Concert at All Saints Burton Dasset

£1957.00 (provisional figure) was raised at an incredible summer concert that took place at All Saints Burton Dassett.

Over 150 people came to hear Tamsin Waley Cohen and Huw Watkins rendition of Vaughan Williams 'Lark Ascending' in the wonderful sacred space of this church left an audience in stunned silence.
Ably supported by Lynn Farleigh with some fine readings this was a concert to remember.

The Chairman and Trustees would like to thank all those whose support made this possible, this included principle benefactors: Robert Waley-Cohen, Ludovic de Walden and Bridget Herrtage for financing the concert. Church wardens: John Anderton and Norma King for allowing us to use this wonderful church and their hard work in preparing the church for the concert.

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Concert in progress at All Saints

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Tamsin Waley - Cohen with her Stradivarius


Presentation by James Kerr to Huw Watkins after the concert with Lynn Farleigh looking on.

AGM at St Mary Magdeline Coventry

A successful AGM took place on 20th May 2015 at St Mary Magdeline's Church Hearsall Lane Coventry CV5 8 DR

This included on a novel Pentecostal Service complete with 21st century effects - a drone with pentecostal fire !
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WCHCT Members Drinks Party at Longdon Manor

On 22nd September Members and supporters of The WCHCT were invited to a drinks party in the beautiful setting of Longdon Manor near Shipston . Being a warm and balmy evening drinks took place in the wonderful garden. After generous glasses of sparkling wine and plates of delicious eats, members were given an update on the trusts activities and future plans from James Kerr.

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Trusttee James Kerr updates members

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Friends enjoy drinks in the garden at Longdon Manor

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and great eats!

Ride and Stride 2013

It is now just over a week since Ride and Stride took place, and to date responses look encouraging. In order to qualify for our CHURCH and INDIVIDUAL AWARDS ( See Ride and Stride Page ) worth £250.00 and £100.00 respectively your returns need to be back to Claire Ragg by 1st November.

We are really keen for you to use
Just Giving in order to collect your sponsorship, you can create your own page by clicking onto our link, it reduces administrative paperwork for you and us. We know that this does not suit everybody yet so we welcome your contributions by what ever method you choose.

If you have any photos or stories about your ride please email them across for the website - we would love to hear from you.

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Riders and Striders outside St Mary’s Church Tysoe.

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Emily Willing aged 8 with her mother Wendy of Ettington - who rode over 25 miles and visited 11 churches !

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Asia Wieloch and Adam Marshall ride for Pillerton Hersey - used Just Giving to get their sponsors.

Ride and Stride 2013

Ride and Stride information / forms for 2013 is now available here

Ride and Stride 2013

Dear Supporter of The Ride and Stride
I am sorry that we are somewhat late with circulating the information about this year’s R and S on
Saturday 14th September.  We aim to let you have your information packages in the near future, using much of the documentation from last year which is still on our webpage and is being updated.  Fortunately, this year we have the support of Claire Ragg who will bring the administration of the R and S together and you can contact Claire on
We will soon be sending you an update of what has been happening over the past year in terms of grant giving and organisation development.  You will understand that the needs for investment in our churches and other places of worship continue to grow.  Demands on public giving have also increased so we have been most fortunate with the sums which Riders and Striders have raised over the years.  Last year you managed to raise in excess of £10,000 plus gift aid contributions.  This has allowed us both through direct repayment to the churches and through grant giving to help many of our churches to undertake important works. 
Thank you once more for all that you have done.  Please tell friends, family and work colleagues about this years R and S and let’s work to raise more money than last year.

Kevin Bond ( Chairman)

Claire Ragg

WCHCT would like to welcome Claire Ragg who has been appointed as our part time administrator. She will be dealing in the first instance with Ride and Stride.

