Page 7 - Chartered 150 - A Sesquicentenary Special Issue
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 150TH COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE
  A view from Alex
Alex Pilkington our Regional Executive shares her memories
    I
arrived in Liverpool from London in 2003 bringing with me a little apprehension
“ As founder members we saw how the creation of Professional Liverpool could be vital to the growth and expansion of the financial and professional services sector in the region.”
In the early days the ICAEW team were based at No. 1 Old Hall Street and we would often be seen out and about, busy working with colleagues and stakeholders, in particular Neil Ashbridge and the Professional Liverpool team. As founder members we saw how the creation of Professional Liverpool could be vital to the growth and expansion of the financial and professional services sector in the region. This was also the time of the
North West Development Agency and the region’s economy was growing well. The City of Liverpool was at the beginning
of its vast architectural and economic transformation.
In July 2004 Liverpool received the UNESCO World Heritage accolade
after a bid centred on Liverpool as a maritime mercantile city, reflecting the significance of the city as a commercial port at the time of Britain’s greatest global influence. The Paradise Street Project began a £920m investment that lead to the opening of Liverpool One in 2008.
In 2008, Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture which further accelerated the regeneration and boosted the international profile of a city that society magazine Tatler renamed
as Livercool. Since then Liverpool has continued to soar. Bold Street is a hive
of unique and independent businesses ‘doing it for themselves’. The Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool is the fastest growing area of the city, a hub of creative and indie tech businesses.
During the years there have been many amazing moments, such as in 2004 watching Graham Bond take the stage
as one of the youngest ever Presidents
of the Society, in 2005 the year after, our guest speaker Rick Parry arriving with an entourage of security and the UEFA cup (the security was for the cup!). Ian Morris becoming President of ICAEW and being awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Society was very special, as were
our many member events, and the many dinners including those at the very special Chester Grosvenor. More recently the Society has continued to add to its long and illustrious history being admitted to the Freedom Roll of Associations of the City of Liverpool in 2012; and in 2017
the archiving of the Society’s papers, documents, lists of members and articles dating back to 1870 at Liverpool Central Library Society, was completed ensuring a permanent place in the City’s history.
I was also particularly pleased to be present for the unveiling of the plaque at 24 North John Street, marking the site of the original meeting of those ’14 gentlemen engaged in accountancy’, which I am sure will become a regular visiting point for the tour buses of Liverpool as it is already on their route!
So over the years, all the while and even now, I am still learning about the history, traditions and customs of the Society. At the heart of it though, we have always been about supporting ICAEW members, whether that be helping people starting out on their own in practice, helping people back to the workplace or those just starting out in their career and it is a great privilege to do so.
“So over the years, all the while and even now,
I am still learning about the history, traditions and customs of the Society.”
and a fair share of urban myths about the City I would grow to love.
Joining the Institute and the Liverpool Society in the midst of regionalisation my first task was to get to know as many of the Institute members in the area as I could. Luckily enough, as you will know, we are fortunate to be part of a vibrant, friendly and supportive business community so I found the local committee of volunteers, members and helpers generously willing to help me. And, over the many years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know a whole host of amazing people.
In fact, a quick name check here , the first email I received to my ICAEW email account was from the lovely Johnny Cohen entitled ‘Welcome”, which really made me smile, and him taking the time just to send a short note did indeed make me feel so welcome. And thus it began, 17 years ago and the first President I had the pleasure of working with was a young Mr Andrew Lovelady – and now in the Society’s 150th year we have been able to repeat that and yes he is still young (at heart) !
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