Peter is an architect and now semi-retired working as a consultant with Donald Insall Associates the well-known conservation architects. He has over 35 years’ experience in the conservation and re-use of historic buildings, including 25 years with Insall’s. He has won several coveted Europa Nostra awards: when working for the Government’s Property Services Agency in the 1980’s for the Palm House in Kew Gardens. Also, with Insall’s for: the restoration of the Mansion House in the City of London; the post-fire restoration of Windsor Castle; and for producing the Conservation Plan for the Palace of Westminster.
He was before retirement the Insall director responsible for major architectural projects and he developed the built heritage advisory services the practice offer. With a dedicated team he has advised on projects throughout London on some of the country’s most notable historic buildings including: the Palace of Westminster; Regent Street; Royal Palaces; Royal Hospital Chelsea; Battersea Power Station and Burlington House and advises many of the great estates of London, including: The Crown; Grosvenor; Cadogan; and Portman Estates.
Jonathan entered into the commercial property market as a trainee surveyor in 1985 and qualified as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1991. He spent 12 years working in Norwich before joining George Hazell as a consultant in 1997, joining the partnership in 2001 before then turning the firm into a private company in 2007.
His expertise is in commercial property and residential and commercial development land, advising clients in respect of their commercial property requirements including buying, selling, valuations, rent reviews, lease renewals and rating advice. He provides landowners with help and advice in respect of development land both commercial and residential and oversees the growth and development of the company as a whole.
He has been on the Board of the Town Trust for over ten years and has been involved with a number of their projects over this period. He is currently the Trust’s Vice-Chair.
Paul is the Trust’s acting Treasurer and is a partner in Whiting & Partners, a Bury St Edmunds based regional firm of chartered accountants and business advisors. He is closely involved with many of his firm’s charity and not-for-profit clients and has continued his firm’s long association with the Town Trust over many years.
Gaye began her career as a journalist at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers before working for the East Anglian Daily Times and the Bury Free Press where she took on the role as Sports Editor.
A period as a freelance journalist saw her involved in promoting local events and assisting with media enquiries.
Margaret was born and lived in Bury for 21 years, returning to Suffolk in 1988 and, since 2002 living in Bury St Edmunds again. 2003 saw her voted in as a Councillor and four years later become Mayor of the Borough of St Edmundsbury. Always passionately interested in our town she became the Borough’s Magna Carta Trustee in 2007 which led to being on the National 800th Magna Carta Anniversary Committee plus setting up the local Committee to commemorate in 2014 the part Bury St Edmunds played in the story of the Charter when the Barons of King John visited the great Abbey. A Trustee of the Bury Town Trust since 1990 Margaret is also a member of other committees plus volunteers and enjoys working in the Cathedral Tourist Information Point on Angel Hill, now in its third year. She hasn’t yet learned what the word ‘retirement’ means!
Fiona Ashmead is a solicitor and partner with Rudlings Wakelam based in the Bury office. Fiona grew up in Somerset before moving onto University in London and then settling with her husband in Suffolk 21 years ago.
She has always had a keen interest in old buildings and history from a very early age. Most of her working life has been property based. Since moving to Bury she feels it is a real privilege to live and work in such a unique City and is passionate about being involved in preserving the elements of the past which we may not notice daily until they are gone.
Peter joined the Board of the Town Trust in January 2012 following his retirement from St Edmundsbury Borough Council where he had been employed as a Town Planner since 1974 when he graduated from Reading University. As a result of his professional career, he gained a knowledge and understanding of development issues in both the built and natural environment. He maintains an interest in these matters in retirement and continues to be a member of various heritage and wildlife organisations. For many years he dealt specifically with planning in Bury St Edmunds, particularly in the town centre, which involved working with listed buildings and dealing with projects in conservation areas. He brings to the Board a detailed knowledge of the planning process and how development is controlled.
