The Robert Burns Appeal, National Trust of Scotland
Amount donated: £22,076
The National Trust for Scotland is honoured to have been asked by the Scottish Government and the various organisations responsible for the upkeep of Robert Burns' sites and collections to inspire and co-ordinate a fresh perspective on his life and works in Alloway.
This includes the construction of a new museum dedicated to the preservation and display of the diverse Burns collections, the upgrade and refurbishment of the cottage where Burns was born, and the integration of the gardens, monuments and such evocative sites as the Auld Kirk and the Brig O’Doon.
Our aim is to bring to life the strongest themes of Burn’s life and works in many different ways.
It is hard to exaggerate what this new initiative means for Scotland and for the millions of admirers of Robert Burns around the world. For the first time the world will be able to see and experience his entire legacy in the area that made him who he was – Ayrshire.
We are striving to secure the lion’s share of our funding for his multi million pound endeavour from a combination of major public and private sector bodies. We are already hugely indebted to the Scottish Government for their important financial commitment and we hope we can look forward to your support by your attendance at this Luncheon or in any other way you wish.
Juliet is our inaugural chairman having been involved in the Women of Scotland Lunch programme in Glasgow. She runs Duntreath Castle, which has been in the Edmonstone family since 1435. She is a keen gardener and cook.
"The idea of the lunch was conceived to fulfil three important objectives. Apart from raising funds for the on-going work of the National Trust for Scotland, we wanted above all to raise awareness of the significance and diversity of its contribution to Scotland past and present.
Established in 1939 by Sir John Stirling Maxwell, its promise remains true today, “To promote the permanent preservation, for the benefit of the nation, of lands and buildings of historic and national interest”. The National Trust for Scotland has 35,0 subscribing members and manages a huge portfolio including 40 historic buildings, 65 gardens, properties of iconic importance such as Culloden and Glencoe and island properties such as Canna and St. Kilda. Not many people know that it owns one in six of all Muroes. All in all 187,000 acres of our finest countryside and coastline are enjoyed by 1.3 million countable visitors a year as well as numerous others who revel in the open spaces.
Secondly, we wanted to celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s most successful women in a wide variety of fields and to hear first hand their personal story. Thirdly, we wanted to bring together convivial, able women to share each other’s company and friendship. That is the spirit of the event!
Thanks to Carol Mitchell, the lunch has been developed by a superb committee. They have given of their time and talents unstintingly and I thank them enormously for their efficiency, their good-humoured commitment and for the fun we have had creating this lunch. A special thank you also to our guest speakers for so generously sharing their thoughts and experiences.
Thank you from us all to you all for your support today I am sure we will be given and receive of the best and I hope you leave stimulated and inspired by the occasion. We all hope that the lunch will continue to grow in impact as a tribute to Scottish womanhood and a toast to the bright future of our precious National Trust for Scotland."
Susan Hampshire OBE
From the age of three, Susan was educated and trained as a classical ballet dancer at the Hampshire School in Knightsbridge, founded and run by her mother June. At fifteen, however, having grown too tall for ballet she turned to acting, appearing in the repertory production of Night Must Fall, and again in the film version a few years later opposite Albert Finney.
Her first West End appearance was in the musical at Expresso Bongo, since when her career has ranged from musicals to Shakespeare and Ibsen – the Taming of the Shrew, Peter Pan, Blythe Spirit, The King and I, Noel and Gertie, Relatively Speaking, Alan Bennett’s Lady in the Van and Cinderella to name but a few.
As well as many film credits, Susan also received an Emmy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Fleur in the Forsythe Saga, as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough in the First Churchills and as Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair. Her many television series include The Pallisers, The Barchester Chronicles, Don’t tell my Father, The Grand and seven series of Monarch of the Glen.
In addition to acting, Susan has written several books, including for children. Every Letter Counts and the highly acclaimed Susan’s Story are both autobiographical accounts of her struggle with dyslexia. She has five honorary degrees including one from St Andrews and was awarded an OBE in 1995.
In 1983 Susan visited Vietnamese refugee camps in Hong Kong and also filmed charity work by Population Concert in the slums of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Susan has one grown-up son, Christopher, and lives in London with her husband, impresario Sir Eddie Kulukundis.
Joanna Trollope OBE
Joanna Trollope was born in December 1943. She is the eldest of three, the mother of two daughters and the stepmother of two stepsons and now a grandmother.
Joanna went to school in Surrey and then to Oxford.
After a spell in the Foreign Office, she became a teacher before becoming a fulltime writer. She first wrote historical novels, now published under the pseudonym Caroline Harvey, then Britannia’s Daughters – a study of women in the British Empire, and then her contemporary works of fiction, several of which have been televised. The Choir was her first contemporary novel, then A Village Affair and A passionate Man. The Rector’s Wife, her first number one best seller, made her into a household name. This was followed by: The Men and the Girls, A Spanish Lover, The Best of Friends, Next of Kin, Other People’s Children, Marrying the Mistress, Girl from the South, Brother and Sister, Second Honeymoon, The Book Boy and Friday Nights.
Joanna was appointed the OBE in the 1996 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature.
Joanna Trollope has a huge commitment to people. She says, “I mind more and more about people, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged ones.”. She supports the Gloucestershire Community Foundation, Mulberry Bush School, The March Foundation for Dementia, RNIB, especially the Right to Read Campaign, the Meningitis Trust, Macmillan Nurses and the Breast Cancer Care.
When she considers what has happened to her career in the last ten years, she often thinks, as her friend Jilly Cooper once said, “You’d believe it, wouldn’t you. If it happened to someone else!”.
The Hon Mrs Justice Gloster DBE
Elizabeth was educated at Roedean School and Girton College, Cambridge. Called to the Bar in 1971 as a member of Inner Temple, she was appointed a QC in 1989 and a Bencher of Inner Temple in 1992. From 1993 to 2004 she was a judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey, appointed a Recorder in 1995 and to the High Court Bench in 2004, thus becoming the first women Commercial Court Judge.
Between 1982 and 1989 she was a member of the panel of Counsel who appeared for the Department of Trade and Industry in company matters. Elizabeth was Counsel for the Crown in the famous Guinness case of 1989: R v Saunders, Ronson, Lyons and Parnes. She has appeared and advised in numerous high-profile City and insolvency cases, including the Barings disqualification, Enron, Telewest, Parmalat, The Equitible, Railtrack, Marconi, TXU, Maxwell, EMLICO and Bermuda Fire and Marine.
Elizabeth has a grown-up son and daughter and lives in London and Buckinghamshire, with holiday bases in Scotland and Norfolk. She is married to Sir Oliver Popplewell, a retired High Court Judge and past president of the MCC.