Who Are We

Who Are We

Ptolemy Dean (President)

Jan Pahl (Vice President)
After a career spent in social policy research, in 2009 Jan began to work with a group of local people to revive the Canterbury Society. The aim was to provide a voice for all who care about our city and to campaign to improve the quality of life. Jan's particular interests are conserving our historic built environment, protecting our green spaces, enhancing the quality of life for everyone and creating a more sustainable future. For ten years she was the Chair of the Society. Now as Vice President her aim is to champion the activities of the Society and support its committee.

The Committee

Richard Scase (Chair)
Richard Scase has devoted a career to writing and researching on social, economic and technological issues and giving talks on these to professional, practitioner and academic bodies. He is an Emeritus Professor at Kent University. He has always been actively engaged in local matters. He set up Invicta Radio ( now Heart FM) in the 1980’s. He is a regular studio panelist for BBC Radio Kent and KMTV. He has been writing a monthly column for the Kent Messenger group for more than twenty years. He became Chair of the Society in January 2020 having been one of the original founders in 2009. His aim is to uphold the values of the Society, contributing to enhancing the quality of life for all Canterbury citizens.

Neasa MacErlean (Deputy Chair)
Neasa MacErlean edits the Canterbury News, the Canterbury Society’s news and views publication. A professional journalist (formerly of The Observer and The Irish Press), she aims to present facts and analysis in the News so that readers can work out their own views and collaborate with each other to protect the city’s heritage and to shape its future by improving the quality of life of all its citizens.

Martin Vye (Deputy Chair)Martin Vye taught at The King’s School, as head of modern languages , and then as housemaster. He was an elected councillor on both Canterbury City and Kent County Councils. He is a past Lord Mayor of Canterbury,and an honorary alderman of both Canterbury and Kent. His special concerns as a member of the committee of the Canterbury Society are threats posed to the quality of life of residents of Canterbury by poverty, and by the damage caused by an increasingly unsustainable transport system.

Kim Parker (Treasurer)
Kim is a retired Statistics Lecturer and has lived in a village near Canterbury for over 35 years. You may hear him from time to time playing with “Jazz Omnibus” at various charitable events and in residential homes. Kim is now Treasurer of the Canterbury Society.

Geoff Meaden (Secretary)
Geoff Meaden is a retired local university lecturer in Geography and digital mapping. His main interests include local planning, the environment, governance and transport plus the promotion of Green ideals. For the Canterbury Society he has been the meetings minute taker and was mainly responsible for the “Vision for the Future Canterbury”.

John Walker
John has a business background with over 35 years experience as a residential and commercial property developer. He was a founder member and Deputy Chair of the Canterbury Society from 2010 to 2020. Until October 2016 John was a Trustee and Deputy Chair of Civic Voice, the national organisation for civic societies in England. His special interests are the quality of the public realm, good design and strategic planning.

Clive Bowley
Clive Bowley is an Architect and was formerly the City Conservation Officer but now runs a local Architectural practice. He enjoys living in the City centre and has a particular interest in the history and topography of Canterbury and Architectural conservation more generally. He has been a member of the Canterbury Society for many years and helps by offering advice on planning and design matters that affect the City.

Keith Bothwell
Keith Bothwell is a retired architect and lecturer, specialising in sustainable design. He has been engaged in Canterbury’s civic affairs for the past 30 years, most recently setting up the Canterbury Repair Café. For the CS committee he comments on development plans and planning applications and sits on the biennial Design Awards judging panel.

Hubert Pragnell
Hubert Pragnell has been on committee since inception of the re-founded society in 2009. Holds an MA Kent, and Ph.D from York. Trained as Historian and Fine Artist . Has written on architectural topics. Was a teacher at The King's school Canterbury for 29 years and latterly, a tutor in architectural history for the University of Oxford department for continuing education. He is particularly interested in the architecture and fabric of Canterbury.

Gary Healey
Gary worked in finance and antiques and has a particular interest in ecclesiastical and ancient buildings. He is a volunteer at the Cathedral and St Martin's Church
He joined the Canterbury Society in May 2018 and in addition to fundraising for the Society, Gary is
responsible for the Heritage Open Days in the Canterbury District.

John Yard
John is a retired architect who has had a lifelong passion for sustainable buildings. When relocating to Canterbury in 2017, he joined the Canterbury Society and has since helped to set up the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership (CCAP), a joint venture with the Canterbury SDG Forum. John is also responsible for the biennial Canterbury Society Design Awards.

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