Her contact details can be found on the
contact page

Whichford Concert raises £3,500.00

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The Carice Singers at Whichford

It was a perfect late summer evening on Saturday for the Whichford Concert, the trusts annual fund raising event ( apart from Ride and Stride). Guests were greeted with drinks at Whichford House with an opportunity to wander round the beautiful garden before coming over to the church. The church, quietly lit, was packed almost to capacity to hear the incredibly talented Carice singers perform music based on a theme of ‘Shakespeare to the Civil War’. The choir reduced the audience to a stunned silence followed by rapturous applause with their performance. In the interval, Dr Kevin Bond ( Chairman of the Trust ) spoke on the aims of the charity and with an encouragement to become a friend of the WCHCT. The concert was followed by dinner in the orangery at Whichford House. The concert has raised an incredible £3500.00.

The Trust would like to thank Simon & Bridget Herrtage for their hospitality hosting the evening and all their hard work. Also to John & Julia Melvin. Colin & Sophie Corlett , Terry & Barbara Maher, & Evie Macleod for having the sixteen members of the choir to stay and to the many friends and helpers who made the evening such a success.

Thanks also to our sponsors and advertisers: Knight Frank LLP, Macfarlanes LLP and Cheesewrights Notaries Public.

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Simon & Bridget Herrtage ( Hosts for Concert)
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Kevin ( Chairman ) & Sue Bond, Lesley (Treasurer) & Roger Reed
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Henrietta Kerr, Sarah Stoten & Charlotte Grimston
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George Parris ( Director of Carice Singers) with singer Imogen Sebba
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Singers in relaxed mode following the Concert

Ride and Stride at Grandborough with a cooked breakfast

Mist around the village in the morning turned into a gloriously sunny day on Saturday 8th September for the annual Warwickshire and Coventry Historic Churches Trust (WCHCT) - otherwise known as Ride and Stride. A number of people unable to participate in the bicycle ride took up the opportunity, along with the riders, to frequent The Shoulder of Mutton in Grandborough for an excellent cooked breakfast, especially laid on to support the event to kick off the day to a good start. Thanks to Carol and Sue plus the Shoulders' wider team to make this happen. The bicycle ride was circa 30 miles around the Warwickshire villages visiting churches along the way. At a number of the churches, refreshments and snacks were provided by volunteers, thus ensuring that the intrepid cyclists kept their energy levels up throughout the day. The group also manged to meet up with Grandborough's own; Barbara Clutton, busy as always, but found helping out at Bourton-on-Dunsmore. The ride itself went really well, and luckily, the cyclists got back to Grandborough in time to support the annual produce show which had clashed with the date this year. St Peter's in Grandborough was open to support the event, thanks to help from Peter and Dorothy Johnson. Thanks also to everyone that donated to the trust, riders and non riders and a special thanks to those that participated in the ride itself and made the day so enjoyable. If anyone unable to attend the event but wishing to donate to the Trust please contact Chris Bilsborrow on 01788522132.

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If you have a story and photo about your Ride and Stride day that you would like to see published here please contact me at

Ride & Stride Day at St Peter's Whatcote

I chose the delightful church of St Peter’s Whatcote to ‘stay put’ and wait for riders and striders to come to me. This was great success and here are some of the riders who came:

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10.33 am. Ian Petty and his extended family from Barton on Heath. they were planning on visiting 9 churches.

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12.02 pm. From Clifford Chambers: Myles Thornton, Susan James, Adrian Musgrave , Len Potter & Paul Carris.

Intending to bike about 40 miles they were already half way round.

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12.14pm. Bridget and David Burton from Upper Tysoe taking it steady.
Bridget was riding a bike that she bought when she was only 14 years old-well over 50 years ago !

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1.04pm. On your marks, ready steady go!! to Simon Pipe of Ettington who was running round as many churches as he could, Whatcote was his eighth!

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1.09pm. Bob and Sue Hunter came from Middleton Cheney in Northamptonshire to take part. They choose a different county each year to ride in, starting in Shipston they were enjoying the perfect cycling weather!

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1.22pm.Cameron Black escorts his mum Sally from Halford, it was Sally first time on a bike for over ten years !

