125 Portraits supporters showcase
Our Portraits of the National Trust online exhibition showcases some of the many incredible people who help our cause. Part of our 125th anniversary celebrations, the black and white portraits were commissioned for our book 'A Portrait of the National Trust', by Chris Lacey, our former head of photography, and taken by photographer John Millar.
This selection of six full-length portraits from the book celebrates our members, visitors and supporters, whose commitment allows us to continue our work.
The full collection of 125 portraits of the staff, volunteers and supporters is available in our book, 'A Portrait of the National Trust: 125 Stories for 125 Years'.
Our founders believed that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. They began the National Trust to protect special places for everyone for ever. We couldn’t continue their work today without the support of our members, donors and visitors.
Linda Stuart, visitor
Linda Stuart has been coming to the Tudor manor of Packwood House in Warwickshire since moving to the county to start her family 40 years ago.
‘I’ve always loved Packwood, but after I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in June 2013 I started visiting most days. I remember coming to look at the wonderful herbaceous borders. It was the most glorious hot day, when all the colours are electric because they're illuminated by this intense sunlight. I remember standing there thinking, “This house and these gardens have been here forever. These gardens have survived. This house has survived. I can survive.”’
" I’ve always loved Packwood. My husband and I moved to Warwickshire 40 years ago and it’s been a constant feature in our lives ever since... It was a brilliant way for us to get out into nature as a family. "
Terry Rhodes, Heritage Open Days vice-chair
Every September, unusual and historic places across England throw open their doors as part of Heritage Open Days, which is coordinated nationally by the National Trust. Gosport was one of the first towns to become involved, and Terry has been part of the organising team there for more than 10 years.
‘Up to 80 places across the town take part in Heritage Open Days and it fosters such a sense of pride in people for their local community. A big focus for us is on access. Throughout the year, we visit organisations that support different audiences, and they test events before they become part of Heritage Open Days. We find that when you make improvements for people with disabilities, you make them better for everyone. The whole experience often becomes richer and more engaging.’
Linda Smith, National Trust lifetime member
Over the past 44 years, donor and life member Linda has visited all the 500+ places in the National Trust Handbook, many several times.
‘I joined the National Trust on my 18th birthday in 1976. My parents had given me the choice between a gold watch and National Trust membership and, seeing as I already had a watch, I thought it would be exciting to become a life member. I’ve been to every property the Trust owns – both historical houses and open spaces – although of course new ones get added, so each year I try to visit a few more. I also really enjoy going back to old favourites – places change just like the seasons so there’s always something new to see, and anyway, it’s hard to take everything in on one trip.’
Zarin Patel, trustee
Zarin has been visiting the places we care for since she arrived in the UK from Kenya aged 13. Her role on the Board of Trustees, though, has shown her the passion and dedication of people who support us.
'When I came to the UK from Kenya, going around National Trust places became a family tradition so we could understand our new home. Osterley Park in London was our closest and going there became a family tradition. Later, I took my own nieces and nephews there, too. Even so, it wasn’t until I became more involved in the Trust as part of the Board of Trustees that I really understood what the organisation is all about. Go to a National Trust place and you see people coming together and volunteers doing amazing things in their spare time. Seeing that makes giving my own time as a trustee worthwhile.'
The Burbidge family, visitors
Ellen Burbidge and her children Georgia (6), Vinnie (3) and Niamh (2), along with baby Rocco, have been making their way through our ‘50 things to do before your 11¾’ list of activities to encourage children to explore the outdoors, and have so far particularly enjoyed building dens and hunting for bugs together.
‘We have our hands full with four children but being outdoors at places like Foxbury and having ideas for activities they can do really helps to entertain them. It’s lovely to see them interacting and helping each other out, too. Georgia is 6 and loves showing the younger ones – Vinnie, who’s 3, and Niamh, who’s 2, what to do. Sometimes the little ones have ideas that Georgia wouldn’t think of, and it really captures their imaginations.’
" Now that we’ve started to get involved with the Trust, there’s more we want to do. We want to get around some of the houses as well, and we visited Brownsea Island once, so it would be lovely to go back. "
Robert Floyd, donor
Robert’s grandparents put Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire, in our care in the 1940s so that people could enjoy it in the years to come.
'Great Chalfield was my mother’s childhood home. My wife Patsy and I made it our family home in 1984, but my grandparents donated it to the Trust many years before. We manage the property on behalf of the Trust and love opening up our home to visitors. We even chip in with room guiding from time to time, and people are usually quite surprised to learn that the tour guide also lives here! It’s wonderful when people leave with smiles on their faces.'
125 Portraits online exhibition
Delve into the stories and portraits of our staff, volunteers and supporters