Yorkshire Dales mill offers traditional craft training

[Monday 22 September 2008]

A YORKSHIRE DALES mill is set to offer training opportunities in traditional woodworking skills for both trade professionals and enthusiastic amateurs this autumn.

Gayle Mill near Hawes, has teamed up with Skipton based Craven College to offer two short courses in the time-honoured woodworking skills and techniques craftsmen have used for centuries.

The first course, which runs for 1½ days for five weeks, starting on 10 October, will teach participants how to repair and manufacture box sash windows. The course is aimed principally at woodworking professionals who will learn how both to manufacture and carry out maintenance on sliding sash windows to modern industrial standards.

We are sure that this unique course will appeal to many professional woodworkers and builders undertaking work in conservation areas anywhere in the country

Glenn Young - Craven College

Glenn Young, Head of the Construction and Heritage Skills Centre at Craven College, said: “We are sure that this unique course will appeal to many professional woodworkers and builders undertaking work in conservation areas anywhere in the country. Increasingly planning authorities insist upon the use of heritage skills, techniques and materials in building work to maintain the traditional character of an area.”

The second course, which runs for five Saturdays starting 11 October, is an introduction to carpentry and joinery, suitable for anyone with a keen interest in improving their practical skills and knowledge of handtools and how to get the best out of them. Participants will complete several pieces of work such as a dovetail box and a side table to a high standard, which will give them the confidence to tackle more challenging projects.

Gayle Mill Manager Paul Bisson said: “It was always part of the long term plans for the Mill to make its history live again through training people to keep vital heritage skills alive for the benefit of future generations. We are delighted that Craven College is working with us to help achieve that goal at the Mill, and that the students on these courses can benefit from the exceptional knowledge and experience College tutors William Hamilton and Paul Slack.”

Craven College is a founder member of the recently launched National Heritage Training Academy which has been set up to provide training in age-old heritage skills, from lead-working and stone carving to thatching and woodworking. Glenn Young added: “We now have a great opportunity to take training out into rural areas like the Yorkshire Dales National Park and to develop a wide range of courses for people near to where they live.”

Both courses will take place in the upper room of Gayle Mill. They are accredited by Craven College, and can lead on to further studies and activities through the college. Places are limited on both courses, so early booking is advised.

Further information can be obtained from Craven College on 01756 708932 or Gayle Mill on 01969 667320.

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