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15th May 2010
Jonathan Foyle, Chief Executive of the influential World Monuments Fund Britain, is to give a talk for Ripon Civic Society about the 19th-century town halls of the North on Friday 11 June, as part of the Society’s occasional ‘Celebrity Lecture’ series.

Dr Foyle, an architectural historian who is well known for his regular appearances on television, especially in ‘Time Team’, ‘The House Detectives’ and ‘Meet the Ancestors’, is currently making a series for BBC4 on town halls. The title of his illustrated talk is ‘Palaces for the People’, and he will place some of the 19th-century’s greatest public buildings, including the town halls in Leeds and Halifax, in their political and architectural context.

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading organisation for the protection of exceptional works of architecture. WMF Britain is the largest office outside the Fund’s New York HQ, and Jonathan Foyle has been the Chief Executive since 2007. He was formerly assistant surveyor of Canterbury Cathedral, and then Buildings Curator at Hampton Court Palace and Kew Palace. He has taught at the University of Cambridge and he lectures widely around the world.

As well as his BBC4 Series he is about to begin filming a new BBC2 series called ‘Scaling Britain’, which will see him climbing the exteriors of iconic structures like St Paul’s Cathedral, the Imperial War Museum North and Lincoln Cathedral, to reveal their design, construction and role in the history of British architecture and engineering.

David Winpenny, Chairman of Ripon Civic Society, approached Dr Foyle to give a talk after seeing a BBC television piece that he had filmed about pyramids in Gloucestershire. The piece was based on Mr Winpenny’s book ‘Up to a Point – In Search of Pyramids in Britain and Ireland’.

David Winpenny says, ‘Jonathan is a great speaker and a real enthusiast for his subject, and we are very pleased that he is coming to talk to us in Ripon. With such a wealth of great and elaborate Victorian town halls in the North, his talk will certainly be fascinating and entertaining.’

In 2008 the Society hosted a talk by the Chief Executive of English Heritage, Dr Simon Thurley, to mark its 40th anniversary.

• The talk takes place at 7.30pm on Friday 11 June, at Holy Trinity Church, Kirkby Road, Ripon. Tickets for the talk cost £10.00 (Ripon Civic Society members £8.00). They are available by post (with stamped addressed envelope) from RCS 2010, Victoria Villa, Princess Road, Ripon HG4 1HW. Cheques payable to ‘Ripon Civic Society’. More information from 01765 607641.

For more information: David Winpenny on 01765 607641 or 0777 888 1932

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