Register for free tickets to The Old House Show… and find out how to save 20% on a SPAB membership

This September, head to London for an exciting live exhibition from Britain’s most trusted period building experts, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Plus, discover top tips for giving your home an exterior MOT

Row of period cottages
(Image credit: Getty)

In partnership with Period Living magazine, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is holding a brand new event – The Old House Show, a must-visit exhibition for period homeowners, craftspeople and those working with old buildings. 

The show will take place at the Old Royal Naval College, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Greenwich, London, between 7 and 8 September 2018. 

Register in advance for free entry, and you will also be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a homeowner course.

In addition, Period Living readers will exclusively be able to take advantage of a free one-to-one expert advice slot with SPAB technical director and magazine columnist Douglas Kent (scroll down for details).

The Old House Show is being held at the Old Royal Naval College

The Old House Show is being held at the Old Royal Naval College between 7-8 September 2018

(Image credit: Old Royal Naval College)

As well as featuring a range of carefully selected exhibitors, expert advice and two full days of presentations, the show will host live demonstrations of traditional crafts, including lime slaking, stone carving and letter cutting, brick repair, timber framing, blacksmithing, carpentry and stained glass techniques. 

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings is the UK’s oldest building conservation charity. It gives period properties a future through its unique training schemes, courses, advice and research, which help people to put their expertise into practice. 

The Old House Show will bring together all aspects of the SPAB’s work, and is a rare opportunity to find everything you need to know about maintaining and renovating a period home all under one roof.

Broadcaster, heritage champion and SPAB member Loyd Grossman will be speaking in his role as Chairman of the Heritage Alliance, delivering the keynote speech on the theme ‘Why Heritage Matters’ on 7 September.

SPAB aims to inform and inspire period homeowners through training and expert advice

SPAB aims to inform and inspire period homeowners through training and expert advice

(Image credit: SPAB)

How to book your free advice slot

SPAB technical director and Period Living columnist Douglas Kent is offering exclusive one-to-one advice slots for PL readers on Saturday 8 September 2018. 

To book your free slot, you need to bring the Show Preview page from the September 2018 issue of Period Living (on sale now) to the Advice Surgery welcome desk in the SPAB area at the Old House Show on the day. 

Appointments will be given on a first-come-first-served basis and are likely to book up fast, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. 

Save 20% at SPAB and win a night's Champing!

Take out a SPAB individual or joint membership by 6 September 2018 using the promotional code PLOFFER2018, and you will receive a 20 per cent discount on your first year’s membership. You will also  be entered into a prize draw to win a one-night stay for two at one of The Churches Conservation Trust’s most popular ‘Champing’ churches, St Katherine’s in Chiselhampton, plus a complimentary bottle of champagne. Scroll down for terms and conditions.

Champing is the simple concept of camping in ancient churches –  a truly unique way to immerse yourself in centuries of history. The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk, is behind this ingenious idea.

Champing is a unique and atmospheric experience that involves spending the night in an ancient church

Champing is a unique and atmospheric experience that involves spending the night in an ancient church. Sitting in hedge-lined seclusion six miles south-east of the spires of Oxford, St Katherine’s exudes simple, Georgian beauty, and is full of light. It features charming box pews and a bare wooden floor-boarded gallery

(Image credit:

Give your home an MOT

Ahead of the show, SPAB offers its top tips on giving your home a simple exterior health check, which could save you thousands of pounds on damage in future

  • Take a few moments to check the state of your roof for slipped or missing tiles. If you are standing outside a pair of binoculars can be useful to help you spot any faults. Inside, look for gaps or daylight showing through the roof overhead.
  • Outside, look for blocked downpipes (best done during heavy rain to see water coming from any leaky joints – in dry weather look for stained brickwork).
  • Every autumn, clear any plants, leaves and silt from gutters, hopperheads, flat roofs and drainage channels. It’s a good idea to do this in spring too to deal with anything that might have found its way into the wrong place.
  • Check ground level gullies and drains to make sure they are clear of debris like leaves, twigs and even things like balls and toys – and have them cleaned out if necessary.
  • Remove potentially damaging vegetation from behind downpipes by cutting back or removing the plant altogether.
  • Use a hand mirror to look behind rainwater pipes as splits and cracks in old cast iron and aluminium often occur here and are not easily noticed.
  • Fit bird/leaf guards to the tops of soil pipes and rainwater outlets to prevent blockages.
  • Have gutters refixed if they are sloping the wrong way or discharging water onto the wall.
  • If sections are beyond repair, make sure that replacements are made of the same material as the originals (on older houses, this is sometimes lead, but more usually cast iron).
  • Regular painting of cast iron is essential to prevent rust – and keeps your property looking good!
  • Remember to take care at all times, wear protective gloves when necessary and never work at heights or use ladders if you are alone. 
  • If in doubt always seek help from a professional.

Clear leaves from gutters

Clear leaves from gutters in the spring and autumn

(Image credit: SPAB)

Prize draw terms and conditions

  • Entrants must be 18 or over.
  •  Current Members of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), employees or agencies of the SPAB or Future Publishing, or their family members, or anyone else connected with the prize draw may not enter the Prize Draw. 
  • Offer applies to fully priced Individual and Joint Memberships only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  • Offer expires 6 September 2018.
  • The prize is a one-night stay for two people, plus one bottle of champagne, to be redeemed for a date during the 2019 Champing Season (26 March–30 September 2019) subject to availability.
  • The winner will be drawn at random from new SPAB members joining online and quoting code PLOFFER2018.
  • The winner will be announced by 31 October 2018.