From the Chairman
Continuing our focus on growing and enhancing the functioning of our Society, we have been reviewing our communications to Members. Clearly the most speedy and effective method to reach Members is IT based so we are auditing our data bases ensuring that we operate within the GDPR data protection rules and making our website easier to navigate. You will have noticed that we have changed the presentation of our quarterly Newsletter to more of a ‘magazine’ format rather than the previous ‘facts sheet’. It now fully covers the accounts of our Society events that formed the larger part of the content of the ‘Annual Review’ magazine. This being the case, we are contemplating a move to a biennial communication magazine with a wider more ‘article based’ content and presentation.
Our events during June, July and August have continued to be well received and we look forward to our September visit to Ketton Cement (Hanson) to see the quarrying of local stone and the manufacture of cements that are of course the basics of the buildings we spend our time conserving.
We have continued to pressurize the Town, District and County local authorities with regard to the extremely poor state of the town’s paving. Civic Society representation was present at August’s Town Council Meeting where our comprehensive ‘Paving Survey’ report was formally distributed to Councillors to support the agenda item addressing this matter. A phased plan to tackle the necessary repairs is currently awaited.
Discussions with LCC are in hand aimed at replacing the unsightly plastic bollards, adjacent to the ‘zebra crossing’ in the Sheepmarket, with more aesthetically pleasing vehicle blocking devices.
The Millstream Project, managed by the ‘Millstream Improvement Project Group’, covering the clearance and restoration of the flow of the stream at the edge of the Meadows is proceeding well with good support from Anglian Water who have restored the flow from the supply pump to its maximum and put in place stream clearance programmes. Funding and support is currently being provided by the Environment Agency and the Civic Society’s contribution is in the administration of the financial aspects of this quite long term project.
We have continued our communications with North West Anglia Foundation Trust concerning the proposed developments on the Stamford Hospital site where there are a number of protected buildings. In order to update all interested parties, we have agreed that an open public meeting will be held at 6.0pm on Thursday 26th. September 2019 at Stamford Hospital’s ‘Meeting Room’ where the Chief Executive, Caroline Walker and Project Manager, Stephen Graves will present the current plans and take questions.
The Stamford Georgian Festival has become one of the ‘gold standard’ events of our unique market town and in July Michael Cross, Head of Arts in SKDC, gave us a fascinating insight into, not only the organizing of the Festival, but also its importance as part of the Heritage Arts centre of economic growth within SKDC. Michael’s depth of knowledge from a long and widely based experience in the art of theatre readily supported his submission that his primary role was to ‘join up the dots’ of cross disciplines working to deliver inspirational events. His enthusiasm and presentation style coupled with our usual social interlude made for a really ‘feel good’ event.
On a quite balmy August afternoon Peter Glassey, the Head Forrester at Burghley, took us to parts of the Park that others cannot reach! He gave us an absorbing introduction to the historical development of the park particularly the influence of Capability Brown in creating stunning vistas through his major water and ground works and inspirational planting. Brown’s intelligent use of the local geology incorporating the Limestone/ Clay fault line and the type and positioning of a wide variety of trees had produced a spectacular result. In visiting the trees, some around 800 years old, and also Peter’s favourite tree (he appeared to have a large number of these!), we learnt about the interdependence of the tree and micro organisms, the tree’s natural instincts for preservation including the growth of trunk ‘strut’ and ‘buttress’ configurations with
attendant bark forms and even a tree’s ability to shed branches that are causing stress to the tree structure as a whole. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and also the realization that the general often ‘taken-for-granted’ common tree has a true beauty that is much more than skin deep!
Thursday 10th. October is our AGM in the Town Hall where, following the usual inward-looking annual reviews and election of officers, we’ll have an outward-looking talk on Stamford’s place in the panoply of heritage in the Lincolnshire area. Our usual social time and refreshments will be ‘at hand’.
In November there will unfortunately be a change to the event shown in our Programme Booklet. Gil Darby, the erudite and very popular well known V&A and Christies Lecturer, was to have given us a talk on the Fine Arts but she sadly passed away on the weekend of 17/18 August. In Gil’s place we will have a talk by Chris French, Project Officer at Welland River Trust.
We’ll wind up the year with a Seasonal Reception at Browne’s Hospital on 19th. December.
Members at 31 August 2019: 241
Corporate Sponsors: 13
Planning Applications reviewed in 2019 for Stamford Conservation Area: 73
Jim Mason, Chairman