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At an enjoyable soiree on Thursday 29 November, a new fundraising appeal for Number 63 was launched. Since it is 70 years since Number 63 was purchased as a Soroptimist Residential Club, it seemed appropriate to have a Platinum Appeal, marking 70 years of history.

Speaking at the launch, Ann Garvie, Chair of Number 63 noted that we have a duty of care not only to the generations of women who have gone before us, but also to conserve, maintain and improve our lovely building for those women who will follow us. The Appeal will seek funds in the shape of loans, donations and, when the shareholders’ register is reopened as we hope shareholders will agree in January 2019, with the purchase of new shares both by existing and new shareholders.

Federation President Sue Williams, Patron of 63 spoke with passion and fondness of Number 63 and was pleased to be hosting meetings here during her year.

Chair Ann was delighted to receive on behalf of Number 63 this beautiful watercolour painting generously donated by Lorna Blackmore of SI Tunbridge Wells.

The painting is by the artist Roy Pettit and was donated to SI Tunbridge Wells by Club member Mary Alford, for whom Roy Pettit painted it specially. Mary had encouraged and sponsored the artist’s work and had drawn his talent to the attention of Lord Gage of Firle Place, Sussex for whom Mary had worked as an art restorer.

The launch was also the opportunity to introduce a new History of Number 63: ‘Something for Ourselves’ which has edited together memories, anecdotes and personal stories that cover the history of Number 63. The book is on sale at Reception in Number 63 at a cost of £5 in aid of the Platinum Appeal.