Warren Whyte lecture on Sir George Gilbert Scott and his work in Buckingham – 26 November 2022

Sir George Gilbert Scott and his work in Buckingham
Born on 13 July 1811 at Gawcott, Sir George Gilbert Scott went on to become one of the most celebrated and prolific British architects of the nineteenth century.
Best- known as an exponent of the English Gothic Revival, which dominated architectural style during the middle decades of the century designed many well-known public buildings, churches and memorials..
These include the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices in Whitehall, King’s College London, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh and the Albert Memorial.
He also restored and extended a plethora of older buildings, many of which were churches.

As Warren Whyte pointed out in the lecture that followed the Society’s annual general meeting on 26 November, Scott was active locally, not least in Buckingham where he was involved in the design or restoration of four buildings, three of which are still in use.
These are the Old Latin School on Market Hill; the Old Gaol and the parish church of St Peter and St Paul. The fourth building, the Union Workhouse no longer exists..
Together with his friend Sampson Kempthorne, Scott was responsible for the many of the workhouses that appeared in the wake of the Poor Law Reform Act of 1834
Ours was located on a site at the top end of Mary McManus Drive and built in 1836. It was one of Scott’s earliest works.
Three years later he designed an extension of the Old Gaol, including the gaoler’s house at the south end of the building, along with other alterations.
His biggest project in the town was the restoration of the parish church during the 1860s. This, as Warren explained, was in a very poor state of repair and required extensive buttressing to prevent collapse.
Scott did much more than this, however, and effectively transformed a church originally built in the classical style that typified the Georgian era to something more akin to English Gothic.
The restoration included the construction of a new chancel, new windows, a new south porch and turret along with new internal piers and timber vaulting throughout.
Scott’s final project in the town was further restoration work at the Old Latin School.
George Gilbert Scott will always be associated with the English Gothic revival. But as Warren pointed out he incorporated many new techniques and materials in his designs that still impress and delight today.

“Trees at Stowe” The Buckingham Society Annual lecture and Garden Party Thursday 14th July 2022

The Society’s annual lecture was held in the auditorium at the University of Buckingham Vinson Building. The speaker was Barry Smith, National Trust Head Gardener for Stowe and Aylesbury Vale. He proved to be a well informed and enthusiastic speaker, having worked at Stowe for his whole career. He gave a fascinating account of some of the unique and beautiful trees in the enchanting grounds of Stowe. Many of those who had the privilege of hearing him said that they were inspired to visit Stowe and explore.

The garden party which followed the lecture was held in the gardens of Ondaatje Hall with the kind permission of Professor James Tooley, the University Vice Chancellor. The event was attended by 70 members and guests, who were able to use the opportunity to explore the hall’s beautiful and extensive gardens, whilst enjoying drinks and canapes.

The evening continued the proud tradition of delightful Summer parties held by the Society and (as is also traditional), many guests were extremely reluctant to leave!

Trader of the Year 2022

After two years when the Buckingham Society Buckingham Trader of the Year shield was awarded to all Buckingham Traders to recognise the difficult time they had during the Covid pandemic, it was back to normal for 2022. Members of the Society were asked to nominate their favourite trader from all of the shops, cafés, restaurants, market traders in Buckingham – a very difficult choice from such a large number of excellent traders.

Unsurprisingly there was a wide range of nominations, and after a very close vote, the eventual winners were Smith and Clay, Buckingham’s town centre butcher and delicatessen. The award was given to them for providing outstanding service, quality produce and helping to keep Buckingham a great place to live.

Receiving the award for Smith and Clay Fallon on the left and Pat on the right.

The presentation took place in Bourton Park on Celebrate Buckingham Day and Fallon and Pat, managers respectively of the delicatessen and butchery sides of the business, were on hand to receive the winner’s shield and certificate on behalf of everybody connected with Smith and Clay. Congratulations to them all.