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1.43pm Bishop Christopher with son Ashley (left) and Orion ( Bishop’s Intern ) after their pub lunch.They were cycling round the Shipton Circuit.

The Trustees of the WHCT would like to thank all those who took part in this years event and also to our organiser Will Hawkes who is retiring after this year. We are looking for a replacement so if you think this is something you would like to do please get in touch.

Ride and Stride 2012

Here is a little clip that you can see all about a typical Ride and Stride day.

Englands other Cathedrals

England's other Cathedrals by Paul Jeffrey - A new publication which may be of interest

Special offer £19.99 + free post - use
offer code of HPEOC12

This new title is an illustrated guide to the great English churches that are outside the traditional canon of the cathedrals, revealing a wide array of art and architecture from Anglo-Saxon ruins to the most modern church buildings. Follow this link to see more details on our website:

Looking at Churches & Medieval Art in the West Midlands

If you are interested in either of these subjects we can recommend these study days with Dr John Hunt BA, PhD, FSA, FRHistS, PGCE .

Looking at Churches: The Medieval Parish Church and the Community taking place on 19th Jan 2012 at Hill Close Gardens Warwick.

Medieval art and society : looking at the west midlands taking place December 8th 2011 at Warwickshire County Records Office.

Just Giving

We have now just set up our Just Giving link, just giving is a simple online method of donating to charities and other good causes. Incredibly simple to use all you need is your credit card or pay pal account to transfer funds. Just Giving are also providing a system for donating using texting which attracts no commission, we will be installing this soon.

Newsletter March 2011

Our latest newsletter can now be down loaded from the newsletter section of this site, it gives details of what the trust has been up to over the last year

Included are details of our 2011 AGM - which will be held at St Gregory's Tredington Church on the 23rd May.

Helen McGowan of Divine Inspiration and one of our trustees has organised 'An Ecclesiastical Adventure' with Clive Fewins a 'church detective' to follow on from the AGM.

Tredington Church is one of the Gems in the Coventry Diocese with layers of history that go back to Anglo Saxon times. Clive will explain how to read a church's history from the visual clues seen around the church.

For more information download the newsletter -

Interior and Nave Tredington Church

Church Door with musket ball holes from the Civil War

Facts and Figures about 2010 Ride & Stride

Ride and Stride 2010 – Some interesting fact and figures

Total Amount Raised £15,000 (Provisional)

85% of churches were open in the diocese

Most visited Church: Great Wolford with 31 cyclists followed by Ettington Friends (Quaker) with 30 riders.

Most amount raised by individual Rider : Alec Ross of Stretton on Dunsmore with £1100.00 – see separate story.
Runners up were St Nicolas Warwick and All Saints Ladbroke with Lillington both with £400.00

Most churches visited was Revd Dr Richard Hare , Rector of the Bedworth Team who did 30 churches, followed by Dr John Bennett of Long Compton with 27 churches.

Two dogs were sponsored : Isla, who walked with her masters Derrek and Krystina Allen from Pillerton to Halford. and Ralph who took his master Patrick Godfrey –Young around the Hartshill area.

Largest Party 25 Cyclist from Ettington

Number of Riders : there were 117 riders of which half were had not ridden before.

Many thanks and well done for all those who took part.

We are now looking forward to beating last years effort in 2011


Additional Funding- important news

The WCHCT has entered into a Partnership agreement with The National Churches Trust to assist in identifying churches in need and recommend the allocations of up to £20,000 during 2011.  The maximum any church can be granted is £10,000.  The County Trust will be appointing a Fund Granting Committee to ensure that applications are expedited as they also require sign off by NCT centrally.
There are conditions to applications but this sum of money, taken with the fantastic achievements of our Ride and Striders in raising monies will triple the total sums available for distribution this current year. 

How fantastic is that!

Chairman - Kevin Bond


£1100 raised by one Rider!

