The formal launch of FISHAC took place on Thursday evening, November 24th 2011. It was generously sponsored by the Mercure Queen’s Hotel in their aptly named Regency Suite. The event was attended by around eighty guests including Martin Horwood MP, the Mayor of Cheltenham – Cllr. Barbara Driver, as well as Councillors and Representatives from Cheltenham Borough Council, Willans LLP, KBW Chartered Surveyors, Hamptons International, Knight Frank, Lansdown Insurance Brokers, HSBC Bank, Cheltenham in Bloom, Cheltenham Open Air Art Exhibition and Cheltenham Local History Society, all of whom were thanked by Chairman, Bob Keevil for their help in setting up the Charity.

David Stennett, Chairman of FISG and Vice Chairman of FISHAC welcomed everyone and explained that FISHAC had stemmed from the desire of the Friends of Imperial Square & Gardens Group (FISG) wanting to contribute something positive towards the Regency ambience of The Square for the people of Cheltenham.

Bob went on to explain the Aims of the Charity quoting directly from the Articles of Association of the Company “The conservation and enhancement of the public areas of Imperial Square, Cheltenham (including Imperial Gardens), including the installation of copies of some of the original features for the benefit and enjoyment of all members of the public.”

He said that the first proposal, which it is hoped would be a fine way to celebrate and commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, was the reinstatement of the historic iron railings around the Gardens, to the original specification as far as possible, and with sufficient and appropriately wide entrances.

The original railings were removed as part of the War Effort during the Second World War but most of the stone plinths are still in place. He emphasised that there is absolutely no intention of installing gates in any of the agreed entrances.

Our Project Managers KBW are in the process of drawing up plans and specifications to be submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council for all necessary approvals by them.

It is felt that this proposal, although a big challenge, would provide a very positive enhancement and contribution to the beauty and historic character of the Square. Ornamental iron railings are a strong feature of Regency and Victorian architecture in Cheltenham. He stressed that it is the desire of FISHAC to make this a community effort with all the people of Cheltenham and its surrounding area working together to achieve its goal and to benefit from it.

He then introduced all the Trustees as follows:

Bob Keevil, Chairman, Retired Chartered Surveyor;

David Stennett, Vice Chairman, Retired Journalist;

Nicola Whitmarsh, Secretary, Senior Negotiator with Hamptons International;

David Goddard, Joint Treasurer, Manager HSBC – (Kate Mynett, Manager HSBC is also Joint Treasurer);

Charles Horn, Professional Mediator and Legal Advisor – Charles has prepared our fine brochure and display;

Paulette Faulkner – Events Organiser and Co-coordinator;

Peter Walsh, Retired Director of Building Society, who brings important accountancy skills to the Board

Charles Horn then delivered his Presentation of the Brochure including a continuous Photographic Display of Cheltenham’s iconic Imperial Square throughout historic and modern times.

After a supportive and encouraging Address by The Mayor, drinks and canapés were enjoyed.

Fundraising started immediately with an exciting Raffle and also a ‘Black Tie Ball’ to be held at the Queen’s Hotel on Saturday February 25th 2012 was announced by The Secretary, Nicola Whitmarsh. Tickets and more information can be obtained from Nicola via email – info@fishac.org


Photos by www.regencystudio.co.uk

and can be purchased by contacting steven.regencystudio@btinternet.com direct.

(FISHAC cannot supply them)

FISHAC Trustees wish to record their thanks to Steven for donating the photos to the Charity.