New website and botanical wallpaper launched!

Last night we celebrated the launch of our new website and newly refurbished lecture room – both part of our £100,000 support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Our lecture room now proudly displays a unique botanical wallpaper designed by a local artist, Augusta Akerman, based on her drawings of plants in the SLBI garden and herbarium. The style of the art pays homage to William Morris, so reflects the period of the building, and is in a paisley-inspired design, reflecting the time spent in India by Allan Octavian Hume, the SLBI’s founder. Around 15 plants from the garden and herbarium have been included, including Gingko biloba, the tree standing tall in front of the Institute and seen in our logo.

IMG_7037 SLBI wallpaper pic with gingko
A section of the botanical wallpaper showing the Gingko biloba


IMG_7246 SLBI lecture room launch - Roy Vickery talking
Guests enjoy seeing the new lecture room

We were delighted that Augusta (Gus) was able to come to the event last night and say a few words about her excitement and inspiration in designing the wallpaper.

IMG_7556 Augusta talking
Gus (centre) talking about her wallpaper

Roy Vickery, our President, welcomed everyone to the event, which provided a great opportunity for some local networking over botanical refreshments – delights such as rhubarb cocktails and nettle spanakopita, made by Nell Gatehouse, our Administrator and Sarah Davey, our Gardener, were very well received. Sarah also did the amazing flower arrangements in the lecture room.

IMG_7526 Nell making nettle spanakopita
Nell making her nettle spanakopita

Jennifer Ullman from the Heritage Lottery Fund also came along and spoke of the importance of the Institute and how pleased she is that the HLF is supporting us.

IMG_7564 Jennifer Roy and Augusta
Jennifer Ullman (HLF), Roy Vickery (SLBI) and Augusta Akerman

Our new website was also on display for people to play around with – with everyone loving the photos and finding it all so much more user-friendly than the old site! We hope you’re enjoying it too.

IMG_7539 SLBI website - June Chatfield trying it out
June Chatfield tests out the new website


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