News archive

June 2019

Friday, 14 June 2019

A Celebration with Miranda Krestovnikoff: 50 years of RSPB Groups

A Celebration with Miranda Krestovnikoff: 50 years of RSPB Groups

We were very pleased to welcome Miranda as our key speaker to this special 50th celebration.

50 years ago the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds started its first Local Group, known as the Epping Forest Group. Others soon followed, and the idea has now spread so widely that there are over 140 RSPB Local Groups dotted all over the UK.

After many years of talks, trips, films, fund raising and much enjoyment, the Epping Forest Group came to an end but interest was still present. So about 10 years ago our North East London RSPB Local Group was formed which covers much the same area and even includes some of the same people.

We had displays of memorabilia from back then including recollections from Richard Oakman who was present at the outset in 1969. There was also be a special raffle and refreshments, including a 50th anniversary cake for Miranda to cut and us to share. Other RSPB staff, past and present, were also there to mark the occasion, including Trevor Gunton (who was instrumental in the creation of local groups) and Mike Clarke, RSPB CEO.

Miranda's passion for conservation began while studying zoology at Bristol University. She has been well known as a radio and (since 1998) as a TV presenter, notably in the award-winning Coast series. She specialises in natural history programmes and you may know her as a resident wildlife expert on the BBC's The One Show. Miranda has fitted in all this while caring for her children and playing the flute in a local orchestra in Bristol!
She covered two main topic areas: RSPB Conservation successes and her projects & TV work.

We were delighted as old and new friends joined us for this celebration and helped us raise money so the RSPB can continue to fight for nature.

Tickets were £10 for adults (under 18 free).

We tried using Eventbrite to sell tickets in advance and the RSPB generated an email about the event which was supposed to go to all members in our area. Well, half the committee didn't receive the email (?!) so we don't know how many others were missed out... However, Eventbrite did generate some ticket sales and we were very pleased that many of the people who support our usual Tuesday evening meetings came along.

We had about 100 people present in Woodford Memorial Hall (which is next door to our usual location, St. Mary's Church - Gwinnell Room). Doors opened at 6.30 pm for a 7pm start as Miranda had to be away by 9pm in order to catch a train home back to Bristol. The rest of us had until 10pm to enjoy the delicious cake (which Miranda had ceremoniously cut), refreshments and to look at the display boards.

It was an excellent evening with many people meeting up with old friends, browsing through letters, programmes and photos from decades past. Someone even commented they would have been happy to pay £20 for such an enjoyable and entertaining evening!

Miranda was sorry that she could not stay longer - it really was a lovely atmosphere in the hall and we felt that all the hard work that had gone into making the event happen was really worth it.

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that David (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this special event.

Download file