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Reading Civic Society AGM & Rescuing Ruins: The Work of the Landmark Trust

AGM and Rescuing the Ruins


The meeting will start with the AGM of Reading Civic Society.  This will include election of officers and committee members for the coming year, election of new Trustees, approval of the Chairman's Report and the Accounts. This will be followed by a brief review of matters of interest including; the Society's Blue Plaque Project proposal, any updates on the future of the Gaol, the society's 2024 project for Junior Schools "Look Draw Build @Reading Station and planned events for 2024, including a visit to Donnington Hospital in June.  This will take around 25 minutes. 

 Rescuing Ruins: The Work of the Landmark Trust

After the formal business the main content of the meeting is a presentation by Alastair Dick-Cleland about the work of the Landmark Trust.

The Trust has recently announced that it has applied for a grant as one last attempt to save Mavisbank House, near Edinburgh, and will work with the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust to establish a Landmark unit in one of the Towers of Wentworth Woodhouse.  Alistair, as Project Development Manager of the Trust, will doubtless have some interesting stories to tell. 

The Trust is a building preservation charity which restores castles, forts, towers and cottages for self-catering breaks. It rarely buys buildings.

We will hear how buildings at risk are chosen for rescue and the process of turning them into a Landmark available to all for holidays.

We will hear about the funding challenges and also about the restoration challenges of some of their properties. Rather than imposing modernity on the buildings they work to bring out the historic character of a place. They work with the best craftspeople, traditional skills and materials to ensure the new work is of comparable quality to the old.

Lucinda Lambton in The Oldie, Feb 24, comments about the restoration of the Swarkeston Hall Pavilion and its history. This includes featuring on the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971 album (in the LP archive of all RCS members no doubt). She highlights the exemplary restoration from a ruinous state with no roof and the bathroom in the top of one of the turrets, which has to be reached across the open roof, a star gazing exercise at night.  Also, how the Trust triumphed with an excellent interior. No doubt this will be just one of the many stories of restoration challenges we will hear about.

To find out more about the Landmark Trust and to book a stay go to About the Landmark Trust | The Landmark Trust

Landmark is a charity with limited resources and no endowment fund.

We ask for a minimum donation of £5 from all who attend. We will be able to claim Gift Aid on such cash donations and turn it into £6.25 when the Society makes a donation to Landmark Trust as a thank you for the talk.

Terry Dixon is moving house so has some books to offer for sale. 

Watlington House

Watlington House

Before and after the event you will have the opportunity to have a look at the Watlington House garden at rear and the front. We have been refreshing the garden at the front after building the wall and railings during the Pandemic. In the rear garden we have been planting lots of new tulips, with luck they may be all out. The magnificent Magnolia may still be out (frosts willing).

More information about the house and gardens Welcome to Watlington House - Watlington House


Watlington House Garden

Watlington House Garden in the frost

Watlington House Garden Summer

Watlington House Rear Garden in the Summer
New wall and railings