Peter was born and schooled in South Yorkshire in what was then a coal-mining village, but has lived in Bury St Edmunds since moving to Suffolk in 1974. He has represented the Town Trust on the Management Committee of the Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street, a Grade I listed building which was restored with the help of a financial contribution from the Town Trust.
Martin first became aware of interesting buildings, and the threat to their continuing existence, in the early 1960s while serving in the Royal Air Force in Huntingdonshire. At the time, it was very easy to obtain consent to demolish historic buildings on the excuse of road widening, town centre improvements, or even just because they were beyond economic repair.
He moved to Bury St Edmunds in 1964 – because of the properties and a dental partnership offered in a beautiful 1782 built house in Northgate. Fine buildings were then still being lost in Bury but the turning point really came when attending a Public Meeting to object to the proposed, wholesale demolition of St John Street and its redevelopment, surrounding it with a sweeping Ring Road. From this arose the Bury Society, which he joined as part of its Committee and which has successfully continued to scrutinise, comment on, praise or object to building proposals within this Town.
However, he longed to be able to restore and conserve buildings which were being neglected and in danger of being lost, and so became a founder Trustee of the Bury St Edmunds Town Trust when it was formed in 1979. The active role the Trust has played in the Town, helping in the care of its threatened buildings has been very satisfying. His own driving force has always been the importance, not always recognised, of the “cared for” attractive historic environment, which has seen Bury remain a sought after place to live and retain good employment in difficult times. On retirement from dental surgery, he chaired the Eastern Region of the Association of Preservation Trusts, joined its National Council, and also became a Trustee and later Chair of the Suffolk Building Preservation Trust. Due to his daughter’s disabilities, this has given him an awareness of the problems faced in the important element of making buildings equally accessible to everyone.
Mike McConnell is a Historic Buildings Consultant, a member of the Institute Historic Building Conservation and has a qualification in Conservation of Historic Buildings from the University of Cambridge.
Mike has 15 years practical experience and 15 years working as a Conservation Officer in three Suffolk Local Authorities. Mike specialises in the analysis and treatment of damp and repair problems with minimal intervention to the historic fabric. He lectures for several Academic and Historical organisations and has a number of published articles on the subject. Mike undertakes condition and repair surveys, specification of work, and preparation of Listed Building consent applications for repairs, alterations and extensions to listed buildings.
David is an architect who was born and raised on the family farm in Suffolk. He has been at Whitworth, Chartered Architects and Surveyors, in Bury St Edmunds for the last 26 years, having joined on completion of his studies at Nottingham University and he became a member of the RIBA in 2002. During his time with the practice David has developed his great interest in historic buildings and has worked on the conservation, repair and adaption of many listed domestic buildings and numerous medieval churches across Suffolk; today listed buildings account for 80% of his workload. David has held Building Conservation Accreditation under the AABC scheme since 2007 and is also a member of a number of heritage organisations.
John trained in land management and subsequently in architectural conservation. After working for a firm of international property consultants, and then in the voluntary sector, he established his own practice specialising in planning cases which included advocacy at public inquiries and before parliamentary select committees. He subsequently became a special adviser to the House of Commons Environment and Transport Committee.
He is a former member of the Broads Authority, where he was vice-chair of its Environment Committee. He has also been a member of the executive committee and council of The National Trust, and the national planning committee of CPRE. His current consultancy work includes heritage property management for which he wrote the original national guidance.
Paul spent over 20 years as a partner of Feilden+Mawson Architects, the last 12 years as Managing Partner. Paul worked on national and international design projects in China, Malaysia, west Africa and the Middle East. Highlights include leading the client technical teams for the new UK Supreme Court, Manchester Civil Justice Centre and Cabinet Office in Whitehall for HMG and for housing developers on listed building conversions in Bicester, Ealing and Midhurst.
Recently, Paul has been working part-time for Strategic Estates for the Houses of Parliament on decanting the Palace whilst repair works are carried out.