Today, 30th January, marks my one-year anniversary as the Director of Historic Buildings & Places!
It feels like the year has flown by, and I have settled in so well and feel very much at home. To mark the year, I thought I would pick 5 of my most memorable moments from the past 12 months.
1. My first members’ event at Bentley Priory Museum.
My first ever members’ event was visiting Bentley Priory Museum, not just a fascinating site and story, but a great chance to meet and talk to members, only a few weeks after I started. Members talked to me about the value of the visits, and the enjoyment gained from visiting different sites around the county. The stunning entranceway to the Museum was the highlight of the visit for me.
2. The 99th AGM
The sun was shining down on the morning of our 99th AGM, held at the home of our charity’s President, Lord Richard Inglewood. A glorious day to join members in the Cumbrian sunshine, and the landscape surrounding the house was as stunning as the home itself. With a smooth AGM, well delivered by the staff team, and a brilliant tour of the house by Richard himself, the day was a wonderful celebration of things heritage.
3. Leaving Vestry Hall, and moving to our new office for the first time
The decision to leave Vestry Hall was a hard one for the charity to take, as it had been our home for such a long time. So much work had to be done in order for us to leave, with paperwork to sort, books to prioritise, and furniture to move. However the hard work was all worth it, as we have settled into our new home, in the courtyard of sister amenity society SPAB, really well, and feel very welcome.
4. Finding my way at sector meetings
The first time I joined a heritage-wide sector meeting, I felt very out of my depth, and spent the meeting noting down names and acronyms to look up after the meeting; it goes without saying that I spent the meeting just listening, with no contribution to make. One year on, and now I know most of the people in the room, and have meet them in person as well at many online meetings. I now chair a sector task group, and often speak on behalf of HB&P and the wider Joint Committee. Big progress for just one year!
5. Delivering my first Carbon Literacy Training, on behalf of HB&P
I arrived at HB&P already trained to deliver Carbon Literacy Training for museums. I could never have imagined what an important part of the year Carbon Literacy would become, with both developing the new training with a heritage focus, and HB&P now being part of the delivery team, rolling out the training across the sector. Carbon Literacy has been key to putting HB&P into many rooms and conversations.
Looking back, there were so many more moments I could have picked from, and this upcoming year will provide even more as we celebrate our centenary. Thank you to all the staff, trustees and members for getting my first year off to such a good start.