2024 Presenting the Dance Scholarship Trust Cheque to the SPAB

The 2024 Scholars have now started their exciting journey. Philip Orchard and Liberty Watts (as representatives of the DST) recently met the Scholars in Spital Square to present the SPAB with our contribution cheque. this year we have contribute towards the Stipend of 2 scholars!

We look forward to hearing all about the scholars experiences and wish them luck for the next 9 months!


Dec and Paul recently completed a cycle ride, raising £1420 for the DST!!

Setting off early morning from Kendal on Friday 8th September, they cycled through the Lake District, on to Carlisle and up through the South of Scotland. They visited historic landmarks and a Buddhist monastery along the way, arriving in Edinburgh for the DST AGM. Their route consisted of a ‘fairly hilly’ 2760 metres of ascent and a long day of 148 miles!

2023 Fundraising

We are pleased to share two fundraising events in the coming months to help us reach our income targets to contribute towards 4 scholarships in the coming years. 

Beth & HollyTo continue the 2019 Scholars SPAB-Tathalon, Bethan Watson and Holly Spilsbury will be undertaking a sponsored hike of the Pilgrims’ Way on Saturday 19 August and look forward to sharing some sketches that will be undertaken along the journey. 

Click here to donate towards their efforts and support scholarship funding.

Paul and Dec

To arrive in style at this years Edinburgh AGM, Paul Crosby and Declan Cahill will endure 148 mile cycle from Kendal to Edinburgh and sit through the AGM with potential saddle sour in order to help raise funds. They look to finish a beer with attendees upon arrival on Friday 8th September. 

Click here to donate towards their efforts and support scholarship funding.

2023 AGM & Gathering – Save the Date

We are delighted to ask you to save the date for our 2023 AGM on Saturday 9th September 2023, with gathering events over the weekend including the Sunday 10th.

Itinerary is being developed for the weekend in Scotland. Plans will see us in and around St Peters Seminary in Cardross and Glasgow. TBC.

We look forward to seeing you there and developing plans. Please be in touch if you are able to contribute!

2021/2 Fundraising


The four 2019 Scholars will fundraise by undertaking a challenge each at various dates over the year, from October 2021, culminating in a joint activity.

The Cambridge half Marathon was completed by Beth Watson in just over 2 hours in October.

Upcoming events include a Cycle, Wild swim and Hike, with a joint two-day canoe journey stopping off at some buildings dear to the SPAB. Highlights to be updated on the Justgiving donation page!

We very much hope that you may be able to support them with their target via their fundraising page on JustGiving.

In Memory – Arnold Root

Arnold was awarded the SPAB Scholarship in 1982 with Paul Bedford and Tim Buxbaum.

Arnold’s love for old buildings may have been in the blood: his aunt and uncle had both worked in the field, his uncle in the old Ministry of Works, predecessor to English Heritage/Historic England. Also, as a boy during his daily train journey to school at City of London, he noticed the destruction of warehousing in the inner London docks and remembered ‘the air rich with spices’. Arnold also told of his father handing him an Architect’s Journal which he’d picked up by chance, found on his seat on the evening commute back to their Surrey home, and which just happened to be a special building conservation issue. Whichever it was, Arnold said that by the age of 12 he knew what he wanted to do in life. Prior to the scholarship, he was at Cambridge University where, at that time, the general antagonism towards conservation made him all the more determined to pursue a career in caring for old buildings. 

Following the scholarship, Arnold worked in Edinburgh for the New Town Conservation Centre, and subsequently for Bath City Council as a conservation officer. He was then for over two decades historic buildings architect for English Heritage in the south-west region. After leaving EH, Arnold set up his own practice – he said later he wished he’d done this years before – based in his Rivers Street home in Bath – with projects often involving careful repair and sensitively crafted new design work. He also worked on a part-time basis with the architect, Chris Smart, and for Andrew Townsend Architects.

