Friends and neighbours of Covent Garden Area Trust
Over the years, Covent Garden Area Trust has received the most wonderful help and support from kind friends and neighbours who have taken an interest in our work. We are truly grateful to those who have given of their time and energy to support us and look forward to working with new volunteers in the future.
One of our best ever volunteers, Mike Pargiter, was a retired chartered surveyor who worked on the GLC’s Covent Garden team from 1986-1988 and later became a Surveyor to the Royal Parks. For 10 years Mike commuted in to the office from Rickmansworth twice a week. As time went by he served as Company Secretary and also as a Trustee. Mike’s knowledge of Covent Garden, its businesses and residents, was profound. He refused all offers of payment and was very hardworking. Best of all, he loved a good laugh.
The Trust’s library, which contains an excellent selection of books about the history of Covent Garden, was built up thanks to the literary knowledge of Simon Pembroke, an academic who specialised in Ancient Greece. As a long-time resident of Garrick Street, Simon was never happier than when rummaging through second hand bookshops in Charing Cross Road or sorting through piles of old documents up for auction in London’s sale rooms.
The money to buy the books came from a weekly donation paid by a small film company that used to store its film cans in the Trust’s office.
The job of cataloguing the library was mainly carried out by yet another ex GLC employee, Alan Flint. Alan would regularly visit the Trust’s office from his home in Shepherd’s Bush and his love of books and encyclopedic knowledge were incredibly useful.
A chance visitor to the Piazza rang the Trust to offer his services as a keen amateur photographer. An architect by trade, he produced brilliant photographs of the Piazza buildings and was encouraged to take a series of photos over a period of time, at regular intervals. Completely by chance, when the Trust found itself being taken to arbitration in 1996, it had already received several months’ worth of photographs which were used as supporting evidence for a number of points made by the Trust’s witnesses.
Other volunteers have included school leavers keen to gain work experience; however, some have been more helpful than others. One particular volunteer was sent off on his first morning to deliver a parcel and never returned! Over the years we’ve had university students, local residents and retired older ones volunteer with us for short periods.
If you feel you’d like to gain some experience in an office environment, or have a skill you think would be useful to the Trust, please contact our office:
Covent Garden Area Trust
7 Dials Club
42 Earlham Street
Tel: 020 7497 9245