Inaugural public meeting and establishment of the Whitstable History Education Network (the ‘When’)

6PM for 7PM start on Friday April 27th at the Whitstable Junior School
(main gate between the Library and the Coach and Horses, then 1st left).

Anyone interested in local history is invited to this meeting to discuss and establish a ‘local history’ group/network covering the human and physical history of Whitstable and surrounding areas. There will be a graphical presentation and break-out groups covering a wide variety of activities and possible projects.
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Victorian Society photographic exhibition – Saving a Century

The Victorian Society photographic exhibition Saving a Century, curated by noted architectural historian Gavin Stamp, will be on show, free of charge, at A W Pugin’s St Augustine’s Church, St Augustine’s Rd, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 9PA, from 1 – 31 August, 10.00 – 4.00 daily.

Saving A Century Photographic Exhibition

The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment. It fights to preserve important Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes so that they can be enjoyed by this and future generations. It provides expert advice to churches and local planning authorities on how Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes can be adapted to the way we live now, while keeping what is special about them. It also advises members of the public about how they can help shape the future of their local Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes. It provides information to owners of Victorian and Edwardian houses about how they can better look after their precious buildings. It helps people understand, appreciate and enjoy the architectural heritage of the Victorian and Edwardian period through its publications and educational programmes.
The Victorian Society, 1 Priory Gardens, LONDON W4 1TT Telephone 020 8994 1019

The Victorian Society is a Registered Charity No. 1081435 and a Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 3940996.

Patron: HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO Life President: The Lord Briggs
Vice Presidents:
Sir David Cannadine, Harry Handelsman, The Lord Howarth of Newport CBE, Sir Simon Jenkins, Griff Rhys Jones, Fiona MacCarthy OBE

SAVING A CENTURY

EXHIBITION CONTENTS

VICTORIAN BUILDINGS LOST BEFORE 1958 – A photographic survey of some of the best Victorian buildings destroyed in the first half of the twentieth century, among them Crystal Palace (burnt down 30th November 1936), Trentham Hall, Staffordshire (abandoned by the 4th Duke of Sutherland in 1906 and demolished five years later) and Queen’s Park Church, Glasgow (Scotland’s worst architectural loss of the Second World War).

THE FOUNDATION OF THE VICTORIAN SOCIETY – Photographs and material from the opening meetings of the Society. Early members included architect Hugh Casson, architectural historian Christopher Hussey, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and Sir John Betjeman.

THE EUSTON MURDER AND OTHER CASES – Photographs and text documenting the bitter battle for the Euston Arch, as well some of the Victorian Society’s other early defeats. There were early victories too, among them the Oxford University Museum, proposed for demolition in 1961 to make way for new science buildings. The Victorian Society also succeeded in getting the Broad Street Building of Balliol College listed, after it was threatened with a re-build in 1963.

VICTORY IN WHITEHALL – Photographs charting the heroic, ten-year campaign against plans to demolish much of the historic square mile, including nearly every building south of Downing Street and Richmond Terrace. Sir George Gilbert Scott’s Foreign Office, Richard Norman Shaw’s New Scotland Yard and Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square were among the buildings proposed for demolition.

PLACES OF WORSHIP – A photographic survey of some of the historic churches, chapels and synagogues with which the Victorian Society has been involved. As churches are exempt from the secular planning system, it can be particularly difficult to guard them against insensitive change. With falling attendance figures and a growing number of redundant places of worship, the future of our best churches is one of the biggest challenges facing heritage campaigners today.

RAILWAY BUILDINGS – Photographs of some of the key buildings the Victorian Society fought for, as the closure of many branch and other railway lines resulted in the redundancy of numerous stations, bridges and viaducts. That many pioneering and magnificent railway structures, such as St Pancras Station, survive today, often still in use, is very much owing to the efforts of the Society.

IRON, GLASS & STONE – Photographs of some of the most innovative nineteenth century buildings, among them Clevedon Pier, Islington’s Royal Agricultural Hall and Bradford’s Kirkgate Market, for which the Victorian Society has fought.

