A ROMANIAN-BORN businesswoman is hoping to attract the younger generation to get involved with Musselburgh Conservation Society as she takes up the reins as chairperson.

Camelia Symes is the second woman to hold the post, which will be ratified at the society’s annual general meeting in St Peter’s Church Hall, on High Street, this evening (Thursday).

She succeeds Alan Armour, who served four years as chairperson.

The 37-year-old mother of two said: “I have always had a passion for buildings and I am also a member of Inveresk Village Society.”

Camelia was born in Romania, where her father was on a work assignment, but, as the government became more and more unstable, her family fled via several countries before settling in Denmark, where she and her husband started an online business.

The next move came when a relative suggested a visit to Edinburgh and, Camelia said, “we fell in love with it”.

Her first challenge is to expand membership of the society to a younger generation through local conservation projects, as well as the winter lectures.

She said: “Our winter lectures are excellent but I think we should include ones that are aimed at a young generation.”

Melanie Roccio, the founder of the Love Musselburgh environment initiative, will become an executive member, as will George Cunningham, who will handle publicity.

The society aims to “preserve the past and build the future”. It also sponsors an annual design award given to the development deemed by members to be of a high standard – either a new build or conservation work.

At the end of the AGM, Liz Hurley will give a talk on active travel initiatives in and around Musselburgh.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm. For more information, email gavin.mcdowall@sky.com