A historical perspective is a useful thing in a period of change. The eventful year of 2016 will not be quickly forgotten, and that it should have been the Landmark Trust’s busiest year must be more than coincidence. Some 70,000 people slept under a Landmark Trust roof in 2016, and some 20,000 visited on free open days.
That our idiosyncratic old buildings should have been let a record breaking 87% of 2016 suggests that in a period of flux these places become all the more important. They have witnessed political shifts, uncertainty and new dawns before, and are the ideal places in which to reflect on such things. Landmarks also provide a tonic, a wonderful affirmative escape from the 24-hour-news cycle and a chance to savour simple, splendid constants such as beauty, craftsmanship and friendship.
An open day at Queen Anne's Summerhouse
Our annual review catalogues some of the things afoot in the Landmark Trust over the past 12 months. While looking after our historic places well is not a cheap enterprise, we remain committed to ensuring as many people as possible can enjoy their delights.
Our ‘50 For Free scheme’ brought a welter of wonderful feedback from the benefitting groups, and in October we launched our first supporters scheme for our enthusiasts in their ‘20s: Young Landmarkers. We also worked with a terrific kaleidoscope of people from the competitors in the Llanthony Valley and District Show Hedging and Walling Match to the refugees from Eritrea, Syria and Bangladesh brought to one of our projects by City of Sanctuary.
It is an invigorating thing to remember that, in the words of the Pretenders’ song, ‘some things change and some things remain the same’. It is our hope that in its modest way the Landmark Trust can contribute to both.