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Opening doors for Wick's historic legacy

By David G Scott

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A delivery of specially crafted doors and windows made by local students was gratefully accepted by the chairman of Wick Society for its heritage museum.

Students from North Highland College (NHC) UHI had set themselves the task of working on a locally based project connected to their Employability Programme in Construction (EPC) course.

Ian Leith, the chairman of Wick Society which runs Wick Heritage Museum, said: “As a community based organisation we are always willing to work with others in the community. We are very grateful to the staff and students at NHC for the work they have done with us. It has been a very rewarding experience and in this case is allowing us to progress work on the smiddy display."

NHC course lecturer, Lance Nicholson, said: "We have been working with the Wick Society’s, Wick Heritage Museum for several years and this year have produced two hardwood doors and three windows for the smiddy/blacksmith's area that volunteers are currently developing."

The project is designed to give the students "a real world insight" into construction. After agreeing to the project, students had to take into account the nature of the building – maintaining airflow within the smiddy; checking design that featured in any existing windows/doors; assess the public's safety once installed; and work out the logistics of making the items.

The college donated all the timber for the project through one of the construction team lecturers and provided facilities to allow the students to complete the work. Students at NHC have completed this project partly outside their normal college hours.

NHC offers a wide range of courses within the construction sector – all taught with lecturers from industry backgrounds.

Student Ross Matheson who is currently on the EPC course said: “I started at NHC in 2018 as a school link student. From this I progressed onto the EPC course in 2020.

"I have learned a variety of skills within the construction sector, including team work, attention to detail, communication, practical skills and industry relevant knowledge.

Ross said he hopes to progress further at the college and eventually become an apprentice joiner. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far at NHC and look forward to continuing my studies there," he added.

Mr Nicholson said: “This group of students have really embraced their work at NHC. I'm particularly proud of the way they've taken this project on and made it their own.

"This year, through very difficult times, they have proved they have what it takes to make it in the construction industry. Well done to them all.”

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