Pioneers of modern BRLSI turn out for 20th anniversary celebration

May 9th: As part of BRLSI’s 20th anniversary celebrations, key figures from the rebirth of the Institution in 1993 turned out for a reception, attended by the Mayor of Bath and the Chair of B&NES Council, held at the BRLSI at 20 Exhibition currently running in the Jenyns Room.

The reception was followed by ‘The Fight For BRLSI’, a lecture by Michael King (right), one of the original 1993 Trustees, who recalled the struggle to reclaim the BRLSI building and collections from Avon County Council, and then to refurbish the building, which had fallen into a poor state of repair.
Mr King paid tribute to the many volunteers and supporters of the time, including John Coates, Karl Jaeger, David Dunlop, Chris Patten (now Chair of the BBC Trust), Victor Suchar, Clive Abbott, Bob Whittaker and Bob Draper, awarded an MBE for his services to the Institution and still BRLSI’s House Manager today.
The BRLSI at 20 Exhibition contains memories of BRLSI over the past 20 years, and is open until 25th May (Mon-Sat, 10am – 4pm, free admission). Other BRLSI at 20 events include a series of anniversary lectures, and an exhibition of early photographs of Bath by the Rev Francis Lockey at Bath Central Library (20th-25th May, admission free). Click here for more details.

From left: Dr Steve Wharton (BRLSI Chair of Directors), Michael King, Cllr Rob Appleyard (Chair, B&NES Council), Betty Suchar (BRLSI Chair of Management).
Brenda Vicary-Finch, BRLSI administrator from the early post-1993 days until 2011.

John Bulman (left) was the reborn BRLSI’s first science convenor – the Science group met at his house while the BRLSI building was being renovated. Seen with him is former BRLSI Trustee and Chair of Finance Rodney Tye.
Bob Whittaker, whose involvement with BRLSI goes back to 1967, was part of the 1993 steering committee and later a Trustee of the newly-revived BRLSI.

1993 BRLSI pioneer Karl Jaeger examines a brass plaque announcing the old Institution’s Reading Room, Library and Museum.