THE FUNCTIONAL TRADITION – Photographs of some of the most impressive industrial buildings for which the Society has fought. With the decline of the traditional industries of the North of England after the Second World War, many mills and warehouses became redundant while many Northern towns and cities became ashamed of their Victorian industrial legacy and anxious to replace it with something new. The Victorian Society, along with bodies such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage, argued that nineteenth century industrial buildings were evocative and substantial structures which were not only of historical importance but capable of gainful re-use.

THE PURPLE OF COMMERCE – Photographs of some of the most significant Victorian commercial buildings to have come under threat in the last fifty years. Built partly as self-advertisements and partly to inspire confidence, these ambitious and substantial banks, offices and warehouses too often fall victim to redevelopment schemes.

COUNTRY HOUSES – Photographs of some of the grandest country houses to have been the subject of Victorian Society campaigns, among them Shadwell Park, Tyntesfield and Highcliffe Castle. Rendered redundant by social and cultural changes, some of the most famous large houses were demolished between the wars while many more disappeared in the 1950s.

DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE – A collection of photographs of some of the Victorian villas and terraced houses for which the Victorian Society has fought. Often extravagant and fanciful buildings, these buildings are regularly demolished to allow higher density developments in their grounds or make way for flats.

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS – A photographic survey of some of the best municipal buildings that have been saved or lost. Physical embodiments of the Victorians’ strong sense of civic pride and duty, many of these splendid town halls, libraries, swimming pools, museums, art galleries and post offices still add much to the rich character of British towns and cities today.

BEACONS OF THE FUTURE – A survey of some of the Society’s most recent campaigns, focusing on the battle for Victorian schools and swimming pools. Among the battles highlighted are the protest and funeral for Bonner School, the Public Inquiry for Easington Colliery School and the local campaign for the Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham.

THE VICTORIANS VICTORIOUS – Photographs of some of the most notable Victorian buildings used and valued today.

Gorrell Ward Hustings hosted by Whitstable society

Hustings election meeting for Gorrell Ward (incl. the old Harbour Ward) at 6.30 PM on Friday 24th April at St Johns, the Methodist Church in Argyle Rd

(see Hustings 2015 for a list of Candidates.)

The Whitstable Society will host a ward hustings for Gorrell Ward at 6.30 PM on Friday 24th April at St Johns, the Methodist Church in Argyle Rd.

Gorrell Ward is the combination of most of the old Gorrell Ward and the now defunct Harbour Ward. This may be the first ever ward hustings in Whitstable.

All parties are attending , with about 15 candidates in total: UKIP, Greens, Lib Dems , Conservatives , Labour, the Trade Union party and one independent (former Labour).

Candidates who wish to make a statement will speak for about 3 minutes each in the first half of the meeting. Copies of what they will say may be found on http://www.whitstablesociety.info/home/Hustings2015 a few days before the meeting if a posting is requested.

In the second half of the meeting, the public can ask any question they wish. Questions can be submitted in advance to chair@whitstablesociety.info Angela Boddy Chair of the Whitstable society.

