From the Chair
Autumn is creeping up on us again, though as I write it’s a warm, sunny and drought-ridden Sunday in my garden. It is a treacherous time for tender plants though. I was appalled to see a ground frost on 8th September blackening my beloved Tithonia leaves, but being brave South American beauties they continue to stand proud and flower like mad (they look like overgrown Zinnias).
And so it is time for our AGM, which this year signals major change on the BGT committee and in our leadership. With regret I am retiring as Chairman (aka Chaise) but this heralds new opportunities! Rosemary Jury is our new Chaise, and will make an excellent leader, and Claire de Carle is her Vice. Gwen Miles has taken on Membership Secretary duties to relieve Rosemary of this role and ably edits our Newsletter. Other things will not change though: I will manage the Research and Recording Project, and Rosemary will be organising her ever-popular Events programme, with JuG Parmar as Treasurer, Jo Mirzoeff as Planning Co-Ordinator and Mick Thompson as Hon. Sec. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the helm. As de facto Chaise (having been in the role of Vice since 2004), after Charles Boot stepped down after many years as Chairman, before I was elected in 2016. I have been ably supported by a marvellous Council who are excellent in their various roles, are lovely people and work harmoniously – we work as a great team and I couldn’t ask for better!
While BGT continues to offer advice to local authorities on myriad and increasing planning applications for Registered parks and gardens, in 2013 we also set up the Research and Recording project. This is our greatest achievement to date with 63 site reports on the web site highlighting previously little know parks and gardens, and our well-received Repton In Bucks published in 2018, based on volunteers’ forensic research and analysis of what exactly he did for us in Bucks. The site reports are on the web site with an annual digest from Records of Bucks. Claire and Rosemary have done a great job of organising training, recruiting and co-ordinating volunteers and generally making it the success it has become, attracting praise and support from Bucks County Council and Historic England amongst others. The volunteers are capable, enthusiastic, dogged and have a great collegiate spirit.
While excellent new members have joined Council we really need people to help with other aspects such as recruiting new members, IT especially the website, and social media promotion. Do let us know if you think you have time and skills to offer.
My thanks go to all the Council and BGT members who have made it such a pleasure in my time as Chaise and so rewarding. I am sure things will go from to strength with Rosemary at the helm. Floreat Bucks Gardens Trust!
Dr Sarah Rutherford
Retiring Chair of Bucks GT
New Bucks GT Chair: Rosemary Jury,
MA, Garden History, Birkbeck, University of London
Rosemary was first involved with conservation as Editorial Secretary to The Architectural Review (1970s). She was Custodian for the National Trust at Shaw’s Corner, Herts, when a large area of the garden was restored. On the acquisition of Stowe Landscape Garden by the National Trust in 1989 Rosemary was appointed Administrator, to the volunteer body of 80, without which the property could not have functioned.
From 1998 she co-ordinated post-graduate courses in the Conservation of Historic Parks & Gardens and Historic Buildings at the Architectural Association School, followed by more recent work for the London Parks & Gardens Trust. Since 2013 she had been Administrator for the BGT Research & Recording Project, Vice Chairman, Membership and Events Secretary, also a trustee.