Congratulations goes to Alec Ross for raising the most amount of sponsorship on the 2010 Bike Ride.

Alec got his company UK Mail plc to match the amount he raised, enabling him to raise a staggering £1100 for WCHCT. Well done Alec and congratulations!

Below is an extract from Divine Inspiration's October Gatekeeper which describes his day:

“I had a warm welcome at so many churches, as well as tea, coffee, home-made cake and biscuits and squash. Particular mention must go to St Leonard’s, Birdingbury with a choice of four types of biscuit!”
“I met some lovely people on my journey. Especially memorable stops were Bishops Itchington and Hunningham. Less happy to relate were the sorry sights of Radford Semele and All Saints, Leamington Hastings, both shrouded in scaffolding following arson attacks.”
“I occasionally encountered other cyclists, but they were few and far between. Perhaps I chose a less popular route, but it was one that I could highly recommend and would encourage more cyclists to take on the challenge next year. You can see photos of some of the churches I visited
here - most of them feature the bike!”
“In all in was a great day out with a good pub lunch in the White Hart in Ufton, 45 miles of rain-free cycling, 23 churches and £1100 raised for the charity.”

Alec with bike.......


Sir John Owen

It is great sadness that we have to report the sad news of the death of one of our most long standing trustees.

Sir John Owen, who died recently was a central figure in the development of The Warwickshire and Coventry Historic Churches Trust.  John, who despite a long history at the cutting edge of law, never lost his gentle and humorous disposition which derived from his Christian upbringing and lifelong advocacy for his faith.  John Owen made decisions whilst a High Court Judge which fundamentally affected the rights of people.   Whilst a Trustee of our Trust and a stalwart member of the Ride and Stride Group John was central to the development of Warwickshire rides which do so much to raise cash for the care of our churches; a matter he felt deeply about and was so obvious from his energy in supporting his local church in Idlecote.  Long time Dean of The Arches Sir John understood cannon law as well as any man yet always understood that the key to the future of our churches lay with local people working to maintain their local buildings.  John Owen will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues.

Kevin Bond Chairman WCHCT


The death of Sir John Owen on 9 December 2010, has deprived the Warwickshire and Coventry Historic Churches Trust of an outstanding trustee.  He joined the Trust over a decade ago after a lifetime of distinction in the law, and worked tirelessly for our cause.  As Dean of the Arches he rose to the top of the Anglican ecclesiastical system, and retained a keen interest in church buildings and their parishioners.  Despite his eminence in his profession, he was a man of great modesty; always ready to allow others to express their views before he contributed to discussion; and then helping us reach a sound conclusion with his customary perception, common sense and humour.  Those of us who managed to fight our way through deep snow to his funeral service were moved by the contributions in his memory and felt it wholly appropriate that laughter played such a part in remembering a man of   impressive and varied parts, who was never afraid to take an original and unexpected line if it led to a sensible solution of a problem.  We had learnt to recognise the naughty twinkle in his eye which usually preceded this. 
In addition to being a Trustee, Sir John was a keen member of the Ride & Stride group and used his energies to help us significantly to increase our funds for the repair of our county's churches.
We will miss him, and our sympathy and commiserations are with his wife, Valerie, and the family.   

Will Hawkes and Dr Charles Brown



Results 2010 Bike Ride - exciting news

Exact figures are to be confirmed and will be published after Christmas . However I am delighted to announce that preliminary total is around £15,000 exceeding last years total by around a £1000.00. This has bucked the national trend in these difficult economic times. Well done all those who have supported us either as riders, striders or organisers.

If you have photographs of the ride that I can put onto the site please
Email them to me - James Kerr

Top: Young riders set out from Ettington

Below: Outside Pillerton Hersey

AA Publication

In partnership the our parent body the National Churches Trust, The Automobile Association are publishing a guide to local churches nationwide. This exciting project will bring together over 30 County Trusts, The National Churches Trust, The Historic Chapels Trust, The Heritage of London Trust, The Churches Conservation Trust, Friends of Friendless Churches, The Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust. WCHCT are participating in this project providing six tours throughout the county and have provided all information required by the AA publishing team by their very strict deadline of the end of November. Publication date will be for late 2011. Thanks to John Scouller and Helen Mcgowan for researching and writing the text . Photographs have been supplied by James Kerr.