As a consequence of Arnold’s time on the SPAB Scholarship, he became a lifelong supporter and ally of the Society; as Matthew Slocombe (Director of SPAB) said, Arnold really ‘got the message’ about the primary importance, interest and beauty of building fabric as handed down to us and, flowing from that, the philosophy of conservative repair.

In his work for English Heritage, Arnold’s benign and thoughtful approach influenced, often profoundly, the work carried out to a huge number of important and more humble old buildings, especially in the south west. Not least of these was Prior Park mansion, where a disastrous fire in 1991 was followed by four years of painstaking reconstruction with Arnold by turns guiding, steering and cajoling loss adjusters, project architects, contractors and the many crafts people involved.

His interests and understanding outside the world of building conservation were wide and varied.  He was fascinated by design – conspicuously modern design – demonstrated by his active membership of the C20th Society and his collections – of mid-C20th artist prints, architect-designed watches, cameras and brightly colourful scarves. 

A committed socialist of the Fabian sort, Arnold recognised talent & encouraged other professionals & craftspeople alike to produce their best work. His power of analytical observation was acute and minute.  His eye for detail is illustrated in an unforgettable incident when he called the specialist decorators back to re-paint the Dining Room in his Rivers Street house, this time with the brush-strokes going the right way. 

Andrew Townsend

2017 DST Gathering at Stanway House, image by Philip Hughes – Arnold Root, Andrew Townsend, Dorian Crone and Robert Williams

2020/21 Scholars Fundraising

2020 Scholarship
The 2020 SPAB Scholarship fell victim to the Covid-19 Lockdown and was postponed a week prior to the three scholars embarking. The 2020 Scholars are:

Amy Redman – Architect

Libby Watts – Architect

Lucy Newport – Structural Engineer

2020 Scholars fundraising route sketch

2020 Scholars Fundraising
We are delighted that the three Scholars are undertaking a fundraising walk on behalf of the DST through the Lake district, beginning on the 2nd September. 116km and 16 church visits over 4 days. 

You can follow their efforts and sketches on their Instagram. 

We also very much hope that you may be able to support them with their target and find further details via their fundraising page on JustGiving.

The Pandemic has had far reaching effects for all of us, our friends and our loved ones. For the three scholars, this came as a further blow after leaving the security of their employment and accommodation ready for nine months on the road. In order to be able to offer support to the Scholars and to ensure (that financially at least) they are able to undertake a SPAB Scholarship in 2021, the DST has set up a fund specifically in response to the Covid impacts on the 2020 Scholarship. 

Janet Locke 1928 – 2020

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our friend and fellow Scholar Janet Locke. With thanks to Hannah Reynolds, we offer the following words in tribute and further details below.

2008, Janet Locke at Goldsmiths Hall, Insall’s 50th Anniversary. Image by Charlie Hopkinson for DIA

In an interview conducted in 2016 Janet noted that her interest in architecture, and in particular historic buildings, had been sparked by an Elizabethan hunting lodge close to her childhood home. She recalled also having seen the architectural drawings when her parents built their own home in 1938.  In the late 1940’s Janet went on to study at Bartlett School of Architecture, where she was one of 5 women in a 60 strong cohort. Here, in culmination of her 5 year architecture degree, Janet’s final thesis indulged her passion for historic buildings and lead her to cycle around Essex investigating vernacular architecture and pargetting. 

Janet recalled having seen the SPAB Lethaby Scholarship programme advertised and, thinking “it might be interesting”. Having been founded in 1930, the SPAB Scholarship resumed in 1950, after a brief interlude during the War. Janet (then Furney) was one of five young architects to undertake the Scholarship in that year and one of the first two females to be admitted. Her contemporaries were Donald Insall, Pamela Cunnington, Cecil Searle and Peter Locke, whom she would later marry.

