A Tribute to Maldwin Drummond
The New Forest Museum's Debt to Maldwin Drummond
The New Forest Ninth Centenary Trust was formed in 1979. Its first fundraising was the sale of a number of commemorative tankards.
Maldwin Drummond was one of the founding the Trustees with Lord Malmesbury, John Scott and Amanda Hudson Davis amongst others. John Scott was a solicitor in Lymington and I was his new assistant in 1980 as a new solicitor at his firm. He proposed that I should be the secretary of the Trust.
That is how I first met Maldwin who was then one of the most active members of the trustees. In the days before we had any employees he was effectively the Chief Executive. It was he who arranged for the Trust to purchase the land which now forms the site of the museum and it was he who facilitated the arrangement with Ken Robinson of Beaulieu Motor Museum and his company Forent, owned by Coltens, which built the museum under a building lease from the Trust.
I was involved in much of that legal work but Maldwin was the driving force behind the initiative and in making the whole scheme come together. Peter Bassett as Chief Executive of The New Forest District Council at the time was also very supportive in arranging the NFDC contribution to the funding.
The whole of this complex arrangement resulting in the building of the museum was dependent very much on Maldwin's powers of gentle persuasion in enabling people to work together. This resulted in the Duke of Edinburgh opening the museum in 1985' preceding his return again in 2002 for its reopening following the addition of the Christopher Tower library.
Because the museum displays were under the control of Forent and the activities of the Trust were largely based on education, we employed two successive education officers who came from jobs with the Forestry Commission. Maldwin succeeded Lord Malmsbury as Chairman of the Trustees and guided us through this period until the arrival of Ednyfed Hudson Davis.
I have always maintained during my time as Secretary, and then Trustee of the Trust ,that if it had not been for Maldwin's drive and diplomacy, the trust would not have succeeded in getting the museum built and laying the foundations for the thriving enterprise it is today.