2020 Newsletter


Covid 19 Newsletter

Dear Friends

I have lost track of day, date and time. The wackiest idea for keeping fit I have heard is playing table tennis solo against a wall and losing! But running after the ball, bending and stretching is great exercise.

Gareth Jenkins tells me he has 900 Facebook friends and would like some more. Daily viewing figures between 1000 - 4000.  For the last 20 days he has uploaded a magic trickwearing a different one of his extravagant shirts. It is fun to watch him. Which will end first -the supply of shirts, supply of magic tricks or the lockdown?

I have found it uplifting to speak with so many of you in the last weeks. Finding out how you and your families are coping with this strange and worrying time has been a privilege. It has been good to share news good and bad, but also to hear some wonderful stories of how people are supporting family and friends. There are a number of Drapers with worries about children who are working on the front line in hospitals in Shropshire and across the country. Please remember them in your prayers or in your kindest thoughts.

David Perrin reports that he is recovering well from the virus and Sally is making slow but sure progress on the respiratory ward in the RSH. She is asking for things to be sent in which is a good sign. I know David would appreciate a phone call or a message.

Drapers Hall Preservation Trust have set up a rota within their trustees to include on their daily constitutional a walk round Drapers Hall to check for any problems. If you are in the vicinity of DH and see something not quite right, such as unsecured or open doors or windows, please give Hugh Devlin a ring. {07818 456531)

At the time of writing none of our residents has shown symptoms of the virus. Frances and Katie keep in touch with the residents who remain secure and currently without the need for our new 'phone a friend' or shopping volunteer support.

John Crackett and his team on the Almshouse Management Committee have done an immense amount of work to comply with government guidelines and keep the fabric of the properties safe and the residents and staff content. This is all hard on the heels of theflooding and the same volunteers have come forward to support the work of the AMC. A huge thank you to you all.

The Charities Committee has suspended all fund raising events until September. With enormous regret the Textile Design Competition and Exhibition 2020 has been cancelled.

You will have received information from Company Secretary Gordon Woods on how the AGM of Shrewsbury Drapers Holy Cross Ltd is to take place. Shortly you will be receiving the reports and accounts please send any questions to Jan in plenty of time so we can answer your queries fully.  I look forward to seeing you on the 18th of May via Zoom.

Keep safe



Newsletter April 2020

Dear Friends

Charter Night turned out to be perhaps the last normal gathering of Drapers for the foreseeable future. I felt hugely privileged to become your Master and was extremely grateful to Tom and Mary for their unstinting work on behalf of the Shrewsbury Drapers both locally and nationally. It was a most enjoyable and relaxed evening with little comprehension of what was about to happen. Even then, aware of the virus, the loving cup ceremony was celebrated without drinking but with a lot of hilarity, many trying to work out how to make it work.

As Covid-19 has progressed there have been a number of Drapers’ families who have been affected by it with different levels of seriousness. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been laid low by the virus. Please continue to let me know if there are problems so we can offer help and support during this time of health and economic uncertainty. These are unprecedented times for all of us and kindness and compassion will be needed in our communities. Our residents have observed the government instructions and remain virus free at the time of writing.

After a memorable evening I walked back home, crossing the English bridge the water flowing swiftly and darkly below but, thankfully, now within its normal banks, I thought this was the first time in many months that the paths had been dry and mud free. And yet another flood warning was issued on the 9th of March with a peak identified for the 11th March. Thankfully, although the wardens were again on high alert, the almshouses were unaffected. I was grateful to receive the final flood report from the Almshouse Management Committee and know that our policy for such events worked but lessons have been learned and it will be updated and lodged on TRM for future use. TRM is our management recording software tool that Shrewsbury Drapers Holy Cross Ltd has adopted to lodge a wide variety of documents and information. These include board papers including articles of association, memorandum, board papers and reports, policies, maintenance schedules and reminders, insurances, accounts etc. 

Huge Devlin, Chairman of the Drapers Hall Preservation Trust, invited me to attend an ordinary meeting just before the shutters came down. I was interested to observe the depth of knowledge of the historic building and how it was cared for by the members.  The economic impact of Covid -19 was beginning to being felt by the restaurant management and the Trust discussed how in future they may be called upon to support the business to ensure that it survives.  Under discussion also was the wonderful historic lead cistern. This will be emptied and refilled with an insert to retain the compost and reduce the load imposed on its side walls and new plants to set off the Drapers Coat of Arms.

Cancellation of events that I expected to attend or participate in accelerated during the second and third weeks of March. The diary swiftly became blank except for telephone conference meetings, hastily arranged and a new experience for many but all in all successful. After a week of lock down and in the knowledge that socialising and meetings are going to be banned for a long time the Drapers Guild and SDHC Ltd began to look at the essentials of what had to be maintained and a number of decisions were taken and recorded to reflect the new operating environment. It is intended that the SDHC AGM will be on the 18th May as planned but the format will be different. The Company Secretary will be in touch shortly with further details. The Guild Management Committee may take the decision to postpone its AGM until the autumn. Please watch your emails for information.

I encourage you all to think to the future. Society will survive although it might undergo some fundamental changes. Whatever happens the companionship of the Drapers and our charitable aims will continue on for many years to come.

Keep safe.   Christine




Vacancies in our Almshouses occur from time to time and if you would like to register your interest please complete our Application Form and we will contact you when one does occur.Details of the accomodation are on this website look under Almshouses