Stamford Civic Society Newsletter Spring 2024
It has been a busy time for the society since I was elected your Chairman at our Annual General meeting in October 2023. The Society has welcomed a new member to the committee – Richard Asher – he has already been a useful and active member and has used his professional expertise to work with our planning sub-committee.
We had a further meeting at the Town hall for members to meet and hear a talk from the newly appointed Heritage Officer, who told us about the Town Council’s plans for a new Museum in Stamford. We learnt that this will be a lengthy process that will involve the Town Council devising a series of policies and strategies to underpin their application for Museum status and eventually recognition. We understand that this process has commenced, and we await further developments with interest.
In November we held a meeting for members to hear from an officer from Heritage Lincolnshire. She gave us an illustrated talk about the architectural styles of buildings and construction in the County. Again, an interesting and informative evening for those members who were present.
Our Christmas Social event was a light-hearted evening held at Browne’s Hospital, when we had a fun evening with the well-known local auctioneer, David Palmer, who gave us information, anecdotes and tales connected to items that members had brought for him to see. The roaring fire, mince pies and a glass of wine made this a fun Christmas event,
Our Corporate Sponsors contribution in 2023 was very much appreciated and we look forward to their continued support and inviting new sponsors.
The Committee has for some time been concerned about the low numbers of our members who come and support the events that we arrange. As I said at our Annual General Meeting in October, there are other groups and societies in the town that also hold talks and events for members. We think that our events are suffering from duplication of interests and topics as a result.
It is for this reason that I have been in discussion with the well-known, respected and thriving Stamford & District Local History Society (SDLHS). As you are all aware, Stamford Civic Society was formed in the early 1960s, ”to defend the town’s heritage and actively fight for its preservation and improvement.” This is our primary function and focus. Hence, we have our Planning Sub-committee who regularly submit comments to South Kesteven Planning Officers relating to planning applications in Stamford. Our other focus as a society is to promote the heritage and preservation of the town. Our interactive app for smart phones has been designed as one tool to engage the many Stamford visitors in our heritage. For others we have a display on the boards in the foyer of the Corn Exchange, and trail maps are being reprinted. Two of SDLHS aims are complimentary to those of the Civic Society, they are:
- To hear lectures and presentations relating to people, places and issues of interest and relevance to its members.
- To visit places of interest to its members in the local area and further afield
This is therefore the reason that Stamford Civic Society are in active discussion with the SDLHS to try to ensure that our members are aware of the monthly schedule of lectures that they hold. Each month they hold a lecture in The Methodist Church Rooms at Barn Hill Stamford. Wheelchair access is from the rear via North Street with disabled parking. The meetings start at 19.30 with refreshments served from 19.00. Non-members are charged £5 at the door.
See https://stamfordlocalhistorysociety.org.uk for a full list of their lectures:
- February 1st – Stamford Castle by David Stocker
- March 7th- Mrs Cromwell’s Cookbook by Stuart Orme
- April 4th -Must Farm Archaeology by Christopher Wakefield
- May 2nd – In Search of Two Lincolnshire Brothers by Jonathan Smith
I would urge you consider these lectures, they are excellent and the SDLHS is very hospitable and welcoming to visitors.
The Civic Society is loath to plan any events that are poorly attended by our members and thus, we are resolved to endeavour to arrange fewer but more significant events for members. One to be held in the summer at a venue where an outdoor social atmosphere can be enjoyed, and one in the wintertime. This is currently at the outline planning stage; we hope to be able to give you more details in the coming months. Our A G M will as usual be held in October.
Our projects are progressing slowly, and Tim Lee is leading the exploratory work relating to the design of a street furniture welcome arch in Sheep Market. It is a complex project and will take time to achieve, planning permissions and design tenders all need to be addressed over the coming phases of this project. To date, the first outline designs from Stamford College have been submitted to the committee. No decisions have yet been taken.
Our Planning sub-committee has sent a comprehensive response to the Rutland County Council Local Plan consultation.
As a consultee to SKDC on all planning applications within our marvellous Conservation Area, our planning sub-group in conjunction with the committee continue to offer comments where appropriate to ensure decisions made by local authorities are not detrimental to the urban and built environment of our town
Communications / Media
I hope that it’s been downloaded onto your smartphone so that you can show it to your friends and family and encourage them to use it too. Grandchildren seem to like to bury themselves in their phones these days, this might just appeal to them when they come to visit.