Salisbury Cathedral Close Preservation Society

Supporting Excellence in Heritage Estate Management

AGM 2017/18

The 2017/18 AGM, 12 April 2018
Sarum College, The Close – Starting Time: 18:30

Chairman’s Report

Trustee changes

Eleanor Turner (née Wort) Eleanor resigned in October 2017 but kindly agreed to complete the accounts for 2017 and have them reviewed. We understand the family reasons for this resignation and we miss Eleanor very much at the meetings.
We are looking for a New Treasurer meanwhile Eleanor is teaching me how to maintain Excel spreadsheets which is probably taking her longer than doing the job herself.
Robert Newman had joined us as he approached retirement but has made rather a hash of retiring from Moore Stephens who won’t let him go.

Tonight I shall retire as Chairman for all too obvious reasons and Heather Olsen is our recommendation to replace me.

We will also be asking you to approve Professor Dick Clements as a new trustee later this evening. Because we’ve had rather a lot of meetins this year working on the new Guide Professor Dick Clements has already attended four meetings. We have benefitted from his contribution and enjoyed his presence.

North Canonry 72 269 B0000118

North Canonry


Our guide to The Close is launched tonight and we are most grateful to Myddelton & Major for their generous, sole sponsorship which has enabled us to keep the price down to £4.
It will be on sale in The Cathedral shop; Sarum College; The Salisbury Museum and The High Street Post Office from today. (From May 2018 Arundells and Waterstones will also stocking it.)
The Landscape Committee and The Close partnership tend to overlap on issues:I sit on the Landscape committee and Ron is on The Close partnership.

Among our initiatives:

  • suggested and pushed for a new traffic hut and the planning application for that is now under consideration.
  • We’ve nagged, in the nicest possible way, about: puddles which have been filled in;
  • the decrepit gates by the South canonry have been removed;
  • the benches have been tethered to the walls other than in Choristers’ green where there are no walls.
  • the banners have been removed from Museum, Mompesson house and Arundells;
  • we have enjoyed a Sabbatical from statuary in Close;
  • various houses in poor repair are now being fixed;
  • We lobbied for a lowering of the new sleeping policeman outside Arundells … we were not alone in this !

New Dean Selection

We submitted our views on the role and the qualities needed. We were very pleased to be able to canvass the views of members through the wonders of email. It is not economically feasible to do this by Royal Mail.


Bishops Palace lecture that we initiated in 2016 was re-run under the School’s auspices in 2017.

Please make a note in your diaries Next November Tues Nov. 20th Heather Sebire at the Museum “ Stonehenge Curator’s view “ Heather is English Heritages head honcho for the Western region.

Ron Johnston keeps an eye on planning applications and it has been a quietish year.

Proposed Christmas Market 2018

I met with the Chapter Clerk and with Canon Probert. In our view 50 huts for four weeks plus assembly and removal plus stocking and re-stocking is too much. Apparently Bath and Exeter and Winchester were enthusiastic and say that it promoted Mission. We pointed out that these churches are in among shops in the commercial centre of the towns – here it will be in amongst residential homes.

We have pursued a discussion with the planning authorities who at first were unsure as to whether planning permission was required for a short term initiative. We pointed out the proximity to residential accommodation and the arithmetic of 50 huts for 5 weeks is arithmetically 5 huts playing Jingle Bells endlessly. Planning spoke with enforcement; enforcement spoke to Trowbridg. I’m pleased to report that they have advised BID ( who run the Christmas market ) that they will require planning permission for a change of use to operate in The Close.

If this goes ahead we will object and we have advised Chapter to that effect.

Dieter Scholz, our membership secretary, will now speak to you about:


  • Membership
  • Data protection matters
  • The Website
  • Our links with the Salisbury Civic Society


Constitution says that the election of the committee is a package deal.

However, in practice we introduce the new boys for your consideration and on this occasion the new chair. There is no contest for these position so no need for ballots or a show of hands . So I’d be obliged if you would stamp your feet; applaud; or wave your order papers to signify your enthusiastic assent.

Confirm Professor Dick Clements.

There was a resume of Dick’s career in the note calling the meeting. Briefly he’s been a Professor of Aeronautical engineering at Bristol University for his career. He was also involved with the RNVR and was on an important group that handled links between the Royal Navy and Universities. In retirement Dick moved to Salisbury where he is volunteer in the Cathedral library.

Confirm our new chair Heather Olsen.

To remind you, Heather was a partner at Lovells specialised in Telecoms law and wrote books on Data protection. Heavily involved in Community charities in and around Amesbury; Heather fishes; gardens her allotment; plays the saxophone and lives in Choristers’ Green. Heather has been a real support as a Trustee and has that balanced nudging approach towards Chapter without going over the top. We appreciate that The Dean and Chapter have a church to run and The Close is an added distraction. We try to mMaintain a friendly relationship without going away !

Heather would you like say anything at this point.

The Rest of us come as a package deal and are prepared to continue in office:

Dieter Scholz whom you’ve heard speak on website membership and Civic Society links.

Julian Hepplewhite involved in all our activities and is usually first to respond to a round robin email – even in when in France. Julian is also involved with Residents Association and is our link when, as is often the case, our interests overlap.

Ron Johnston has a watching brief on planning applications and was the editor of our new guide to The Close.

Gerry Lockington who has been a great support to me as our Secretary.

I propose to continue for a short period but as Treasurer until we find a replacement and hope that I don’t die in the saddle.