Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society


May 2010

Letter from the Chairman

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Highlights from Chairman's Report of 10th May 2010


  • Thank you  to retiring chairman Sir Robin lbbs and Lady Penelope Ibbs

  • Sir Robin takes on the role of  Patron of the Society

  • Pursue recognition of the Cathedral Close as worthy of World Heritage status

  • Strains on the Dean & Chapter’s finances have resulted in the postponing of any further development plans including the Strategic Plan and the relocation of the workshop.

(Read full text…)





Chairman's Report 10th May 2010

Firstly I wish to record the debt we owe to Sir Robin lbbs for his many years as Chairman. He has maintained a continuous and harmonious dialogue with the Cathedral which has enabled our Society to influence decisions affecting the Close. It has also made it possible to introduce suggestions for the future security and well-being of the Close. Notably this relates to the recognition of the Cathedral Close as worthy of World Heritage status. Your Committee will carry this forward, although we recognise that it will be a very long drawn out process.


You will be aware that we have been without a Patron since the death of Sir Edward Heath. Your Committee invited Sir Robin to accept this position and he graciously accepted, so we can look forward to his continuing support and advice. May I take this opportunity to record appreciation for the help and support that Lady Ibbs has given as a co-opted member of the Committee, which position she has now relinquished.

Turning to the current situation I have to report that for us it has been an uneventful year. If the previous year was one in which 'not a lot was happening' then I have to say we have experienced more of the same. The Master Plan remains 'on hold' and there is no sign of funds being found to progress further with it, or the related Strategic Plan and the Business Plan. When I attended the Cathedral Council meeting last June there were already worries being expressed about the continuity of funding for the restoration work. On that occasion I was able to go up the scaffolding to roof level to see the work being done on repair and replacement stonework, as well as visit the workshops and talk to the skilled and dedicated craftsmen. Sadly, I have to say that my understanding is that financial position has not improved and economies are being sought. For example, the proposed relocation of the Works Department is not now going ahead, although a suitable site was available. The withdrawal of government grants has been disastrous.

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Welcome news has been the two donations for specific works, namely the Chapter House stonework and the Cloister Garth hedging and returfing, which is virtually complete.

An ever-present source of concern is the traffic. An excellent survey was carried out for a week in October by 2nd Year students from the National Diploma in Business Group at Wiltshire College. They did a presentation of their findings to an invited audience in the Trinity Chapel. This was attended by a broad spectrum of interested parties, and included Mr Robert Key and the Mayor. After consideration the Chapter Clerk introduced some experimental changes, which appear to have improved what is acknowledged to be a virtually intractable problem.

1 would like to explain how 1 see the current position of your Society. The Society sprang from a crisis in the shape of the Rothermel Thomas Report that threatened unacceptable changes to the southern end of the Close. That threat was successfully averted. Other development issues raised their heads and Sir Robin used the Bulletin to communicate how particular matters of interest were evolving. When there is an ongoing matter to be communicated 1 intend to continue that, but the timing will be `as required'. I believe, that because we do not see any immediate major crusades to be fought, that we should not drop our guard. As a charity, it is also important that we make appropriate expenditure regularly whilst still keeping a 'war chest' in case legal advice is needed. I welcome your views an this.

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Request from the Treasurer and Membership Secretary

            Chris Dragonetti has asked for the help of members on the following points:

  • If we show an incorrect or incomplete address for you please advise him.

  • If you have not yet paid your subscription for 2009/10 please send him a cheque in favour of SCCPS for £3 (for an individual membership) or £5 (for a joint membership).

  • If you would like in future to pay by Standing Order, please contact him.

  • If you are a tax payer and have not completed a Gift Aid declaration, it will help the Society if you do – please contact him at:

Chris Dragonetti
9 De Vaux Place
Tel: 01722 337242

E mail: 

Yours sincerely, 

John Wort
Chairman, SCCPS


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