2009 Yearbook

3 Foreword Welcome to the 2009 IHBC Yearbook . At the functional level, it tells you who we are and what we do. But, much more than that, it communicates clearly year-by-year and with a consistent quality. That, I hope, is what we stand for. I have always maintained that the annual subscription to the institute is worth it just for the yearbook and five issues of Context , before you even begin to consider the wider benefits of membership. So we owe a continuing debt of gratitude to all those involved in directing, editing, designing, producing and contributing to these publications. Some years ago, when I was IHBC chair, we decided that there should be a president. It was a part of growing up, a means to honour those who have made a difference for the institute. It is also a way of spreading the load as we try to make sure that the institute is represented in every quarter. The post is not elected: it is an appointment made by Council at its first meeting after the AGM. Being unelected means that the president is conveniently available to preside over the AGM when others are being elected. The first president was Malcolm Airs who, as my predecessor as chair, had done so much to gain widespread recognition for the new institute. He was followed by David Lovie. David had already had a distinguished career at Newcastle- upon-Tyne and English Heritage. More importantly for us, he was also prominent among the small group of people who led the institute into existence through all the inevitable layers of bureaucracy. David served as president for six years, having stayed on to represent us while it was our turn to chair the Urban Design Alliance. He also saw us to the end of our first decade and conducted some of the well-deserved celebrations. I am glad to have this opportunity to thank David in public, on behalf of us all, for everything he has done to further the institute’s aims. Little did I know that the reason people were being nice to me at the Annual School in Guildford was that there was a plot afoot, and no-one was more surprised when the subsequent phone call came. I am very glad, however, that my presidency was inaugurated in Northern Ireland in time for a meeting with NI ministers, bearing in mind that my stint as chair had ended in Derry. Now there’s continuity for you! David Lovie is, of course, the proverbial hard act to follow, but I will do my best. Luckily, I have been told that all they needed this year was someone tall! It is going to be an interesting year as we look for ways to achieve improvements without the benefit of primary legislation. We may also have to learn to cope with less investment and, possibly, fewer jobs. As ever, we will take stock at the Annual School and I look forward to meeting as many members as possible at Buxton in June. If we are fortunate, we’ll be in a position then to note that ‘spending our way out of recession’ is reflecting positively on the historic environment. Eddie Booth IHBC President