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International Study Trip

Egypt 2000

May 2001

This past May, thirteen MHP students and faculty traveled to England for a sixteen-day preservation study tour in York and North Yorkshire. The group included: Dr. Tim Crimmins, James Reap, Jim Cothran, Dorothy Minor, Richard Laub, Denise Messick, Jennifer Dickey, Scott Thompson, Bryan Flower, John Sylvest, Christine Hansen, Jennifer Holcombe and Amber Ludwig.

The goal of the course was to focus on the conservation and interpretive programs of English Heritage, The National Trust, and other preservation organizations. This course was designed to show students how a nation's history can be protected and presented to a national and international audience.

Students and faculty enjoyed numerous tours of urban centers such as the cities of Durham, York, Newcastle, Whitby, Harrogate, and Richmond, examining the protective programs of English Heritage within the context of continuing urban and rural development pressures. During these tours, city planners (most of whom were also conservation officers) not only pointed out places of interest in each locale, but also made a concentrated effort to discuss the place that heritage preservation occupied in their cities and towns. Many questions arose again and again concerning the delicate balance between growth and preservation: a concern that is at the forefront of preservation here in America as well.

Additionally, students and faculty enjoyed learning first hand about the conservation and interpretive programs of English Heritage and the National Trust through visits to representative properties such as Newby Hall and Gardens, Whitby Abbey, Richmond Castle, York Minster, Riveaux Abbey, Riveaux Abbey Temple and Terraces, Nunnington Hall, Durham Cathedral and Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Fountains Abbey (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Brodsworth Hall and Gardens and Nostell Priory.

Students and faculty also enjoyed rural landscapes as well as the urban ones. The group was fortunate enough to reside under the care of "Tim and Austin" at the Millgate House, a Georgian bed and breakfast that offered beautiful rural vistas from many vantage points as well as the experience of what it was like to live in a small Georgian Market Town in Northern England. Many enjoyed shopping in local stores and visiting local pubs, such as the "Unicorn" and "The Fleece;" That is if they had the energy after a grueling 8-10 hour touring day. This was what one might call a "working" trip! Additionally, Jim Cothran and others were in heaven and delighted with the Millgate's award-winning garden. The group also experienced "traditional English fare" each evening thanks to Mona Glue, a retired school chef. Some of the group, those living in the "big house" (the main house if you will) were able to experience the traditional English breakfast (eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, sausage and toast), while the rest of the group, those residing in the cottage, experienced traditional English cereal from a box and it goes without saying the entire group became hot tea connoisseurs.

A small number of the group chose to visit Edinburgh, Scotland during the "free weekend." Richard Laub, Denise Messick, Jennifer Holcombe, Amber Ludwig, and Christine Hansen took the train from York to Edinburgh. All reported a wonderful time. Jennifer, Amber and Christine took in a few historic sites, such as Edinburgh Castle, but spent the majority of their time "playing." Richard and Denise saw a bit more of the "historic sites" but had a wonderful time "playing" as well. Jennifer Dickey satisfied her curiosity by opting for a weekend tour of kitsch culture in Blackpool, England, and the rest of the group spent the weekend in Richmond. Here they enjoyed an evening at the Georgian Royal Theatre watching a three-act comedy: "The Game of Love and Chance" and participated in optional day trips around the Richmond area.

After spending two weeks in the English countryside most of the group felt somewhat shell-shocked to return to Atlanta. However, Dorothy Minor stayed to visit in London, and Jennifer and Amber could not get enough, and went to Dublin, Ireland for a few days. What were they thinking?

All in all, it was a trip that created many lasting memories for each member of the group. They say that pictures are worth a thousand words: the group has some wonderful pictures of their adventures. It was like stepping back through time at many of the places visited. Additionally, much was learned about heritage preservation in England and one cannot help but to make comparisons to our preservation system here in America for better or worse. It was an experience that will never be forgotten.

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