Trustees and Regional Chairs

The Society is managed by its Board of Trustees. Who are they, and how are they elected?

Trustees are elected by the members of the Society at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) normally for a term of office of 3 years. Trustees are automatically eligible for re-election for one further consecutive term and are eligible for re-election for further consecutive terms of office if the Board of Trustees approves their candidature. The Board of Trustees has the power to co-opt members during the year, but these members must stand for re-election at the next AGM.

If you are interested in becoming a trustee, please email [email protected] to arrange an informal chat with our chair.

To stand for election at an AGM, you will need a proposer and seconder, who are members of the Society, a paragraph setting out why you should be elected and a signed statement indicating your willingness to serve.

The trustees are also the directors of the charity for the purposes of the Companies Act.

Patron: HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO

President: Griff Rhys Jones

Vice-Presidents:
Sir David Cannadine FBA FRSL FRHistS
Lord Howarth of Newport CBE PC
Sir Simon Jenkins FRSL

Professor Hilary Grainger, Chair

Professor Hilary Grainger OBE, Chair

Professor Hilary J Grainger OBE is Professor Emerita in Architectural History at University of the Arts London and Honorary Professor at Durham University. A specialist in nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture, she is the leading authority on the architecture of Sir Ernest George and the architecture of UK crematoria and has published and lectured widely on these areas. Hilary is currently Chair of the Cremation Society of Great Britain, Chair of the Lichfield Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee and Past President of the Study of Death & Society (ASDS).
Kate Davey

Kate Davey, Deputy Chair

Kate has been at the Bar for twenty-five years and practises from 2 Pump Court in the Temple. She read history and law at Christ’s College, Cambridge and was recently awarded an MA in Gothic architecture at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is particularly interested in church architecture and Victorian Gothic.

Professor Neil Jackson

Professor Neil Jackson RIBA FSA, Events

Neil Jackson is an architect and architectural historian and Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Liverpool. He has previously served as a trustee of both the Twentieth Century Society and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, of which he was President in 2017-21. He was a founder member and first Honorary Secretary of the Avon Group of the The Victorian Society in 1978 and subsequently, in 1980-85 served as a member of the Main Committee and the General Purposes Sub-committee. Since 2016 he has sat on the Events Committee, which he now chairs. He has published widely on nineteenth-century architecture, including books on Bath, Saltaire and Japan, and has maintained a long-time interest in G E Street and the use of constructional polychromy. He lives in Westminster.

Lynn Pearcy

Lynn Pearcy, Finance

Prior to retirement in 2015 Lynn was with a major professional services firm for over 30 years, latterly as an audit partner advising on financial reporting. She has a particular interest in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Steve Roman

Steve Roman, Membership

A retired local authority manager, active in the The Victorian Society’s Manchester Group, he organised the 2013 AGM ‘By Lancashire’s Thread hangs England’s bread’ in Manchester, Rochdale and East Lancs. He organizes the photographic exhibition ‘Saving a Century’ which tours libraries and venues around the country. Linking his Manchester cultural identity and his lay interests in history, politics and architecture, he helped create the Manchester Peace and Social Justice Trail, leading groups around this city centre trail.

Henry Sainty

Henry Sainty, Legal

Henry has been a solicitor for 25 years, working with clients in the not-for-profit, culture, media and sport sectors. His history degree in the 1980s fostered an abiding interest in historic buildings. He has been an active supporter of The Victorian Society talks, tours and other events for the past ten years, and has a particular interest in the social and historical context of Victorian buildings. He lives in west London with his wife Sophie (a long-standing and active volunteer member of the Society) and two young adult children. Any spare time is spent visiting towns and countryside in England and France with a box of guide books. Henry currently holds the role of the Society’s Legal Trustee.

Alan Davies

Alan Davies, Non-executive

Alan Davies is a practising architect specialising in the conservation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings and the regeneration of historic environments. He is an architect director and heritage lead for a leading international practice of architects, engineers and designers. In that capacity, he has been involved in conserving and adapting a range of historic building types; and has prepared proposals for regenerating areas of historic towns and cities across the UK and abroad.

Alan’s interest in Victorian architecture and town planning was sparked as a student of architecture in Cardiff and has been sustained by being based for much of his career in Manchester – both cities owing their character to nineteenth century development, planning and architecture. Alan has a post-graduate qualification in town planning and is an RIBA registered conservation architect. Alan maintains a strong interest in the historic culture and architecture of his native Wales.

Alan has been a member of the Northern Buildings Committee – which comments on planning applications referred to the Society by planning authorities across the North and Wales – since 2008.

Dr David Low

Dr David Low, Non-executive

David is a retired Consultant Paediatrician. In 1971, he joined the The Victorian Society whilst studied History of Art and Architecture at Cambridge and writing a thesis on the churches of Norman Shaw. He has been Chair of the Birmingham and West Midlands group, continues as a member of their Casework committee and helped to organise four National AGMs held in the Midlands. He is a Trustee of the Mary Heath Trust Fund which funds our Regional Case worker. He has taken a particular interest in the implementation of the Society’s new digital technology.

Ben Sims

Ben Sims, Non-executive

Ben is Head of Fundraising at the National Churches Trust. His previous roles include working as a fundraiser for a homelessness charity, The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and in heritage at the Arts Council, encouraging donations and offers in lieu of inheritance tax of national treasures to the UK’s galleries, museums, universities, and libraries; he also worked on the export of cultural property, and administered export bans. Ben read English at Christ Church, Oxford, specialising as a medievalist. He volunteers at Emery Walker’s House, an Arts and Crafts house museum in Chiswick, and The Listening Place, a charity that combats suicide.
Tiffany Snowden

Tiffany Snowden, Non-executive

Tiffany is an accredited archaeologist and heritage consultant with over a decade’s experience in the planning, heritage, and historic environment sector. One of the youngest female professionals to achieve full membership of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, she is committed to providing a holistic approach to the adaptive re-use of historic buildings which, given her background in archaeology, incorporates consideration of potential below-ground archaeological impacts. Since 2021, Tiffany has worked as the Director of a small but thriving heritage consultancy based in Yorkshire providing expert advice on heritage-led property and land development schemes. Her personal and research interests include improving energy efficiency in historic buildings, the Arts and Crafts movement, and the sustainable conversion of traditional agricultural buildings.

Kit Wedd

Kit Wedd, Non-executive

In 1991 Kit became the The Victorian Society’s first Education Officer, working on campaigns for the restoration of the Albert Memorial and to encourage the conservation of ‘ordinary’ Victorian and Edwardian houses. She has written and edited many books and articles on nineteenth-century buildings, and is the author of The Victorian Society Book of the Victorian House. After three decades of working for various statutory bodies and in commercial planning consultancies, she founded the historic environment consultancy Spurstone Heritage Ltd in 2017.

Regional Group Chairs

  • Birmingham, Stephen Hartland
  • Leicester, Neil Crutchley
  • Liverpool, Tony Murphy
  • Wales, Elaine Davey
  • South Yorkshire, Nigel Slack
  • West Yorkshire, June Diamond