I have recently been appointed a trustee at the Copped Hall Trust and I have to say that I consider it to be a singular honour. For many years I have watched and admired what volunteers and trustees have achieved in the mansion and gardens, and indeed my wife and I have been members of the Friends since 2008.
I am a local lad, having been born in Wanstead, educated at Forest School and now living in Buckhurst Hill. I do remember cycling around Epping Forest with friends in the late 1950’s and coming across this sad ruin, surrounded by wire netting and wondering what on earth it was and what it was doing there.
From school, I graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, having read economics and history and then had a career in business, culminating as managing director of Pickwick Group, producing and distributing audio and visual products worldwide. Thus I do have long standing business experience which can, I hope, be of value to the project.
Two things have struck me forcibly during my time at Copped Hall. Firstly the commitment, dedication and time given by volunteers and trustees to achieving all that has taken place in the mansion and gardens. When one thinks of the condition the estate was in, say thirty years ago, it is incredible to see the vast improvements that have occurred.
Secondly, the project having come thus far, I believe it to be crucial that everything that has happened can be sustained. I passionately feel it to be so important to do all that we can to ensure the future in terms of further restoration, the most important educational contribution the project makes and in furthering its links with the community. To this end my wife and I have made arrangements for a legacy to Copped Hall in our will which we hope will go some way to furthering these aims. Also perhaps to encourage other friends and supporters to do the same.
Some of you may have seen me on the gate and at functions and I do look forward to meeting other volunteers and friends.