Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2016

The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards are supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

They were established in 2014. The first such awards in Scotland, the programme supports the delivery of the new Historic Environment Strategy, Our Place in Time, with its strong emphasis on community participation in heritage. The Awards will recognise the work of voluntary groups and individuals in protecting and celebrating our built heritage.

The Awards have 5 categories:


Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “Scotland’s heritage is of us all and for us all, empowering, enriching and shaping our communities. The contribution of volunteers and voluntary groups to understanding, protecting and valuing our heritage is tremendous and I am delighted that the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards will recognise that good work.“This exciting new enterprise is unique in Scotland, and supports the delivery of the new Historic Environment Strategy, Our Place in Time. I hope it will inspire people to get involved in voluntary work which celebrates our heritage.”

The Awards complement the existing Angel Awards run by Historic England.
The Awards are run by a partnership of Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Civic Trust, Scottish Government and Archaeology Scotland.


Scotland’s heritage volunteers named in nationwide shortlist

Shortlist for second annual Scottish Heritage Angel Awards announced

‘Angels’ behind the restoration of a memorial tower on Orkney, the safeguarding of a Victorian-built community hall in Glasgow and a Borders-based project that has recorded Scotland’s industrial brick makers are amongst those to have been chosen to go through to the finals of the 2016 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards.

The shortlist for the second annual Scottish Heritage Angel Awards, which is funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, has been revealed today – Thursday 15 September.

Highlighting a diverse range of voluntary activities and projects from across the country, the 12-strong shortlist also includes volunteers behind the recording of monuments within Dunfermline Abbey’s Graveyard, a project exploring the history behind the once grand 18thcentury Castlemilk House and Estate in Glasgow and a unique film and digital project that encourages people to engage with archaeology and history in a new and exciting way in Dumfries and Galloway and further afield.

Now in its second year, the awards, which welcomed over 50 nominations for heritage volunteers across the length and breadth of the country, will once again recognise and celebrate the efforts of volunteers in helping to better understand, protect and value Scotland’s heritage and history at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh, this October.

Commenting on the 2016 Scottish Heritage Angel Award shortlist, Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose charity established the awards initiative in Scotland, said: “It is wonderful to shine a light on the endeavours of these Scottish Heritage Angels, whose triumphs of dedication, energy and tenacity might otherwise go unsung. Every one of them is vital to preserving and promoting the richness of Scotland’s heritage. I congratulate them all on their fine achievements.”

Author and broadcaster, Vanessa Collingridge, photographer and Chair of the Scottish Civic Trust, Colin McLean and Georgia Vullinghs, of the Scotland’s Urban Past Youth Forum, will join returning judges Professor John Hume OBE and Andrew Wright OBE, one of Scotland’s foremost conservation architects, to decide on this year’s overall winners across the five categories.

The awards are delivered in partnership with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Civic Trust, Archaeology Scotland and the Scottish Government. The scheme supports the delivery of Scotland’s historic environment strategy – Our Place in Time, which places a strong focus on supporting and enabling community participation and engagement across the historic environment.

John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, said: “This year’s shortlist for the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards once again demonstrates the great scope of volunteer-led heritage work that is being undertaken throughout the country. It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm and passion that Scotland’s heritage ‘Angels’ contribute to the sector, particularly in the Young Heritage Angel Award, which is a new addition for this year.

“These awards provide us with a real opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate all those behind a wealth of projects and activities, both big and small, and their valuable work, which directly contributes to and benefits Scotland’s wider historic environment.

“Each of the applicants along with this year’s shortlist are to be commended on their impressive achievements to date.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards highlight and recognise the outstanding work and diversity of volunteers and community groups across Scotland who work tirelessly, throughout the year, to investigate, protect and share knowledge about Scotland’s rich and diverse heritage.

“The awards also provide an ideal opportunity for us to celebrate Scotland’s wider historic environment and the strength of the connection that so many of our communities feel for the past.  I congratulate all of the ‘Heritage Angels’ shortlisted for these awards and wish them continued success in their communities.”

Shortlisted ‘Angels’ have been invited to attend the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards ceremony, hosted by Vanessa Collingridge, to be held at the centuries-old Assembly Rooms, on Edinburgh’s George Street, on Tuesday 18 October, where the overall winner of each category will be announced.

