One month at HB&P

Posted: 1 March 2023

Today marks my first month as Director of Historic Buildings & Places, and what a month it has been. Everyone within the heritage sector has been so welcoming, and I have had the opportunity to talk to other Amenity Society Directors, sector leads in Historic England, as well as other sector organisations, such as the Heritage Alliance, Church of England, and the Friends of Friendless Churches. Online meetings have made the process of meeting people so much quicker, which I am very grateful for. 

I have had the pleasure of going to not just my first board meeting, and meeting our trustees, but also my first casework committee. The breadth and depth of knowledge of the issues in heritage and the built environment is outstanding, and it was a real pleasure to be in the room and learn from the experts. The trustees are now thinking about what the future governance of the charity needs to be, and I really look forward to supporting them as they go through that process. 

I really enjoyed my first HB&P event to the Bentley Priory Museum. It was great to meet members and be shown around such an unusual, shared space, as the manor house is now both a museum and apartments. It was a museum I have not been to before, but having worked for some years at the Imperial War Museum it was a history I know, told in an interesting way, woven into a fascinating historic building. If you have not yet been, I would recommend a visit. 

Taking time to talk to the team has been the most important thing for me over the past month; we have talked about everything from membership to marketing, casework to office work, and everything in between. I am really excited about the teams’ future plans, and the next step is bringing those ideas together to form a strategy for the organisation. 

I have ended the month taking part in the Heritage Alliance Heritage Day event, which got me thinking about funding and mapping out our carbon footprint as an organisation, another item for the to do list. So, it’s been a great start, and I have been so welcomed by the staff and trustees, I already feel very settled in at Vestry Hall, where I will be based, as well as from my home in Lewisham, and have already made my mark on the Hall’s long history by updating the fire exit signs!