Ride and Stride Story Sept 2010

Saturday 11
th September 2010

25 cyclists, of varying ages and abilities, met at Ettington Church at 10am on a beautiful, sunny and warm late summer morning. With last minute arrangements sorted, and a photo shoot, we finally moved onto the charming Ettington Quakers House at 10.30am.
From there things moved on a bit more swiftly, and we visited the churches of Ettington Park, Alderminster, Whitchurch, Newbold, Halford, Idlicote, and Whatcote. Then to lunch at the pub in Whatcote. The afternoon route then led us to the Oxhill, Kineton and Pillerton churches, all beautiful in their different ways. Then homeward bound, the 16 remaining cyclists arriving back in Ettington at 5.15pm.
Many, many congratulations go to all the children who took part, Ruby (7) who managed 2 miles, Paige (7) who succeeded to do 3, Molly (12) who had to stop at Halford after a determined 11 miles, Rhianna (10) who retired on the Idlicote hill after a gallant 12½ miles, Freddie (7) who completed at lunch having done 14½ miles, Jack (9) who did 16 fast miles, George (10) who did a fantastic 18½ miles, Ollie who cycled hard for 23½ miles, James (9) who joined us after his swimming lesson and completed a great 10½ miles, Hugh (13) and Ben (15) who played school rugby and then cycled 14 miles. And big, big congratulations to Madi (10), Jasper (8), Will (8), Hannah (10), and Megan (14) who did the whole amazing 25 miles.
Our cycling improvement award goes to both George and Freddie, who both got so much quicker and cycling proficient as the day went on.
The ride would not have been a success without firstly the vehicle support of Jonathan, who both picked up and delivered stray cyclists, bikes, and lunches, and without secondly the hospitality of the lovely churches we visited. The drinks, biscuits and sweets, we were given, kept us fortified for the miles ahead.
As yet we do not know how much we have raised for both Ettington Church, and Warwickshire Historic Churches. Thank you very much to everyone who supported these well deserving causes. It was a great day out, with the churches and surrounding countryside looking at their best in the late summer sunshine.


Churches open update

I have just put up the latest ‘churches open’ list on the ride and stride page, it will help you to plan your route for Ride and Stride day - 11th September . The Bishop of Coventry will be joining us again this year but as yet we do not know which route he will ride.

Warwickshire Life magazine will publishing a feature about WCHCT in the September issue which comes out this week to coincide with Ride and Stride .

Interview on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio

Yesterday, trustee James Kerr and others were interviewed about the state of repair of Warwickshire churches listen again on this link and put the cursor on 1 hr 29.

Ride & Stride Forms 2010

We have just posted new Ride and Stride information for 2010 that can be downloaded from our information and forms page . Will Hawkes our Ride and Stride organiser has revised and simplified the paperwork making it easier than ever to understand.

Photo : Will ( left ) talks to the Bishop of Coventry both of whom participated in the 2009 ride and stride event

New Rides for 2010

As promised last year it is our intention to publish at least two new rides a year, thereby adding to our list each year to make a small library of rides through out the county. At the moment we are concentrating on the northern part of the county which is not so well represented. Now on line is Rugby North, soon to be followed by Rugby South.
To remind you, the aim of the rides is to give suggested routes that can be enjoyed by the experienced as well as the occasional cyclist visiting a selection of interesting churches in your area. You can go to as many churches or as few as you wish.

Feilding family ancestors at Monks Kirby

New Trustee elected

The trustees would like to ‘welcome aboard’ new trustee Councillor Colin Hayfield. Colin lives in the north of the county at Shustoke near Coleshill were we are under represented. He is an archeologist, and no doubt his talents and skills will be most useful to the trust.

