NTG President Tony Spruce, NTG co-Patron the Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas KT, Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE. Photograph: Chris George @GeorgieGuernsey

Day-long crystal blue skies and a honey-glow sunset, topped and tailed Dame Fiona Reynolds’s trip to Guernsey, as Guest Speaker for National Trust of Guernsey’s AGM held on 26th September and presenting ‘The Fight for Beauty’ – an enlightening, convincing and optimistic argument that Britain’s natural beauty should be preserved, whilst recognising and accommodating the need for essential economic and social improvements. Her reasoning is no less relevant for Guernsey’s own natural beauties, its countryside, beaches and cliff paths, as well as its cultural and built heritage.

Making the most of Fiona’s whistle-stop visit, we hot-footed from a brilliant interview with Jenny Kendall Tobias at BBC Radio Guernsey, to splendid welcomes at National Trust of Guernsey properties, The Victorian Shop and Parlour at 26 Cornet Street and The Folk and Costume Museum at Saumarez Park.

A lunch-break at Fermain Beach Café, was followed by a tour of the Fermain Tower, when Dame Fiona was escorted by Oliver Westgarth, CCD’s Project Architect and met building contractors RG Phillips, before being whisked back to the OGH in preparation for the business part of the day, being NTG’s AGM held at Les Caches Farm.

NTG’s 2018 AGM business, fully attended by Members and friends, was described by an attendee as ‘the best AGM I have ever attended. Short and efficient’. Notably, we recorded the retirement of Honorary Treasurer Ian McCathie. Having been a cog, at the heart of Trust matters for 13 years. Ian is already sorely missed as both Council Member and friend.

The famous honey-glow sunset at Les Caches Farm, did not disappoint. As the sun faded over the courtyard, guests moved inside and up to the first floor, where a traditional Guernsey supper was enjoyed by the light of the setting sun and, ultimately, candles too.

With seamless event management by Angela McCafferty and a perfect supper provided by Sueco, we really couldn’t have asked for a better close to Fiona and Bob’s first visit to Guernsey.  We look forward to welcoming them again when we hope they will have more time to explore the Island and, perhaps, continue the cliff walk beyond the stretch from St Peter Port to Jerbourg that they managed on their first afternoon here.

A full transcript of Dame Fiona’s words, is available here

A film of her presentation, produced by Oliver Tracey of onscreencreations.com is here

An enchanting and thought-provoking article written by Dame Fiona, apropos her trip to Guernsey first appeared in her column ‘A walking life’ in 10th October, 2018 issue of Country Life. It is reproduced here.