TEDxUoChester Salon will explore the preservation of heritage in both the West Midlands and the Welsh Marches. Whether through royal sites like Shrewsbury Castle and St Mary’s Shrewsbury or the wider historic buildings of portable antiquities, policing, or even the built environment – this live event compares strategies for heritage preservation and recording whilst considering new discoveries and present threats from heritage crime in urban and rural contexts.

Our event will have two sessions – the first will explore how recording, community engagement, policy, and partnerships are vital in responding to threats to urban sites, church buildings, and other heritage sites. This includes recent partnerships to restore the Medieval windows at St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury.

In our second session, we will explore rural crimes against heritage assets and correct reporting and crime prevention as suggested by the Rural Policing and Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison. This will be followed by a round table discussion as the role and vigilance of ordinary people, local communities, volunteers, academic and student researchers, as well as amateur and professional specialists are vital in accurately identifying, reporting, and recording heritage crime to find solutions.

Session 1: Heritage Crime and Building Preservation: Churches and Secular buildings in the Built Environment

  • Morn Capper, Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, University of Chester
  • Rachael Abbiss, Project Officer (St Mary’s Shrewsbury), Churches Conservation Trust
  • Andy Wigley, Policy and Environment Manager, Shropshire County Council

Session 2: Understanding Rural Heritage: Reporting Rural Heritage Crime

  • Jonathan Lightfoot, Rural and Business Crime Officer, West Mercia Police
  • Clara de Sousa Cunha and Teresa Gilmore, Portable Antiquities Scheme
  • Paul Jeffery, National Listing Manager, Historic England
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