Annual General Meeting, 24th May 2010

Our Annual General Meeting takes place on 24th May at 6.30pm at St John the Baptist Berkeswell .

It will be preceded by Compline in the 12th Century Crypt, and finish with a revolving slide show of Warwickshire Churches with refreshments and a glass of wine.

All are welcome to come, It would be helpful if you could please
Email us for numbers

Crypt St John the Baptist, Berkeswell

The Newsletter

This will be published by E mail to those on our various mailing lists and will also be available from this site - see Newsletters.

Results of Ride and Stride 2009

£14,000 was raised this year including Gift Aid,
80% of churches in the county were open and more than 100 people either ride or stride. For more information look at our February newsletter

Chairman Elect

August 09 - Chairman elect:

The Trustees are delighted to be able to announce that Kevin Bond has joined the Trust as Chairman Elect.  He will be taking over from Father Edward next year and already has wide ranging and impressive plans for the Trust's future.  Kevin's background has been a lively mixture: starting out in the police force and then moving on to a successful and diverse business career at a national level, whilst maintaining his roots in Warwickshire.  We feel we have been very fortunate to attract his interest and ready help at a time when the Trust is in particular need of it.

Ride and Stride September 2009

Saturday 12th of  September - Bishop rides out

Several hundred cyclists took part in 'Ride and Stride'  a sponsored bike ride around local churches, it included the Bishop of Coventry -The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth  ( centre with bike )  pictured here with  a group  of cyclists including  Helen Hide Wright and her children Inca and Louis  outside All Saints, Burton Dassett, prior to cycling approx 30 miles and visiting a dozen churches in support of Ride and Stride Warwickshire.
As part of National Churches Trust "Ride and Stride" event , 10,000 churches were specially opened throughout the nation, this  included  three hundred in the Coventry  Diocese.

Ride and Stride story

An Extract from the Barcheston with Withington Village News

If anyone can do it John can! Not everyone can be a cyclist and sitting a’stride’ to ride a tractor on the Stride and Ride route was John Peebles way of raising money for Barcheston Church and the Historic Churches Trust. John attached a trailer to his tractor and a host of Peebles’, Llewelyn’s, Weaver’s, Russon’s, Windebeck’s and Williams’ joined in the fun. They called at 10 churches, raised plenty of eyebrows and £270. What a terrific idea this was and marvellous that doing something that is such fun can also raise a good sum of money. Well done to everyone involved!

photo: Keith Windebank.

Norman Painting

November 09 - Norman Painting
Shortly after the four founder trustees established the Warwickshire and Coventry Historic Trust in 1978, Norman Painting himself became a Trustee and in due course Chairman.   To that position he brought great energy and an exemplary devotion to supporting the many beautiful and historic churches of the area.    His academic training strengthened his knowledge of all aspects of these historic buildings, which formerly perhaps had been concentrated on the Collegiate Church of St. Mary,  Warwick, where he was Chairman of the Friends.
Over many years he supported the various activities of the Trust,  even insisting his home be used as arranged for a Christmas Carol Concert and Supper, although he had to lie in his bed upstairs having succumbed to influenza.   On another occasion he  exercised his skill in music by playing the piano at a Country House supper party.  He brought to Trustees' Meetings a deep appreciation and understanding of the place of the Parish Church in the fabric of a village - both architecturally and in the life of the community. He had a real "feeling" for Warwickshire, and of what was important, and we always listened with admiration and respect to what he had to say.
His link with the B.B.C. furthered a successful broadcast appeal for Funds for the Trust, carried out with great success by fellow Trustee, Dame Judi Dench.
In later years failing health meant active support became less but his interest in the Trust never lessened and woe befell the Secretary who omitted to send him the latest Minutes of Trustees' meetings!
His support was invaluable in the formative years of The Trust and for that the present Trustees are, and will continue to be, profoundly grateful.

Dr Charles Brown, Trustee