Dame Helen Ghosh, National Trust Director General

Oh! What a Night, and what a night it was for our AGM on 17th
February. We, of course, had with us, Dame Helen Ghosh, the Director
General of National Trust. Quite a coup to have her there in the
first place and added to that was the fact that she was indeed an
impressive presence. She was friendly, very straightforward and
agreed to take questions on any subject asked of her. She gave her
presentation without reference to any notes and was very
knowledgeable and authoritative on a multitude of subjects. A very,
very impressive woman. I think we are very lucky to have someone of
her calibre as head of our organisation. It was her 60th
birthday on 21st February and she said she was taking a few days off to celebrate. I
sent our very best wishes to her via her P.A.

Her P.A. replied that she was also glad that she was having a few days
off. I imagine Helen is quite an active and hard working boss to
have and I can understand that her staff also need a rest
occasionally. Incidentally, when I mentioned Oh! What a night, Helen
said it brought back many memories, as the song was extremely popular
at the time she graduated and met her future husband. Unwittingly, I
obviously chose the right song for her. A touch of serendipity
always helps.

Apart from giving her presentation to members present at the AGM, Helen was
kind enough to present the NT Volunteering awards. These were given
to those current committee members with 5 years or more service on
the various Marlow NT committees. The major awards were given to
Penny Clarry (25 years) and to Sue Glyn-Woods and Joy Halton (30
years). The rest of us have certainly got to get some service in to
equal those records. Well done to those three ladies and
congratulations to all the other award winners as well. Your help in
running Marlow NTA is very much appreciated. When thanks are handed
out, we shouldn’t forget Linda Niven and her catering team, John Davies
our Newsletter Editor, Ross Niven our Webmaster and Ann Shave and her
‘raffle team’.

The turn out for the AGM was excellent and it was good that not all of
our 450 members turned up to see Dame Helen as we can only manage a
maximum of 175 people in the hall. Those that did not come missed a
great evening. Our Director General is a pure pleasure but I’m
glad to say that she can also be a ‘tough cookie’ when she needs
to be which is excellent for NT nationally as it’s key that we have
the right type of person as the head of our organisation.

Roger Smith