To view the full details of the official shortlist for this year’s Scottish Heritage Angel Awards please visit


Full shortlist for the 2016 Scottish Heritage Angel Awards

Investigating and Recording:

  • Baberton Mains History Group for their social history and heritage project exploring the 1970s Wimpey Baberton Mains housing estate development, Edinburgh
  • Castlemilk Park’s Local History Group for the How Old are Yew? Project, looking into the history of the now-demolished Castlemilk House and its grounds, Glasgow
  • Mark Cranston for his work focussing on a unique part of Scotland’s industrial heritage in recording Scottish brick makers and brick markings, Scottish Borders

Link to feature short film – courtesy of Rob McDougall, Photographer and Film Maker – link to website


Caring and Protecting:

  • Jess Smith for her work to ensure the safeguarding of Tinker’s Heart and celebrating Scotland’s traveller community and their culture, Perthshire – with the project being undertaken in Argyll and Bute
  • Volunteers at Scotland’s Jute Museum @ Verdant Works for their efforts towards the £2.9million High Mill Open Gallery Project which brought a derelict building back into community use as well as the conservation and display of previously unseen objects from the museum’s collection, Dundee
  • Neil Kermode and the Orkney Heritage Society Kitchener Memorial Working Group for the centenary year restoration of The Kitchener Memorial to better remember all those who lost their lives on HMS Hampshire on 5th June 1916, Orkney

Sharing and Celebrating:

  • The Dig It! TV Team for their volunteer-led YouTube channel which aims to engage people with Scotland’s history in a new and exciting way and encourage them to discover their own local history and heritage for themselves, Edinburgh and throughout the country
  • Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust for the restoration and bringing back in to community use the Victorian-built Burgh Halls as well as the safeguarding of an important collection of objects, Glasgow
  • The Friends of Kinneil for their on-going dedication in promoting the rich history and heritage of Kinneil House, its Museum, Estate and Nature Reserve, Bo’ness

Young Heritage Angel Award:

  • The DigTV Young Volunteer Group for their work with the Whithorn Trust to engage people with archaeology and history through film and digital media, Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dunfermline Young Archaeologists’ Club for the recording of graves and monuments as part of the Dunfermline Abbey Graveyard Project led by Dunfermline Heritage Community Projects, Fife
  • Junior Park Rangers for their work in Holyrood Park contributing towards looking after the royal Park’s heritage and raising awareness of a safer countryside for all, Edinburgh

Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment:

  • The overall winner of this category will be announced at the awards ceremony in October.


10/10/2016 – BBC News

Not just another brick in the wall

The importance of bricks in Scottish history inspired Mark’s collection

A policeman from the Borders who has collected more than 2,300 bricks has been shortlisted for a Scottish Heritage Angel award.

Mark Cranston, from Jedburgh, has been gathering material for the past five years.

He said he was thrilled by the personal recognition but even more to see the “humble brick” acknowledged.

Mr Cranston added he was looking forward to retirement in order to spend more time on his collection.

“I first seriously started collecting bricks about five years ago basically by just picking a brick up, having a look at the name, researching the history of it and being hooked there and then,” he said.

“Nobody else was actually doing it – nobody else was bothered about the brick and what it meant for Scottish history.

“And when you look into it, it is huge for Scottish history – it just explodes out into so many avenues.”

It is a humble brick but it was used in so many spheres of the industrial and agricultural industry.

Mark Cranston, Scottish Heritage Angel finalist

Mr Cranston has spent hours on his hobby, either updating his website or researching the history of bricks.

He has also been contacted by people from around the world who have found material which originated in Scotland.

“From 1850 right through to the 1970s or 1980s Scotland was a leading producer, particularly of fireclay bricks,” he said.

“These were heat resistant bricks but the quality of the clay was so supreme that they were in so much demand all over the world.”

Mr Cranston’s work is one of three contenders for the investigating and recording category of the heritage awards.

“I am thrilled, personally, it is a bit of acknowledgement for myself, for the amount of work I have put in which is great,” he said.

“But more for the brick and what it stood for in Scottish history, I am glad to see it in the limelight.

“It is so important because, yes, it is a humble brick but it was used in so many spheres of the industrial and agricultural industry.”

Mr Cranston said he hoped to step up his efforts when he retired from his police work.

“I am doing it just between shifts at the moment,” he said.

“Once retirement comes it will be great, I can dedicate more time to actually finding and rescuing these bricks because once they are gone, they are gone.”

He urged anyone with information about bricks in their area to contact him.

“Any person that knows where I can maybe go and look for bricks, knows where there are any old brick works, has an old brick or whatever – please get in touch via the website and we can take it from there,” he said.

There are five different categories in the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh next week.



Among the award recipients were Mark Cranston from Jedburgh, who was named as winner of the Investigating and Recording category. Four years ago, Mr Cranston embarked on a remarkable project to research and record as much information on the Scottish industrial brick industry as possible – significantly adding to the current level of information available on the subject. Over those years Mark has travelled the country, collecting more than 2000 bricks in the process, each one of which tells its own story of an industry which was once thriving, and a fundamental part of Scottish industry as a whole.

