IHBC 2020 Yearbook

R E V I E W A N D A N A L Y S I S 15 WELCOME MIKE BROWN, IHBC PRESIDENT Welcome to the IHBC Yearbook, now in its 20th glorious year. In it you will find an invaluable guide to the world of heritage conservation, including a directory of members, affiliates and associates, information on progress towards new Articles of Association, a welcome from Layla Moran MP, ‘chair in waiting’ of the new UK-wide All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Conservation, Places and People’ – created by the IHBC but delayed due to Covid-19, articles on topical conservation issues, guidance on the wider impact of the pandemic on the heritage sector, and contact details for useful national and local organisations and suppliers of valuable conservation products and services. The saying ‘may you live in interesting times’ is a well known and ironic comment originally uttered by Joseph Chamberlain in the late 19th century. Often misattributed, it became known by the 1930s as the ‘Chinese curse’, although there are no known links for the phrase back to that great civilisation. Well, I write in early May with this global tragedy and the consequent lockdown in full swing. For many IHBC members this is causing, no doubt, considerable social and financial hardship. For others like myself, the inability to get out and about, undertake site visits and progress casework is deeply frustrating. I can only wish everyone well and express my sincere hope that, as the year progresses, we may return to more normal and less interesting times. As you will know, one of the implications for the IHBC of the lockdown has been the postponement of our annual school. Brighton 2020 is now Brighton 2021. Our staff and the Brighton organising committee have borne this difficult decision stoically and are already in full swing getting everything organised for next year. I do look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there next year. ‘We’ll meet again’, and all that. For many members, attending the annual school is the bedrock of their CPD activities, so the loss of this year’s annual school could be a problem. The IHBC has therefore put together a ‘virtual school’ on 19 June 2020 for members to log onto, enjoy and participate in. (We’re all getting good at video platforms now.) The speakers are first class, fees are a snip and you will have already received the joining arrangements. This virtual school promises to be a fascinating educational experience and should also make a substantial contribution to the 20 hours of CPD required of membership. What then for the remainder? Due to the social distancing restrictions I suggest it would be unwise to rely on there being other lecture-format CPD for the rest of the year. We must turn, therefore, to other sources. I, for one, intend to refresh my memory of architectural history and the dense thickets of conservation law. The Elements of Style by Stephen Calloway, often dipped into but never read cover to cover, and the current (5th) edition of Mynors (ditto) are already picked off my shelves. Indeed, the lockdown is an opportunity to tackle those challenges that the normal hurlyburley of life exclude and often get put aside for later. And the learning will count towards your CPD. Go to. Finally, you will have seen that, with no annual school this year our AGM has been put back to the Council+ meeting in December. The sterling work done by many in draughting the new ‘charter compliant’ articles of association will be presented there and, hopefully, will gain approval. This will be a significant milestone on our road towards evolving into a mature and fully recognised institution of which chartership will be the next and clear goal. It was a proud day for me and my family in 1992 when I was elected as a chartered surveyor and the associated status and responsibility has given me much pleasure and satisfaction over the intervening years. I look forward to the day when IHBC membership achieves that same recognition. As the CIfA has shown, it is not an easy journey. But, as the Chinese did say, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Onwards! Mike Brown, IHBC President (president@ihbc.org.uk) with acknowledgement to David Lovie, past IHBC President