During the year the Trust has concentrated on the management of the properties that it has retained or of which it remains the freeholder. We have had constructive discussions with the Borough Council about cooperating over the acquisition of suitable properties for restoration but with no immediate candidates. We are, however, currently working with the King’s Lynn Conservancy Board to develop a solution for the conservation and re-use of the 1856 Swimming Baths building – although it is very unlikely to have a future as a swimming pool. We will be undertaking an options appraisal and feasibility study in 2018/19.
We completed the external redecoration of Thoresby College and then embarked on the upgrading of two of the flats to improve their thermal efficiency. These works took rather longer than expected but were virtualy completed by the end of the year. The works included adding new insulation to the walls and roof as well as replacing the casements with double-glazed units.
Our major work here was a major refurbishment of one of our retained flats. This involved a new heating system, re-wiring and new kitchen fittings but also included replacement of some stonework that had been damaged as a result of damp in the walls. Part of the work addressed the damp problem so that the problem would not recur.
We have continued to take action to restructure the management of the thre properties on which we retain the freehold but where long leases have been sold on individual flats (77 London Road, Hampton Court and Priory Cottages). This year we initiated a process to vary the Priory Cottages leases to give them a management company that would be independent of 77 London Road and Hampton Court. This is a lengthy procedure as it requires the agreement of all interested parties. When completed the management of the properties will be streamlined with much more immediate accountability of the management companies to their members.
During the year Suzy Martin resigned on health grounds. We are grateful for the assistance that she has given the Trust over the past years.
At the end of the year Mrs Josie Johnston retired from her long held post of Thoresby College Manager. She had been in post for over 25 years and she has served the Trust well in that time. Her intimate knowledge of Thoresby will be much missed but she continues to live on site so can help us out when we need to understand details of how the building works. She has been replaced by Jon Jackson who is adapting well to the new role.
We have also been very fortunate to have had the services of Doreen Leventhall to manage the general operations of the Trust, and to act as Secretary to the Board. Doreen has been a great strength and has expanded her sphere of responsibilities to include some of those that were formally covered by the Director.
2018 was the year of the Trust’s 60th anniversary. This was celebrated first by the production of the film about the Trust that was launched last year. It has been followed up by articles in the Lynn News and the local KL Magazine. A new brochure has been produced which outlines the history of the Trust and identifies future challenges.