Blowing our own trumpet
At the Friends’ AGM on 11 October we said farewell to two longstanding trustees. Alison Hobson had been Secretary for the past five years, keeping us in order and ensuring that we had records of our meetings. Sadly, she was retiring on health grounds. Liz Jack was a trustee almost since the founding of the Friends 25 years ago. She had fulfilled many different roles over the years, finally as editor of the Friends’ newsletter and ‘caterer-in-chief’. Liz left with a flourish having produced a 25th Anniversary cake decorated with edible photos of past and present trustees. I’m still trying to find out who ate me!
We also said farewell to our President, Dame Janet Trotter, as she came to the end of her term as Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. She has been a staunch supporter of the Friends and regularly chaired our AGMs. The bouquet of flowers we presented to her, although much appreciated, was a very inadequate token of our thanks and gratitude.
At the AGM Members approved the appointment of two new trustees. Cllr Neil Hampson is a former Mayor of Gloucester, a Councillor for Moreland Ward and a long-time resident of Gloucester. He has a great interest in, and knowledge of, the history of the County and City. Dr Cherry Ann Knott trained as an architect, managed the National Trust’s Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire and has a PhD from Warwick University. Until recently she was a member of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s South West Committee and gave great support during the development of the Heritage Hub.
Blowing our own trumpet
Over the years the Friends have bought, or assisted in buying, many items for the Archives, both documents and equipment. We thought it was about time we blew our own trumpet! So, we have designed some tasteful labels to affix to items we’ve bought and so publicise what we’ve done. We hope non-members will appreciate more what the Friends do, and think about becoming members themselves. The more subscriptions we have the more we can do for the Archives. And, for members who live locally, there is a varied programme of talks and visits they can enjoy.
Members at the November talk
Over the past two years we have not been able to hold our usual programme of talks because of the limited space at the Archives during building works. We re-launched the talks at the end of November when Cherry Ann Knott gave a fabulous talk on walled gardens in the welcoming surroundings of the new Dunrossil Centre. Nearly 40 people sat in the audience enthralled by Cherry’s encyclopaedic knowledge and extensive research. She spoke about the way walled gardens were designed and used, the plants which gardeners bought in the 17th and 18th Centuries and even the tools they used, most of them little different from ones we use today. Finally, she spoke about the ambitious design for the Heritage Hub’s own walled garden, which will begin to take shape in coming months.
An extensive programme of talks and outings is planned for 2019 so members should watch out for further information. The next event is on 14 February 2019 when Friends will be treated to a special tour of Painswick Rococo Gardens, the only surviving Rococo gardens in Britain.