From the Chairman
In common with most societies and businesses, we have not been immune from the negative impact of the pandemic which has only exacerbated the problem of limited resources that we were beginning to experience anyway. Four Trustees have retired mid-term and turnout for our events has been quite low. Other Trustees are considering retiring at the AGM in October and, after four years ‘at the helm’, I shall be retiring then. The Society has a robust base with substantial membership and sound Financial credentials and, to ensure that the Society can sustain this position, we need new Trustees who can restore the management team and take forward this long standing and most important community group whose members all share a common sense of pride in our unique Conservation Town. Under our Constitution all current Trustees cede their status at the AGM and have to be re-elected, hence there are vacancies for all Trustee positions including ‘OfFicers’. Please contact myself or the Secretary to register your interest in making a very worthwhile and satisfying contribution to the community by joining the Society’s management committee.
Despite our current diminished resources, I am delighted to tell you that we have very recently successfully delivered two major projects - three new Blue Plaques honouring famous sons of Stamford and, a convenient touring aid in the form of a mobile ‘phone app mapping and listing 45 historic sites in Stamford.
We have a variety of interesting evening talks planned for the second half of the year and I look forward to seeing you at some of these.
Urban Group Project Update
Mounting of new Blue Plaques The new plaques recognise three famous sons of Stamford, Jack Pick (early car manufacturer); Colin Dexter (writer, creator of ‘Inspector Morse’); and Harry Burton (international photographer at the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb). The project was ably managed by Yvonne Pini, this has been a lengthy and complex process involving input from relatives, building owners, lease holders, SKDC Planning OfFice and Stamford Town Council. The all important funding has been provided by the Skells Trust and the specialised manufacture and mounting of the Plaques carried out by Ned Heywood Pottery, Heritage Ceramics.
Provision of lighting installations for St. Martin’s and St. John’s Churches These have now reached detailed planning stage following survey. Formal Church permissions and funding being sought.
Maintenance of Town Plaques and Information Boards Schedules are complete, awaiting conFirmation of funding availability from Town Council.
Pavement Survey The survey compiled by the Society some time ago recently reviewed with LCC Highways Inspector and SKDC Leader with a view to prioritising the repair of major trip hazards.
Sheepmarket Enhancement New bench arrangements, large planters and parasols are in place, accommodating outdoor dining in front of the recently established Italian restaurant. Funding for further enhancements being sought.
General Maintenance of Street Furniture and restoration of pavement lighting In Red Lion Square, Horse Shoe Lane and Sheepmarket, funding has been allocated for lighting repairs, awaiting a start date.
Water Street riverside improvements A budget and schedule for phase 1 work covering riverbank and tree work is being pulled together.
Our fourth evening talk at Browne’s Hospital in the 2022 Events Programme took place on Thursday 21st. April and was the second in our look into the lives of local world famous personalities. Following the previous month’s examination of the life of Sir Malcolm Sargent, next in the frame was the ‘Life of Sir Isaac Newton’ and who better to deliver that than Janice Mould who for 26 years has been the appointed National Trust Guide for Woolsthorpe Manor, Isaac Newton’s Birthplace and family home. With an excellent slide presentation Janice skilfully guided us through Isaac’s family farming background through some of the challenges of both family life and social pressures that he encountered on the way to establishing himself as one of the greatest mathematics and physicists of all time. Janice wound up her talk with a virtual tour of Woolsthorpe Manor and, all round, her clear and humorous delivery with her obvious great knowledge of her subject made for a most pleasurable evening. During the concluding social part of the evening Members were reminded of the Society’s follow up visit to Woolsthorpe Manor on 12th. May 2022.
Town Hall Visits
During May and early June we held two events at Stamford Town Hall. The First saw the Civic OfFicer, Mark Murtagh and our Committee Member Penny Rowley share the guiding duties and attendees found the presentation of the ‘political’ history of Stamford’s Town Hall backed up by the viewing of amazing artefacts extremely entertaining. The presenters’ knowledge and enthusiasm for the Town Hall and its activities were very evident and with their easy presentation style made the whole event most enjoyable.
The second visit was centred on Volunteer heritage Conservators and Restorers who demonstrated their individual skills over a wide range of artefacts which made for a fascinating and informative evening.
Summer Party at St Leonard’s Priory — 18 June 2022
We were very lucky with the weather again this year, it was generally a wet day, as we found out at the new Blue Plaque unveilings during the morning! but at a quarter to six it stopped and resumed two hours later – just Fitting around our event perfectly.
All the relatives/friends of the three new Blue Plaque candidates (Jack Pick, Motor Manufacturer; Colin Dexter, Writer; Harry Burton, International Photographer) were invited to the evening party where we had information display boards for each Plaque and Rob HadField and his wife brought along their veteran Pick car which made a good centre piece. With the Blue Plaque interest, a glass of wine and a good size gathering the party soon developed that happy ‘burble’ punctuated by frequent bouts of laughter. The Blue Plaques relatives/friends expressed their appreciation to the Society for pursuing the project and also for the day’s celebratory events, all agreed it had been a most successful and enjoyable day.
In August, on Thursday 18th. Wing Commander Jez Case will tell us about the history of Wittering Air Base and its role in the modern RAF, “RAF Wittering – Then and Now”, again at Browne’s Hospital at 7.00pm.
Stamford Conservation Area Planning Matters
Proposals for Outbuildings, Fencing and Extensions #10
Exterior/Interior Decoration/Maintenance #20
Revisions to Shop Fronts and Signage #3
Change-of-Use of Land-parcels and Premises #3