Smash hit TV series Call the Midwife creator, Heidi Thomas, and actor, Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner in the programme, entertained a capacity audience at Northampton High School on Friday 28 February.
The 78 Derngate fundraising event offered an exclusive behind-the-scenes audience opportunity with one of the show’s actors and the series creator, in a bid to raise funds for the current extension appeal.
Heidi and Stephen gave a lively and engaging insight into the events on and off screen of the award-winning series, providing a candid view on the exacting attention to detail required to accurately reflect how society and attitudes are presented in the (to date) nine series, with series ten to hit screens at the end of 2020.
Followed by a guest Q&A session, Heidi and Stephen spent time signing autographs, having photographs taken and chatting to members of the audience, some of whom had travelled several hours to attend.
£150,000 of the £200,000 target to match fund the sum already offered by Northampton Borough Council has been raised with over £4,000 raised from the event.
Dear Friends It has been a fair while since the last update. A lot has happened in that time, much of it for the worse. Clearly the pandemic has meant that we were closed for nearly 4 months, but we are now open again, albeit on a limited pre-booked schedule. During the closedown however the fund raising and work to complete the drawings on the extension has been underway. I am pleased to report that the Trustees had a virtual meeting last month and based on the monies we now have in the bank and the reports from our quantity surveyor and architect, have decided to go out to tender this month for the construction. Dependent on the response we are planning to start on site in the autumn. As with all capital projects there will be unknowns and we continue to ask for funds in order to limit the risks. We were bolstered considerably by a single contribution of £25,000 from the George Cadbury Foundation which enabled Northampton Borough Council to release the remainder of their promised £200,000. We have also successfully applied for a ‘Bounce Back’ loan from our bank which also underlines our need to fund raise at every opportunity. Thanks to all who have made this possible and we look forward to better times. Les Patterson Co. Sec., Update no.3 November 2019
Two milestones reached
Dear Friends, At the beginning of November, the Trust received the planning permission and listed building consent for the extension to the Atrium of 82 Derngate. I’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to write in support of the application, the planners say they had never seen such support and made their decision making easier. There had to be a few compromises to the design in order to comply with Historic England’s observations and the final plans can be viewed on Northampton Borough Council’s planning portal. As you are no doubt aware, we have a funding target to match the £200k pledged by Northampton Borough Council towards the scheme. I’m pleased to report that in under a year we have reached the halfway stage and raised just over £100k. This is due to a combination of donations, trading, reserves from past years and fund raising like the raffle and Pims and pudding evening. We continue to actively seek donations and will be making applications to a variety of sources now that planning permission is in place. The Trustees will be instructing the architects to proceed with the detailed drawings in the new year ready to go out to tender. Thank you once again for all your support. Les Patterson.
Update no.2 July 2019:
Dear Supporter As you are no doubt aware our efforts to build an extension on the back of 82 Derngate continue, but for once this message is not asking for monetary support (phew). Earlier this month we submitted our revised plans to Northampton Borough Council for planning permission and listed building consent. This is now the subject of public consultation which closes on 8th August 2019.
The Trustees and the Friends committee are urging all our supporters to write into the council backing the revised proposal. We hope that this will demonstrate and reflect the passion and esteem in which the house and organisation is held and improve our likelihood of success.
The easiest way to send a comment – and it need only be a sentence or two - is by using this link and clicking on "Comment on this application". As always thank you for your time, efforts and support.
Les Patterson, Secretary to the Trust.
Update no.1 July 2019: The appeal is going well – we are now at £75,000 – but, we still need more. We've now launched our exciting Summer Raffle with many spectacular prizes and tickets can be bought from Reception and if you wish to sell tickets on our behalf, please contact Liz.
As you may already be aware, a grant of up to £200,000 has been pledged to us by Northampton Borough Council to enhance the visitor experience here at The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House & Galleries. We plan to enlarge the existing atrium to facilitate an increased shopping area, a new reception area and tearoom and provide a new exhibition/performance space at mezzanine level. At the same time it will provide better permanent disabled access. The increased storage will free up rooms in 78 Derngate, enabling them to be open to the public for the first time. The opportunity also exists to reduce our carbon footprint by lowering heating costs.
As a self-funded charity, we depend on trading in order to survive and believe that this plan will produce greater income and lower costs, making the venue much more sustainable. An architect’s illustration of how it may look (subject to planning approval) is available to see here.
Our aim is to match fund the £200k by the summer and so we are asking Friends and supporters to donate in units of £100. For each unit of £100 the donors’ names will be recognised on engraved glass panelling located in the new atrium. So, if you wish to add 2 names, this will cost £200 and so on. We do of course welcome donations of any amount and individual groups could potentially donate money through their own fund-raising activities.
To donate, click on the link below which automatically takes you to our secure fund-raising page. All donations are commission-free so the whole amount comes to the Trust.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed designed Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate has an exciting new addition.
Following our recent appeal, and thanks to the generosity of The Friends of 78 Derngate, we've been able to commission Jake Kaner from Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe to make a replica of the washstand which originally stood in the corner of the room. The washstand is made of oak with a blue and black chequer decoration on the edges. The design matches the other furniture in the room and shows Mackintosh's use of the square in both a decorative and structural manner. The original washstand is on display at The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow where a replica room setting of the Guest Bedroom has been created.
Jake has made all the replica Mackintosh furniture at 78 Derngate and has worked with us from the start of the restoration. We were delighted that he was able to create another piece of exceptional quality for the house. In Mr Bassett-Lowke’s time a Joseph Maria Olbrich - designed bowl stood on the washstand. Pictured on our new washstand is an identical bowl acquired at auction in Edinburgh last year.
Visitors to 78 Derngate are now able to view the new washstand on display.