In a couple of week’s time I’ll be formally stepping down as Member of Council and Chair of the Society for Nautical Research’s Publications & Membership Committee, a role I’ve held for five years. I was approached by SNR, following a couple of conference presentations my colleague Heather and I gave while we were researching and writing our book about the midshipmen of HMS Indefatigable, Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates. At the time, the Society was in the process of redeveloping their website and launching new social media channels and they were looking for a committee chair with experience of both nautical history and digital media.
I’m glad to say that the SNR’s new website, snr.org.uk, and social media presence, curated by the Society’s web editor Dr Sam Willis, have been a huge success and have helped the SNR to connect with it’s wide international membership in new ways.
Charing the committee has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience for me, though as one of the few female Members of Council it hasn’t always been plain sailing. It’s been a privilege to meet so many highly respected scholars and historians through the Society and I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard for the Committee over the last five years, particularly our secretary Dr Cathryn Pearce, Nigel Blanchford, who was single handedly responsible for revitalising Topmasts newsletter, and Dr Chris Holt who has kindly agreed to replace me as chair. It’s great to know that the Committee will be in such good hands, and I’ll also be staying on as a regular committee member to ease the transition. Although the chair hasn’t previously rotated on a fixed term basis, we strongly believe that this will help to ensure that the Committee remains fresh and is able to attract new members.
When Heather and I started our research six years ago, I would never have envisaged that what started off as a fun, informal project would end up with me joining such an august society. I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to work with the SNR and I’m honoured to have been made a Fellow of the Society. I don’t generally use post nominals, but if I did, I would now be Lorna M. Campbell MA (Hons), CMALT, FSNR. I remain, as always, Ms 😉