“How would you like to come to the city to talk to some of my contacts in the bank?”
The question was being asked on the shores of Llyn Dinas, a location that could not be more different than the glass skyscrapers of London’s square mile.
The person asking the question was an investment banker who busts a few myths about his profession. Philanthropic and sensitive, both he and his wife are passionate about Snowdonia and have already made their own contribution to the appeal.
Ever since a chance meeting at a National Trust event five years ago, it has been my pleasure to spend some time with this friendly couple once a year during their annual holiday in our mountains.
So that is how I came in June to be standing in my best suit in front of an imposing audience of my friend’s colleagues and contacts, high up in one of those gleaming towers.
My fears that the talk would not appeal to such a business-orientated audience evaporated when I saw the obvious delight they showed at my attempts to capture the magic of my cynefin – or homeland. Even my rendition of a few lines of T. H. Parry-Williams seemed to go down well, although I admit that Joe Cornish’s pictures played a big part in their appreciation.
My peroration over, and an eloquent and persuasive address from Fiona Reynolds, our Director General to round things off, we spent the next hour or so chatting about Eryri: the importance of conserving its delights and the challenges facing its farming communities.
The result of this evening’s work, spent so far from the lapping waters of Llyn Dinas’ shores, was a much-needed boost of just over £20,000 to our appeal.
Although the biggest part of the appeal fund has been made up by small donations from people of more modest means, it was good to know that when we took our cause to the heart of capitalism, it found such a willing audience.