The London Centre
The London Centre was founded in 1951, and is the second oldest association after Manchester. It currently has 170 members drawn from across London and surrounding areas.
Our objectives are to promote and support the work of the National Trust both nationally and locally and to arrange social activities making membership more enjoyable. In practice, we concentrate on the latter and, while doing this, manage to donate some thousands of pounds each year to the National Trust.
Our main activities are visits by public transport to places of interest in and around London, some not accessible to the general public. We also arrange coach trips to National Trust and other properties and an annual holiday. Our fortnightly rambles are normally no more than six miles, with a convivial lunch stop and the opportunity to leave early if required.
Surplus arising from our events enables us to donate to National Trust projects. Some donations respond to national appeals such as Enterprise Neptune in 2015; some directly to properties in our London and South-East Region, for example Rainham Hall in 2013, 2014 and 2016 for the re-launch of the house and garden.
The Scotney Castle children’s play area benefited from a small donation in 2015 as we try to support the Trust’s work with children; this year our donation to Woolsthorpe Manor (Isaac Newton’s House near Grantham) was for costumes for visitors and guides. This last donation was prompted by an enjoyable visit on our Centre holiday. Other holidays have stimulated support for projects as diverse as an organ at Erdigg, umbrellas and deckchairs for Tyntesfield, and a Victorian glasshouse at Quarry Bank at Styal in Cheshire.
You no longer have to be a member of the National Trust to be welcomed at the London Centre. Our members come from all areas of London and its surroundings. We have a wide variety of backgrounds with a range of interests including history, art, gardens and many more. Our programme of visits and events is designed to reflect this.
The annual membership rate is £12. There is a reduction to £10 for those members receiving programmes and literature by email, and also for additional members at the same address not requiring a printed programme. There is a one-off joining fee of £10 for those who are not National Trust members or volunteers.
Programmes are sent out to members three times a year. The London visits often include an opportunity to lunch together, so there is plenty of time to socialise then as well as on the coach trips and rambles. Coach trips depart from Central London (currently Marylebone Station) usually between 9.15 and 10.15 for a full day visit. We hold our AGM and Social at the Napier Hall, Hide Place, SW1P 4NJ, close to Victoria Station and convenient for travel from all the London area.
Upcoming Events, Summer 2017
18 May 2017: Guided tour of The National Archives
24 May 2017: Ramble from Regent’s Park, Camden Town and Primrose Hill
7 June 2017: Ramble around Hogsmill River to Berrylands
8 June 2017: Coach outing to Petworth House (NT)
13 June 2017: Guided tour of the Queen’s House, Greenwich
21 June 2017: Ramble around Stanmore
6 July 2017: Ramble around Victoria Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
10 July 2017: Guided tour of the Garrick Club
17 July 2017: Guided tour of Langdon Down Centre
19 July 2017: Ramble from Whitchurch-on-Thames to Mapledurham Lock
2 August 2017: Ramble around Osterley House and Park (NT)
3 August 2017: Guided tour of Strawberry Hill House
16 August 2017: Ramble from Henley-on-Thames to Lower Shiplake
22 August 2017: Guided tour of Ashburnham House
30 August 2017: Ramble around Darwent Valley
8 September 2017: Coach outing to Leeds Castle
13 September 2017: Ramble from Upminster Bridge to Rainham
18 – 22 September 2017: Holiday in Harrogate
26 September 2017: Ramble from Kingston to Richmond along the Thames
28 September 2017: Guided tour of Westminster Abbey Library
Meet a Member
I'm Barbara and I've have been a member of the National Trust for many years. When my husband and I retired we made a positive decision to get out and about to see more of England. The National Trust membership seemed to answer our decisions of where to go. Each week we took off for the day to visit a National Trust property, slowly widening the radius covered away from our home. So many properties were easily within a day’s driving. Later we found ourselves looking further afield and stayed overnight in some areas of outstanding natural beauty. England is such a country of contrasts.
When my husband died and I moved to London to be nearer to my children I joined the London Centre National Trust supporter group. They really made me welcome and before too long, realising my curiosity to see new places in and around London, suggested that I join the committee. This was for me a very positive experience. I have found so many places for us to visit by looking in newspapers, where to visit books etc, many of these had not even been known to exist by those who had been brought up and worked within the Capital.
I look forward to a long membership of the London Centre National Trust and all the many activities that they offer.