Context 151 - September 2017

C O N T E X T 1 5 1 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 49 New member profile Eilíse McGuane Like so many colleagues in our field, my path to my current position as a listing adviser with Historic England has been varied, taking twists and turns throughout the UK and Ireland, and often the road less travelled. Following a degree in history of art and architecture at Trinity College Dublin, I undertook a graduate placement with the Office of PublicWorks in Dublin, travelling throughout Ireland cataloguing the collections of historic properties in state guardianship. During this time, my interest in historic houses and their conservation grew, leading me to undertake a research masters in urban and building conservation at University College Dublin. Following my studies, I returned to work with the Office of PublicWorks, documenting the historic collections of Ilnacullin, a spectacular garden island off the west coast of Cork, designed by Harold Peto. I established a heritage partnership, Built Heritage Collective Ireland, with two colleagues in 2011, and completed a number of architectural heritage surveys for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage in Dublin City and County Monaghan, providing recommendations for additions to the Record of Protected Structures (the Irish equivalent of the National Heritage List for England). Due to the economic downturn in Ireland, I needed either to stay in Ireland and give up on my dream of working in conservation or pursue my dream in the UK. I migrated to join the English Heritage estates team in Swindon in 2013, coordinating condition surveys of English Heritage properties throughout the country. In 2014, I joined the listing team in Cambridge as an assistant listing adviser, assessing buildings, archaeology, and parks and gardens for designation, covering a large geographic area from Essex to Lincolnshire. I undertook a secondment with the East of England planning team as an assistant inspector of historic buildings and areas in 2016, before rejoining the East listing team as listing adviser. My daily work can be hugely varied, ranging from the assessment of the national importance of a medieval moated site, to the special architectural and historic interest of an arts-and-crafts garden, or a post-war university library. I joined the IHBC as an affiliate member in 2014, before achieving full membership in 2016. Membership of the IHBC assures owners of historic buildings and sites, and fellow conservation professionals, that I have achieved a certain level of professional competence in recording the historic environment and assessing its significance, as well as competencies in the management of, and interventions in, the historic environment. For anyone interested in transitioning from affiliate membership to associate or full membership, I would highly recommend attending one of the regional membership seminars, where you can hear how other members successfully completed their applications, and obtain valuable feedback from committee members on the suitability of your case studies. Personally, it took approximately one year to prepare and submit my application for full membership, but receiving recognition as a full member has certainly been worth the investment. For young conservation professionals, being a member of IHBC (regardless of membership level) shows a great willingness to develop your skills and understanding of the profession, and is vital for any employment application within our field. Eilíse McGuane is a new full member of the IHBC.