When I joined Notts County Council as an Architect in the Planning Department in 1973 I had little previous knowledge of historic buildings, but was soon being enlightened and swept into membership of the Notts Building Preservation Trust the second Chair of whom in 1976 was Imogen Skirving from Langar Hall.
Imogen was a jolly, energetic chairman with boundless enthusiasm for caring and preserving the beautiful buildings of all sizes which go to make the character of our county. Under her reign the trust continued to work on such buildings as the timber-framed barn at 31 Main Street, Keyworth , which bears the carved initials GM 1651, and is validated by tree-ring dating; and the award winning earlier project of stocking-knitters cottages in Windles Square, Calverton at the east end of Main Street, built in 1834, saved from demolition and brought back into full use as 8 dwellings.
Imogen at the age of 78 was still looking after a historic building, that is Langar Hall in the lovely Vale of Belvoir, so carefully adapted as a Country House Hotel without spoiling its beauty. My wife Barbara and I were with Imogen in May, she was talking about improving the appearance of a blocked gateway in the grounds. We walked down the avenue that Imogen created on her 7th birthday by getting friends to bring trees to be planted there.
Alan Wahlers, one of our wonderful architect members, was talking to Imogen, so very recently, about organising an event in 2017 to mark 50 years of the Notts Building Preservation Trust; she was enthusiastic about putting this event on for us…. We are all so very, very sad.
Graham Beaumont architect retired
photo 2015 courtesy Nottingham Post