Scottish Heritage Angel Awards Winners 2016 

  • Category A, Investigating and Recording: Mark Cranston
  • Category B, Caring and Protecting: Orkney Heritage Society Kitchener Memorial Working Group
  • Category C, Sharing and Celebrating: The Friends of Kinneil
  • Category D, Young Heritage Angel Award: Dig TV
  • Category E, Lifetime Contribution to the Historic Environment: Brian Watters


Below – some photographs of the awards ceremony. Many thanks to Greg Macvean for the photos







18/10/2016 – Jedburgh brick collector takes Scottish Heritage Angel award


Mark Cranston was recognised for his project to research and record Scottish bricks

A man from the Borders who has collected more than 2,300 bricks has won a Scottish Heritage Angel award.

Mark Cranston, from Jedburgh, received the honour at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Projects in Orkney, Whithorn, Bo’ness and Falkirk were also recognised in other categories.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who funds the awards through his foundation, said they highlighted what could be achieved when people got involved in “rescuing and restoring heritage”.

“Huge congratulations to the winners, and indeed to all who were shortlisted, not only for the work they do but for being outstanding ambassadors for heritage,” he said.

“I urge everyone to use the light we shine on these projects and their unsung heroes to unlock further funding and to inspire others to get involved.”

The awards were given in five categories.

Investigating and recording


Mark Cranston was recognised for his project to research and record the Scottish industrial brick industry.

He embarked on his work about five years ago “significantly adding to the current level of information available on the subject”.

Over those years he has travelled the country, collecting thousands of bricks, each one of which tells the story of a “fundamental part of Scottish industry as a whole”.


21/10/2016 – Southern Reporter

Brick collecting gives you wings

Jedburgh man Mark Cranston was presented with a Scottish Heritage Angel Award in recognition of his research into the Scottish brick industry.

As reported in The Southern last month, Mark’s huge collection of Scottish bricks and his work towards documenting the country’s rich history of brick-making had caught the eye of award organisers.


Mark Cranston of Jedburgh with his collection of Scottish Bricks.

And at a special ceremony at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms last Tuesday, hosted by author and broadcaster Vanessa Collingridge, he won the Investigating and Recording category.

Mark said: “I’m delighted to get the award, but even happier that the former brick and tile manufacturing industry in Scotland is getting the recognition it deserves.

“I would like to say a big thanks to all those many people who helped with the project by donating bricks and memorabilia, or pointing me in the right direction of where to find them, or indeed supplying information on the old brick works.

“Every day I’m contacted by people across Scotland, and from around the world, which just demonstrates the impact of this now-forgotten industry on our country, and the industrial revolution across the globe.

“I hope to continue this project for many years to come and build our understanding of this important aspect of Scottish history, and as such I would encourage anyone with an interest in this topic, big or small, to please get in touch.”

The winners were decided by a judging panel consisting of Professor John Hume (OBE), conservation architect Andrew Wright (OBE), Georgia Vullinghs, of the Scotland’s Urban Past Youth Forum, Colin McLean, chair of the Scottish Civic Trust, and Vanessa Collingridge.

The judges said: “We were extremely impressed with Mark’s commitment and dedication to his project.

“This was clearly a real labour of love, but it has created a unique record of Scotland’s brickmarks which will be of great benefit to historians, conservators, architects and many other people working and volunteering in the historic environment.

“Mark’s enthusiasm and single-mindedness shone through. He is a worthy winner.”

During the four years since Mark began his project, he has travelled all over Scotland to gather both information and bricks, trawling libraries and archives, as well as meeting with many people who assist with locating and donating bricks to his cause.

There currently exists no official national record or index of Scottish brickmarks and, prior to Mark’s project, our knowledge extended to just 350 Scottish brick makers. Mark now has more than 2,000 examples, so has expanded understanding on the subject considerably.

Other nominees in the Investigating and Recording category included a project by the residents of Baberton Mains History Group in Edinburgh to research and record the reminiscences of original occupants of the Baberton Mains houses as well as the history of the estate itself and the land on which it is built; and the How Old Are Yew? project in Castlemilk, Glasgow, which was formed to research and share the history of the now-demolished Castlemilk House and its grounds, which form Castlemilk Park. Both initiatives received a commendation from the judges.

John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, added: “The Angel Awards are proof of the amazing work done by thousands of heritage volunteers across Scotland. Their achievements are of great benefit, in economic, social and cultural terms, to Scotland’s historic environment. The awards are an opportunity to highlight their efforts and acknowledge their commitment, passion and enthusiasm. We are very grateful to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation for their support for these unique awards.”

The awards are delivered in partnership between the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, the Scottish Civic Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Archaeology Scotland and the Scottish Government.

To view the full details and to watch the films of the inaugural Scottish Heritage Angel Awards winners please visit