1950 Lethaby Scholars. Donald Insall, Peter Locke, Janet Furney, Pamela Cunnington. SPAB Archive

It was Monica Dance who first introduced Janet to Peter in the upstairs room at 55 Great Ormond Street, and was later accused of running the SPAB as a matrimonial agency. Monica became Godmother to their son, Christopher.

Janet recalled her second meeting with Peter involving them mixing lime mortar together at a church visit, the visits always being very hands-on. With a bursary of just £60, the scholars were self proclaimed ‘LHU’s’, “Lethabite Hard Up”.  Left to their own devices to arrive at the correct venue, as instructed by brief telephone call or telegram, the Scholars used public transport or often bicycles, but were sometimes given lifts by visiting architects.

Janet and Peter’s relationship blossomed during their time as Scholars and they were married in 1952. Those that knew Janet and Peter recall how they were devoted to one another, providing balance, yet sparking each other’s enthusiasm and interests. 

Janet and Peter, Insall’s offices, West Eaton Place. Image by Donald Insall
1999 , Janet and Peter Locke, Kew. Image provided by Chris Locke

Following the Scholarship, Janet worked as an architect until their two children were born. This included work for both David Nye and David Martin, who had been 1930’s SPAB Scholars. Despite not continuing to pursue a career in architecture, Janet continued to utilise her knowledge, interest and passion for historic buildings.  

Between 1986 and 2008 Janet was a major contributor to the work of the Richmond Society in protecting and enhancing the character and amenity of Richmond, where Janet and Peter then lived. This included serving on the Executive Committee and sitting on the Conservation, Development and Planning sub-committee from 1986 to 2008. Across these years, Janet led the society’s important work in monitoring and commenting on development proposals. This involved the careful scrutiny and consideration of many hundreds of planning applications each year and drafting and submitting representations in collaboration with committee colleagues. 

At the formation of the Dance Scholarship Trust in 1989 Janet was eager to be involved, to assist in supporting the scholarship and to enable continued contact among Scholars. Janet was a DST committee member for some years before taking on the role of Chairman, a role in which she was gracious and considerate yet astute and efficient, with a sharp focused attention to detail. For many years to follow Janet enjoyed attending the Scholars annual gatherings, where her warmth and enthusiasm formed a bridge between Scholars new and old. Janet continued to be of great benefit to the Trust, offering good advice and often asking searching questions to ensure all was considered and correct.

Janet continued to have excursions, with Peter until his death in 2012, and with friends in recent years, to Scholarship gatherings, historic buildings or exhibitions of interest. Janet continued the scholarly tradition of making these sometimes mighty journeys by public transport.

Peter had joined Donald in practice in 1958, where he continued to work as a key figure until his retirement in 1995. During this time Janet was always an important part of the practices working family, she is remembered fondly by Donald and many of Peter’s colleagues as such good company and much loved. Janet will be missed by all who knew her. We will remain forever grateful for and miss her great warmth, welcoming smile and unfailing passion for historic buildings and their correct treatment. 

2016, Janet Locke and Donald Insall, SPAB Offices in Spital Square. SPAB archives.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday 9th June at 3:30pm. While attendance is restricted, Janet’s family intend to organise a full celebration of her life when circumstances allow. Details for sending flowers, donations to the chosen charity (SPAB) and details on how to observe the service online via webcast can be found from the following link:


Save the date – 2020 Bristol AGM & Gathering

Dear Members and Friends,

We sincerely hope that you, your loved ones and your livelihoods are keeping as well as possible under the current circumstances. 
To offer some anticipation beyond the lockdown, we also write to ask that you ‘Save the date’ for this years DST AGM and Gathering. 
The AGM will be held on the afternoon of Saturday 12th September 2020 in Bristol. 
We will of course monitor restrictions on events as the coming months unfold, but we remain optimistic and will continue to develop the Agenda and visits – details of which will follow, along with booking information. 
Please spread word to other members that you know, who we may have missed, or cannot be contact via email. 

We greatly look forward to gathering with all of you then, but in the meantime, please keep well.