While doing research online two years ago, I happened on information about historic preservation and Archeology Awareness Week in Jamaica. My interest piqued, I followed a link to the website for Falmouth Heritage Renewal (FHR), a charitable organization that is involved in historic preservation in Jamaica.
On FHR’s home page was an announcement about a free walking tour of Falmouth. I fired off an email and scheduled a tour that same week, a day after Prince Harry visited.
In a presentation prior to the start of the tour, FHR’s Executive Director, Dr. Ivor Conolley, explained the history of FHR, the projects it had completed as well as those underway. I also found out that FHR provides training, apprenticeship and mentoring programs for youths and adults interested in historic preservation. It also repairs homes for residents who can either donate labor or agree not to sell for a specified time after the work is completed.
I was so impressed by FHR’s work and activism that after the presentation and tour, I heard myself offering to help. Several months later, I was assisting them to organize its first three-day preservation seminar for architects, engineers and other professionals in the building trades.
FHR partnered with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in the UK, and two architects and an engineer flew to Jamaica to present at the seminar. Along with local preservation professionals, they gave hands on demonstrations of preservation techniques, including a traditional burning of limestone to make lime mortar. The seminar was so well received that participants suggested that FHR make it an annual event.
This year, the seminar will run from today to February 28th. Here are some of the photos from last year’s.
Preparing lime mortar.
Using lime mortar to repair a damaged stone wall. (Photos from FHR.)
A few of FHR’s projects.
In 1996, the Government of Jamaica declared Falmouth Historic District a National Monument. The historic town celebrates the 245th anniversary of its founding this year.
Linking to Travel Photo Thursday, which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox organizes. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.