New trustees for Sidmouth's Kennaway House

PUBLISHED: 10:19 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:36 18 June 2010

TWO SIDMOUTH businessmen have become new trustees of Kennaway House. Richard Eley, chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce and Mark Seward, president of Sidmouth Hospitality Association were elected at the first annual meeting

TWO SIDMOUTH businessmen have become new trustees of Kennaway House.

Richard Eley, chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce and Mark Seward, president of Sidmouth Hospitality Association were elected at the first annual meeting of the new Kennaway House Trust.

Mr Eley is a local antiquarian and proprietor of Delderfields, while Mark Seward owns Dukes, Hotel Elizabeth, The Devoran and Kingswood Hotel.

Dr Ffiona Eaves, archaeologist and historian, who leads the group researching the history of the Georgian house - former home to Sidmouth's first MP, Sir John Kennaway - was also elected to the Trust.

Chairman, Dr Michael James, and trustee David Birch were re-elected.

Dr James thanked retiring trustees Jackie Street, David James and Ian Heard for the parts they had played in developing the new charity, which was registered in February 2008.

He said they had all made valuable contributions. Particular thanks went to Jackie for her work designing the finish and fitting out of the restored house and for her chairmanship of the Friends of Kennaway House.

Jackie has agreed to continue as chairman of the Friends as their role was developing with the completion of £1million restoration works.

Dr James said: "This is a new board of trustees that better reflects the business interests and experience of Sidmouth, while retaining our commitment to the arts, heritage and learning.

"We are happy with progress so far. The house is already hosting its third major exhibition - by the Kennaway Fine Arts Guild, which is open until Sunday, October 11.

"We are delighted that Ray Balkwill, Robert Crisp, Stephen Brown and Neil Cox have adopted Kennaway House as the base for the Guild - and their exhibition is impressive.

"We are also glad to be there for people to hire the house, or one of its fine rooms, for family events such as weddings, golden weddings and gatherings after funerals.

"Our Cellar Bar is proving particularly popular."

Accounts for the year ending December 31, 2008, prepared by auditors Easterbrook Eaton, were approved.


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