Annual General Meeting 2014

Chairman’s Report
This last year has been an exceptionally busy one for the committee and I would like to thank them all for their time given, commitment and hard work. I would also like to thank our dedicated army of newsletter deliverers, Mark Davies for running our website, Ann for providing us with our refreshments and Ann and Rita who have been organising and leading our walks. Without your support we could not do all that we do.
We have not only dealt with our usual activities this year, such as weekly reviewing of the planning applications, our monthly meetings and handling enquiries from the public, but have also attended and been actively involved in a record number of outside meetings and events. These have included the Museum group, Harbour Board, Whitstable Improvement Trust, Canterbury Governance Group and Kent Federation of Amenity Societies, as well as those related to the boundaries review, open spaces, development control meetings, public inquiries and executive when necessary.
Planning this year has included the mammoth task of a response to the Local Plan and I know Graham will be covering this within his report; however I would like to thank Graham for all his hard work in preparing our response for the consultation. The submissions have now been collated by the council and we are waiting to hear when the next public consultation will begin.
We applied for an increase in parking along Tower Hill, as the one way system offered a good opportunity for more parking but it met with objections from nearby residents and the council decided not to agree to it, we also objected to the proposal for backland development at 47 Joy Lane as it did not satisfy the Joy lane Planning Guidance. The Council however granted approval on the basis that the new National Planning Framework outlaws restrictions like the guidance requirement for pitched roofs. We have had successes, most notably our objection to the building of an industrial estate and church on the Protected Open Space of the Paddock. More recently we have also had the West Beach Village Green Inquiry (VG 126) where we objected along with the Beach Association to the scale of the land the owner wanted to remove from the village green. The illegal hut known as The Shed was also removed and the proposed windbreaks on the tennis courts at West Beach were withdrawn.
Ongoing issues include the development of the Oval Chalet skating rink, which we have requested should include a large public open space, facing the sea which should be accessible for the elderly and disabled, reflecting the historic commitment given, but unfortunately not included as a covenant attached to the land.
Also the Electoral Boundaries review which recommends the number of our councillors reduce from 50 to 38. We will be included in the second round consultation due this year.
In November the planning committee attended a meeting with Richard Griffiths, Outdoor Leisure Manager; Canterbury City Council, and were invited with others, to identify areas of land in Whitstable to be proposed as protected open space. A new map will be made as a result of this consultation. Follow the council’s decision to reduce the hours of the Whitstable Museum, Graham and I have been part of a group currently in consultation with the council about the community taking on the running of the museum. We have so far attended one council workshop with a further one next week. An expression of interest needs to be submitted to the council by April, with a full bid to run the museum due later in the year. We have been able to secure the opening of the old tourist information shop as a pop up museum during the museums closed periods to keep a museum presence on the high street and allow us to gather volunteers and ideas for what people want out of their museum. Interestingly, I read recently, a newspaper article written in May 1985 when the museum opened, which states that many members of the Whitstable Society – which has played a major role in its support of the museum were at the opening reception, so it is good to see that we are still supporting projects that we have previously been so involved with.
We have also used this year to redesign the Society’s leaflet ready for the planned membership drive. We have now obtained printing and delivery quotes and will hopefully be in a position to send them out to Whitstable households in March, hopefully bringing in new members and raising awareness of our society.
As you can tell, 2014 looks set to be another busy year for us and so if there are any areas of expertise you have or that you are particularly interested in, we would be pleased to hear from you.
Treasurer’s report:
The income for 2012 was down, mainly due to difficulty in securing the Gift Aid refund for 2012 From HMRC, but we haven’t given up yet. Our revenue for 2013 was up on 2012, due to the increase in subscriptions: but membership was slightly down. We now have 185 members. Expenditure was also down on 2012. We saved £130 on printing and delivery of the Newsletter. And £100 on postage as more members received email copies of the newsletter. Our insurance premium increased by £100 as we found that we had been under insured. The expenditure against income was -£272. This year we are in the process of a membership drive, the first in 10 years, to raise local awareness, to encourage new members and to increase income.
Planning Committee Report:
Graham Cox said that the Local Plan was still progressing and we await the first revision. He thanked Angela for her intensive help in the holiday period. “Green spaces” introduced by the Government has given us extra protection and we have helped the council to introduce them. We continue to work with the Beach Campaign and its newly active members who stepped in to replace the workhorse that was Nick Dewhirst after his tragic death last year. We are working closely on the West beach village green application and we jointly celebrated the removal of the illegal hut and, after a stressful inquiry, prevented a section of beach being removed from the Seasalter Beach village green and the persistence of illegal extra constructions. Tankerton Slopes area is now a QE2 field. WS are hoping to have the woods at the western end rejuvenated with the help of Jon Shelton who is present tonight. About 4 years ago the council was stopped from building more huts on Tankerton Slopes and the WS continues to prevent further extension of huts at the end of the slopes via an Ombudsman complaint. Members were encouraged to apply for In Bloom grants for anything from flowers to trees from the WIT administered committee, as this year’s application window closes soon.
The following Committee Members were elected for 2014/2015:
Angela Boddy Hon. Chairman
Roger Pethers Hon. Secretary
Evelyn Smith Hon. Treasurer
Committee members: Richard Amos: Judith Ames: Graham Cox: Kath Gill: Maureen Smith
Changes to the constitution: in Sections 5 & 7 of the constitution: as proposed in the February
Newsletter were unanimously approved
Any Other Business:
We were reminded By Roger Pethers of the Treasurer’s report which stated that the WS needs more members and more funds. Consequently this year we are planning a membership drive and an open air summer concert by Camille at the The Castle on Wed 16 July 7-10pm. We hope to have a hog roast and it promises to be a great occasion.
Graham Avery spoke on the proposed extension to Joy Lane School – The main worry is the lack of parking which is already a problem. A single yellow line on one side of the lane would stop odd parking. Maureen raised the problem of permit parking in Salt Marsh Lane where a local inhabitant has an allocated parking space rather than all spaces being available on a first come first served basis to all residents. Graham asked for, and was given the authority of the meeting, to look into the problem. Jon Shelton – Countryside Manager of the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership was introduced by Graham. He is the KCC expert on trees and flora. KCC have changed their policy and no longer replace fallen trees. John has funding available for tree planting and asked the Society if it would like to get involved in planning for more trees and where they are situated. He said KCC would have to agree to locations and they would charge up to £250 per tree for planting them. There was a unanimous agreement to set a plan in motion for planting more trees. Jon reminded the meeting that there will be a public liability involved and planting could not begin until next winter. He will attend our April meeting for further discussion.
Richard Amos asked about re-planting the trees outside the Whitstable Library?
Graham said this has been a long protracted problem over the last few years. Julian Blades on behalf of the Whitstable Society has raised the matter with CCC and KCC and eventually KCC accepted that they were responsible for the trees. More recently funding has been allocated by Mike Harrison, Kent County Councillor, to address the problem of the badly pollarded and dying trees and we are participating in discussions on a planting scheme, to make this only open space in our High Street a pleasant place for the public, and screened from the busy High Street.
Richard Johnson asked if anything was known about the lamp standards which are just cut off and taped. There seemed to be no answer to that but it is probably the same as tree stumps being left due to budget cuts.
The AGM was closed at 9.48pm.

