The end of the line

It was my last day at the RA today: my desk has been cleared and is now no longer my desk (it’s the Secretary’s desk, designed as if for an official in the Indian Empire); there were a small number of people still working as I did a last round to say goodbye; then I handed in my staff pass, rather battered with a photograph showing me younger and fresher faced, as I was eleven years ago. More than a sixth of my life, I thought, as I walked through the courtyard for the last time as a member of staff.

Next stop, Hanover Square.


19 thoughts on “The end of the line

  1. I won’t be alone in thinking that this is very sad. You’ve been an outstanding Director, and transformed the RA in so many ways – physical and emotionally : the Academy is a very happy organisation, thanks to the atmosphere you created with Christopher, Richard Carew Pole and Tim Marlow.

    Thank you, Charles. Anyone who loves and values the Academy is in debt to you. There will be very many throughout the RA at all levels, who will be very sad.

  2. Kate Woodhead says:

    It is sad but you are leaving on a high, after a really successful year. Pastures new and exciting ahead, so here’s hoping for a splendid 2019.

  3. says:

    It certainly won’t be the same without you. I am sure no one else will be able to check my coat with such aplomb. Oh dear, I hate change.

  4. Jean Walker says:

    Thank you for such an interesting and inspiring blog for someone down here in the Antipodes. And best wishes for a new chapter.

  5. Ivan Gaskell says:

    Bravo! You have had the Midas touch (in the best sense) at each and every institution for which you have been responsible. Surely the RA will accord you emeritus status, and give you a key to the wine cellar…

  6. Jim Grover says:

    Charles. You should feel so, so proud of the immense legacy that you leave. In Corporate life we used to say ‘All roads lead to leadership’: the RA has been truly transformed under your personal leadership, and in so many ways. It is always a joy spending time there and with everyone who is, in one way or another, part of the RA…a team that you led. Thank you for making the RA the joy that it is for us.

  7. emmajanemarlow says:

    Charles, I read in the Evening Standard that you were to leave the RA and it reminded me of the 5 or so years I worked at the NPG under your excellent stewardship. Then, and in our subsequent occasional crossing of paths at The London Library you have always been unfailing gracious, approachable and warm. I’m sure the staff at the RA will regard you as fondly as we all did at the NPG and I hope your pastures and adventures new will be rewarding and enriching. Emma

  8. A Boxing Day catch-up on the above – and I want to echo Mark and Rupert in particular – it has been wonderful living so close to the RA under your stewardship – the energy there positively thrums through the walls towards us. I’m sure it will continue under your successor, Charles, but we will miss your proximity so much. Though I know you will not be far away …, Ariane

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