It is with great sadness that we have to record the recent death of John Plumb, who was Chairman of the Society from 1996 until 2007. John came to Stamford from Nottinghamshire, where he was Director of Community Services. At the time, the Civic Society was very involved in planning issues in Stamford, and had a vacancy for Chairman. Someone suggested that John be approached, and he became Chairman.
John managed to combine both the necessary responses to the various planning issues with building up the Society. I think we can truly say that without him, the Society would not exist in its current form. The social side, the annual awards, the outreach to the community were all created under John’s chairmanship. There will be a Memorial Service at 2pm on March 25th at Barn Hill Methodist Church. We have been asked to provide approximate numbers, so please can you let Melanie know if you are going?
Special General Meeting
A Special General Meeting to approve the Society's revised constitution was held on March 5th at 7.30 pm at Browne's Hospital. The motion to replace the existing Constitution was passed by a large majority. The minutes of the SGM will be sent out with the AGM paperwork; please contact us if you wish for a copy in advance.
Since the last newsletter…
Dr Jocelyn Chatterton gave a fascinating talk on “Life in Qing Dynasty China – Emperors, Concubines and Eunuchs”.
We welcomed back Gil Darby, talking on “Josiah Wedgwood - “Vase Maker General to the Universe”. As a result of this, we hope to plan a visit to the Wedgwood Museum in Stoke.
March 5th Members' meeting: this followed on from the Special General Meeting. Over 40 members gathered round the fire. If you left a blue wool scarf behind, please contact Melanie.
Tickets are available from the Secretary.
Unless otherwise stated, all talks will be at Browne’s Hospital, with tickets costing £3.50.
Thursday 20th March 7.30pm: Dave Gamston will talk on “Historic Pub Interiors: a Conservation Issue”.
Thursday 10th April 7.30pm: Rachel Morley of Hirst Conservation will be talking on “The Stones of Stamford”.
Wednesday 21st May: Visit to Oakham castle – organized by the Friends of Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle, meeting at the castle at 2pm; please do book tickets as usual, though there is no charge. A donation to the Friends would be appreciated. Tim Clough, who was Curator for many years will be showing us round, and we hope to hear about their planned major refurbishment.
Friday 13th June : A day in Kings Lynn, starting with a 2 hour tour with a blue badge guide at 10:30, followed by an afternoon visit to Clifton House, the most complete medieval merchant's house in England. There is information on the house at: http://www.klprestrust.org.uk/archive/clifton-house-and-tower/. Tea and cakes will be served in the kitchen after the visit. We will run a coach, as long as at least 20 people join it. Cost for the day is £30 with coach, £20 without. We are restricted to 30 maximum.
Saturday 21st June: Order for Night Prayer – Compline at St. Leonard’s Priory. This is the first time such a service has been held for many years. A reception, with light refreshments will be held between 6.30pm and 7.45pm, followed by the Order for Night Prayer. A choir from St. Mary's will be present. There will be no charge, but tickets will be issued; please book in the usual way. The service will be led by Donald Gray and Kenneth Court. Please bring your own chairs if required.
The Stamford Heritage Project
The Stamford Heritage Project, which aims to capture the histories of most of the listed buildings and sites in the town, is moving steadily forward.
Most of the first fifty pilot sites now have had their initial short histories written. These can be seen on the project web site at www.stamfordheritage.org.uk.
The project team are now working on the design of the signs which will be displayed at each location. These signs will probably take a number of different forms, depending on suitability at each individual site. Currently, we have prototype samples of signs made in ceramic, plastic and vinyl (window stickers). Each sign will carry the Stamford Heritage logo, the name of the site, a short-form web address for the specific page relating to the site, and a QR code graphic.
Most current model smartphones have the ability to read QR codes and many also have a technology known as NFC (Near Field Communication). This would make their use even easier for visitors; merely touching the smartphone against a sign will bring up the appropriate web page without the need to scan the QR code.
If you are one of our volunteer writers and still have site histories to complete, we would appreciate these as soon as possible, so that the pilot project can be completed on time. Any queries about the project can be addressed to Dave Sones, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Something that may be of interest... RESTORATION OF THE HISTORIC PETO GARDENS AT THE PETWOOD HOTEL, WOODHALL SPA
The Lincolnshire Gardens Trust is holding its first event of the year at the Petwood Hotel, Stixwould Road, Woodhall Spa LN10 6QG on Wednesday 26th March 2014 at 2 pm.
There will be a presentation by Johnny Park of Park Hood Chartered Landscape Architects.
The presentation will chart the history of Harold PETO, his gardens in England and Ireland, the history of the PETWOOD Estate, the restoration process, design, research, use of materials and mature trees to bring the project back to life.
This is an exciting opportunity to hear direct from the Landscape Architect about the ambitious plans of the owners to restore the gardens.
Harold PETO was one of the most successful and historically important Landscape designers of the Edwardian period. The PETO gardens at the Petwood Hotel are one of the 12 remaining original designed sites in the UK. To book, visit their website: www.lincolnshiregardenstrust.org.uk or contact the secretary, Frances Carr on 01790 753561 or email:email@example.com
Cost: Members £5. Non Members £6 to include tea/coffee/biscuits
www.stamfordcivicsociety.org.uk has up to date information on events and projects.
Please contact Melanie Sockett, our Secretary for tickets and general information, by phone to 01780 752972, in writing to 16 Phillips Court, Stamford, PE9 2EE or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.