Registered office of FISHAC: 18 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1QZ
Registered in England No. 7639324 Charity No. 1143665

The formal launch of FISHAC took place on Thursday evening, 24th November 2011. It was generously sponsored by the Mercure Queen’s Hotel in their aptly named Regency Suite. The event was attended by around eighty guests including Martin Horwood MP, the Mayor of Cheltenham – Cllr. Barbara Driver, as well as Councillors and Representatives from Cheltenham Borough Council, Willans LLP, KBW Chartered Surveyors, Hamptons International, Knight Frank, Lansdown Insurance Brokers, HSBC Bank, Cheltenham in Bloom, Cheltenham Open Air Art Exhibition and Cheltenham Local History Society, all of whom were thanked by Chairman, Bob Keevil for their help in setting up the Charity.

David Stennett, Chairman of FISG and Vice Chairman of FISHAC welcomed everyone and explained that FISHAC had stemmed from the desire of the Group of Friends of Imperial Square & Gardens (FISG) wanting to contribute something positive towards the Regency ambience of The Square for the people of Cheltenham.
Bob went on to explain the Aims of the Charity quoting directly from the Articles of Association of the Company “The conservation and enhancement of the public areas of Imperial Square, Cheltenham (including Imperial Gardens), including the installation of copies of some of the original features for the benefit and enjoyment of all members of the public.”
He said that the first proposal, which it is hoped would be a fine way to celebrate and commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, was the reinstatement of the historic iron railings around the Gardens, to the original specification as far as possible, and with sufficient and appropriately wide entrances.

The original railings were removed as part of the War Effort during the Second World War but most of the stone plinths are still in place. He emphasised that there is absolutely no intention of installing gates in any of the agreed entrances.
Our Project Managers KBW were in the process of drawing up plans and specifications to be submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council for all necessary approvals by them.

It is felt that this proposal, although a big challenge, would provide a very positive enhancement and contribution to the beauty and historic character of the Square. Ornamental iron railings are a strong feature of Regency and Victorian architecture in Cheltenham. He stressed that it is the desire of FISHAC to make this a community effort with all the people of Cheltenham and its surrounding area working together to achieve its goal and to benefit from it.
He then introduced all the Trustees as follows:
Bob Keevil, Chairman, Retired Chartered Surveyor;
David Stennett, Vice Chairman, Retired Journalist;
Nicola Whitmarsh, Secretary, Senior Negotiator with Hamptons International;
David Goddard and Kate Mynett, (now retired as Trustees)
Charles Horn, Professional Mediator and Legal Advisor – Charles has prepared our fine brochure and display;
Paulette Faulkner – Events Organiser and Co-ordinator;
Peter Walsh, Retired Director of Building Society, who brings important accountancy skills to the Board

Charles Horn then delivered his Presentation of the Brochure including a continuous Photographic Display of Cheltenham’s iconic Imperial Square throughout historic and modern times.

After a supportive and encouraging Address by The Mayor, drinks and canapés were enjoyed.
Fundraising started immediately with an exciting Raffle. The FISHAC website address is www.fishac.org
Photos by www.regencystudio.co.uk and can be purchased by contacting steven.regencystudio@btinternet.com direct. (FISG cannot supply them)

FISHAC Trustees wish to record their thanks to Steven for donating the photos to the Charity.

A Jubilee Cake was a Surprise Raffle Prize provided by Rose Barton at Friends of Imperial Square Heritage and Conservation – FISHAC’s Diamond Jubilee Lunch for 91 guests at the Queens Hotel to raise funds towards the Reinstatement of the Historic Railings around Imperial Gardens. It was presented to the lucky winner, Jenny Hunter by special guest, Cheltenham’s outgoing Mayor, Cllr. Barbara Driver. FISHAC’s Chairman, Bob Keevil thanked everyone for their support for the project and paid tribute to H.M. The Queen’s 60 year reign before inviting all those present to join in The Loyal Toast. Donations to the Project can be made via www.fishac.org

Planning Permission for the Reinstatement of the Historic Railings was given on 22nd March 2012 together with Listed Building Consent and the process of applying for funding is taking place. Due to local fundraising and support all set up costs have been met. For more information go to our Charity Website – www.fishac.org