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MGC 1995 Leaver

After a brief flirtation with flying at Malvern, I surrendered to my fate as an Architect. My parents were successful Architects practising together in Oxfordshire. I wanted to carve my own path, so I took to the air with my RAF flying scholarship and secured my pilots licence before I learnt to drive, but I was creative. I painted as well as having an aptitude for Science and problem-solving, and after being dragged round hundreds of Church buildings on family holidays, I developed a passion for our built environment and a desire to create buildings.

I headed north to the Mackintosh School at Glasgow School of Art to study Architecture. After success in my degree and diploma, I took my portfolio to London to work for Sir Terry Farrell and enjoyed many years working on visionary projects at Regents Place, Paddington Basin and Greenwich Peninsula.

After five years in London my architect husband, David, and I made the move to Banbury to join my parents at Acanthus Clews Architects. We started our own family, Thomas in 2009 and Isaac in 2007, and I started working with historic buildings, in their conservation, change and development.

Today my architectural focus is towards buildings of faith; I am currently the Architect for approx. 50 Listed Parish Churches, two Medieval Cathedrals (Exeter and Worcester), one ‘eco’-monastery (Mucknell Abbey near Pershore), and a member of the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England, (CFCE). I carry out Condition Surveys exploring all the belfries, rooves and hidden spaces. I specify repair work for specialist contractors and conservators, and I design new work in the historic fabric to change the way we use the spaces. My goal is to ensure that these precious buildings can be used and handed on to the next generations, whilst continuing to inspire spiritual affinity.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be working in architecture, as part of a team of people who care for historic buildings, and also with my colleagues at Acanthus Clews where we work on a range of important projects.

What does success look like?

It’s hard to picture success, particularly when you have embarked on a vocational career like architecture, so I would suggest setting progressive goals that can be achieved through hard work! That way ‘success’ is always within reach…

What is your best piece of advice?

Keep in touch - when you leave Malvern the world is your oyster - to play; to explore; to learn; to meet new people – and you will make loads of new friends, but keep in touch with your friends and mentors from school, they are your foundations, your extended family, they will always be there for you come what may.