The 98th Annual General Meeting of Historic Buildings & Places took place on 12 July 2022 at the spectacular Grade I listed Great Hall at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. The meeting was chaired by the Society’s President, The Rt. Hon. The Lord Inglewood DL.
Having last met in-person at Gregynog Hall in 2019, and following two online AGMs, we were incredibly delighted to welcome back a significant number of members to an in-person event, in what was a fantastic venue. We are very grateful to our former Trustee, Will Palin, for facilitating the visit to the Great Hall.
The meeting began with the President welcoming members, and was followed by Caseworker Ross Anthony providing a brief Casework Review, highlighting some of the significant trends that have emerged over the past year. This was followed by the Chairman’s Address, given by Giles Quarme.
The Chairman’s Address covered the wide range of significant activities that have taken place within the Society over the past twelve months since the last AGM. The administrative partnership with the Friends of Friendless Churches ceased at the end of September 2021, with members being invited to stay with one or other or both charities. This saw a slight decrease in members, but a considerable number continuing their subscriptions to the Society, and a number still subscribing to both. The Chairman expressed particular thanks to the Chairman of the Friends, Roger Evans, for helping to ensure the separation was carried out in a friendly and amicable manner.
The Chairman then covered the changes to the working name of the Society, from the Ancient Monuments Society to Historic Buildings & Places, which went into effect from 2021. Alongside this Trustees also set about embarking on a rebrand, including our logo, website, and publicity materials. Changes were also made to the Magazine, now titled Heritage Now, and the Journal of HB&P, with the first rebranded edition arriving with members in April 2022. Thanks were given to Trustees and staff who had contributed to the rebrand and the revitalisation of the Society.
The Address then covered updates to the staff, with the sad news that Lucie Carayon has stepped down in her role as Director, and wished her well for her future endeavours. A process for recruiting a new Director is underway. In other staff news, Ross Anthony has been appointed as a permanent Caseworker, with Matthew Saunders handling ecclesiastical casework and Amber Patrick assisting with industrial casework. Stefanie Turza continues her role as Marketing & Communications Officer; Alison Du Cane is continuing to work part-time as Assistant Director and provide support until a new Director is in post; and Christina Avramakis joins as Membership & Finance Manager.
The Address finished with an overview of the two Zoom events that took place in the autumn, and a report of the recently started in-person visits that will now be spread throughout the year, including a trip to Coal Drops Yard in May and a visit to Knedlington Old Hall in Yorkshire in June, both of which were very successful.
The Society’s Treasurer, Leslie Du Cane, presented the Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2021, which were accepted at the meeting and Xeinadin Audit Ltd elected as auditors. The meeting then proceeded to the elections.
After the AGM, attendees were treated to a fascinating talk given by Will Palin, CEO of Barts Heritage, who spoke about the history of the Great Hall and the Hogarth Staircase, including the planned restoration work and the appeal to raise funds. The afternoon concluded with tours led by Will Palin, and tea which was served in the Great Hall.