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Spencer Gallery Official Opening

(30 September 2007)

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On Saturday 29 September 2007 at 3pm the new look Spencer Gallery was officially opened. The opening was attended by some well know faces including Sir Stanley Spencer's two daughters Unity and Shiran.

Spencer's Daughters Shirin and Unity

Dick Hurley the Chairman of the Trustees of the Gallery talked about the gallery refurbishment the cost having been over 800,000 and then introduced an official from the Heritage Lottery Fund who said how impressed he was with the results of their investment. Dick then introduced the President of the Friends of the Spencer Gallery, Duncan Robinson, who praised everyone who had produced such an impressive Gallery which would attract people from all over the world. 

Dick Hurley Chairman of the Gallery Trustees

The Heritage Lottery Fund Representative

Duncan Robinson, President of the Friends of Stanley Spencer

Most of the trustees were there along with the people who helped make it all happen, the Project Manager Julian Bullen, who did an excellent job, Start Conlin, Chairman of the Gallery who was the main instigator of raising the money from the Lottery fund and Lottery Fund employees were there talking about future grants.  Also there were some of the many custodians, who tirelessly look after the Gallery during opening hours, including several new ones, who are slowly learning the new computer and EPOS systems which are a bit more advanced than the old manual ones.  Also there was Ivor Sayer, Chairman of the Friends of the Spencer Gallery with his wife Joyce, Lesley Aston with her husband Ben, Lesley has looked after the Gallery publicity for many years and has recently handed over to Chrissy Rosenthal, who was there with Ann Danks, who is looking after all the materials and ensuring everything is archived and available for visitors to view the information. Ann's husband Roger, who is an architect, had submitted the original design ideas for the refurbishment. 

The Mayor Signs the Visitors' Book

Ken Pople was there, well on in his 90s, who wrote the definitive guide to Spencer's paintings, entitled Spencer, which contains an anthology of virtually all Spencer's known works. Joan George was also there, who was the inspiration for the Gallery in the first place when it was first opened in 1962. The Trustees of the King's Hall had come along, their Chairman being Father Michael Smith. The King's Hall is the charity that actually owns the building, so the trustees were able to see exactly what had happened to their property.

Chairman of the Gallery Stuart Conlin with Joyce Sayer

Author Ken Pople and Project Manager Julian Bullen

Ann Danks and Chrissy Rosenthal

After the opening, everyone made their way across to the Odney Club for drinks and nibbles, as food and drink is not allowed in the refurbished Gallery. Ivor Sayer had made a video of the whole of the refurbishment from beginning to end which was run, while the attendees were able to have a glass of wine in the beautiful John Lewis conference centre.

Heather Conlin with Ann Danks and Lesley Aston

Dick Hurley, Chairman of the Gallery Trustees talks to Colin Jackson, a Trustee of the King's Hall

Ex Mayor Margaret Cubley


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