President and vice presidents
The importance of the architectural heritage of Brighton and Hove has received a significant endorsement, with Sir Simon Jenkins – chairman of the National Trust – accepting the presidency of the city’s Regency Society. He took up the position on 1 January 2012.
“Brighton and Hove comprises the greatest monumental townscape in Britain,” he says. “It is precious and constantly in need of defenders.”
The Regency Society – the oldest conservation and amenity society in the city – has a long history of attracting high profile and respected supporters. Sir Simon, who says he is “delighted and honoured” by his new role, describes himself as “a sometime resident of Brighton” and replaces the Duke of Grafton, who died in April and was known in his younger days as the Duke of Preservation.
More happily, our most senior vice president, Lord Briggs, celebrated his 90th birthday recently with a dinner at the University of Sussex, where had had been vice-chancellor before becoming Master of Worcester College, Oxford. Asa Briggs was one of the founders of the university, setting out to re-draw the map of learning and creating a pioneering university for the 20th century that was radically different to the more traditional universities that existed at the time.
John Wells-Thorpe was among the guests at the event. "After the reception, Lord Briggs spoke, without a single note, for 25 minutes," says Mr Wells-Thorpe. "When asked how he kept his mind in such fine fettle, he informed his audience that he wrote at least 1,500 words every morning, usually commandeering the kitchen table for longer than his wife would have preferred."
Rt Hon Lord Briggs FBA
Prof Gavin Henderson CBE
Sir John Kingman FRS
John Wells-Thorpe OBE
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Simon Jenkins: Brighton and Hove
are precious. Pic courtesy of the
Lord Briggs with Mathew Cragoe,
head of the School of History, Art
History and Philosophy at Sussex