The Canterbury Society – Campaign for Local Democracy

See below for information about a meeting on the 5th February organised by the Canterbury Society

CAMPAIGN FOR LOCAL DEMOCRACY: SHOULD WE CHANGE THE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM IN THE CANTERBURY DISTRICT?

Invitation to a meeting
This is an invitation to an important meeting which is taking place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 5th February. It is going to all residents’ groups and parish councils in the area, and we hope you will pass the invitation on to your members.

The meeting is being organised by the Canterbury Society on behalf of the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District, which is a broad coalition of local groups concerned about the current way of running the Council.

Why is the meeting taking place?
There are two main ways in which Councils can work. Canterbury City Council has what is called a ‘Strong Leader and Executive’ system. This was adopted in 2002 when the government of the day made all councils choose between this and an elected Mayor. The aim was greater efficiency, but in practice it seemed to some residents that many decisions were being made by a small group of councillors without wider consultation.

The present government, in the Localism Act of 2011, gave councils the option of changing to another way of working, the ‘Committee System’. In this the Council forms a number of committees, each responsible for a particular area of interest. The committees make recommendations to the Council and more councillors are involved in making each decision. Some councils in other parts of the UK have already chosen to adopt the committee system.

What will happen at the meeting?
The meeting on 5 February will provide an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of the two systems and to decide on future action. Speakers will include:
Richard King, former Chair of Kent County Council, who will discuss the options
Individuals who will present the case for the Executive and the Committee systems

The public discussion at this meeting will inform the views of the committee of the Campaign for Democracy in the Canterbury District. If there is support for change, this group will lead in organising a petition and a referendum to find out what system the residents of the Canterbury area would like.

When and where?
The meeting will take place at 7.30 pm at the United Reformed Church Hall in Watling Street in Canterbury (note change of venue from earlier publicity). So do come along to express your opinions and to hear what others think. Refreshments will be provided and everyone will be very welcome.