The Victorian Society votes to promote sustainable repair and reuse of historic buildings

The Right Worshipful Mayor of Bath Councillor Dine Romero welcomed The Victorian Society Chair Professor Hilary Grainger, Director Joe O’Donnell and The Victorian Society members to Bath at Grade II-listed Elim Church where the Society held its 2023 AGM.

Photo: The Mayor of Bath Councillor Dine Romero with The Victorian Society Chair Professor Hilary Grainger and Director Joe O’Donnell at Elim Church.

Photo: The Mayor of Bath Councillor Dine Romero with The Victorian Society Chair Professor Hilary Grainger and Director Joe O’Donnell at Elim Church. Photo Credit: The Victorian Society. 

At the AGM The Victorian Society members voted to appoint Professor Neil Jackson and Young Victorian Ben Sims as trustees. Tiffany Snowden, another Young Victorian, was co-opted onto the Board of Trustees and will be voted on at the next AGM. Henry Sainty was reappointed as legal trustee. The Chair thanked the outgoing Deputy Chair, Ken Moth, for his long and dedicated service to the Society. Ken joined the The Victorian Society in 1973 at a time of fierce campaigning in his home city of Manchester and has remained an active member ever since not least as chair of the Society’s Northern Building Committee for many years. For information on the Trustees read more here

Members also voted to alter the Society’s objects to promote the inherent sustainability of repairing and reusing historic buildings. The vote reflects the Society’s increased focus on the environmental sustainability of its work.

Following the AGM, the Mayor and The Victorian Society members moved to John McKean Brydon’s former Pump Room Ballroom (1897) for a talk by Dr Michael Forsyth and Professor Marion Harney, authors of the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Bath, followed by a 3-course dinner overlooking the Roman Baths.

Saturday saw three different walks around the City led by experts. These took in the Municipal Offices and Technical School (1897), the Victoria Art Gallery (1900), Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s railway station and viaduct (1840, 1841), George Alexander’s Italianate Bath Savings Bank (1841), Charles Hansom’s St John the Evangelist RC church (1863); Goodridge’s cast-iron Cleveland Bridge (1827) and included a range of work by visiting architects George Edmund Street, Arthur Blomfield and his nephew Reginald Blomfield, as well as Bath-based architects.

Sunday took the Society into the Somerset countryside, to the Grade I-listed church of St Peter in Hornblotton (1874), where the Society recently saved the neighbouring Hornblotton House from partial demolition. Then on to Downside Abbey (1872-1938) and School (1823-1902), the major Roman Catholic complex with contributions by architects Goodridge, Hansom, Thomas Garner, Leonard Stokes, Frederick Waters and Giles Gilbert Scott.

The Victorian Society’s celebration of Bath’s fine architectural heritage created lasting memories which cemented old friendships and cultivated new ones. Booking for the next AGM in Bradford will open in the next few months.

The Society extends its thanks to Professor Neil Jackson for putting together the extremely successful programme with its expert guides and speakers, and for all his help and guidance that made the weekend enjoyable, informative and exciting for everyone who took part.


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