My interest in old buildings began as a child when I wanted to know why our house on the banks of the Thames in south-west London was at a lower level than the river at high tide. My mother had told me how she had been waist-deep in water in our front room during one terrible flood trying to salvage their belongings. The answer to my question was that our house pre-dated the embanking of the Thames that caused the river level to rise further upstream. Discovering that history can answer questions such as this was irresistible.
My questions continued when my family moved to an Edwardian villa away from the river and I wondered why the walls and ceilings were painted chocolate brown in one room and bottle green in another. How could anyone live in such an environment? It was an introduction to the changing tastes and fashions of home décor introduced by different occupiers through the life of a house that are just one aspect of its history.
Since then I have lived and worked in many interesting buildings covering a range of historical periods and social classes and have an abiding interest in how and why houses developed as they did, who lived in them and what kind of lives they led, and the local and social history of the neighbourhood. Today I live in an 18th century former rectory in Shropshire which is still revealing its past.
I have over thirty years experience of conducting house history and family history research. I have studied local history and am a regular and experienced user of archive repositories. In 2002 I completed the University of Oxford’s Advanced Diploma in Local History and was awarded a distinction. My expertise includes identifying, researching and evaluating historical sources; analysing and interpreting evidence in context; and constructing a narrative history from the resulting material.
My extensive business experience includes delivering customer service, training and facilitation in national and multi-national businesses as a team worker and senior manager. I also have many years experience in organisational development, project management and strategic and business planning as well as research, data analysis, and report writing.
I recently celebrated the first decade of Building Beginnings and you can read some of the stories I have uncovered during that time in my blog.
I regularly attend training courses, workshops, conferences and other events in the sector to continue my personal development and have a rapidly growing library of books and articles. Since starting Building Beginnings I have appeared on television and local radio, in magazines and newspapers talking and writing about my work and some of the discoveries I have made.
I am Chair of the Friends of Shropshire Archives, and Past President of Shropshire Speakers, a Toastmasters International speaking group that meets in Telford.
The history of houses and the people who owned and lived in them is my passion.
Contact us to discover the history of your house.