All posts by Website Editor

Chichester Proposed Parking Management Plan – the Society’s Response

The Chichester proposed parking management plan went out for consultation earlier this year and related to the earlier Roadspace Audit study which can be found here.

The study included various recommendations relating to parking and it to these that the Chichester Society has responded. Members of the Chichester Society’s Executive Committee visited the various displays and discussed the substance of the study. Their response has been submitted and can be found here.

 

 

Chichester Camera Club – A Celebration of People and Places

The Club celebrated its 125th anniversary this year with an exhbition which was hosted at the Novium Museum in March.

In this article by Amy Roberts and Portia Tremlett (first published in the December 2018 isue of the Chichester Society’s Newsletter) explore a fascinating history since Chichester Camera Club, first known as Chichester Photographic Society, was formed in 1893.

The early years

To begin with, the Photographic Society met weekly, organised lectures about new photographic techniques and equipment, and arranged excursions to places such as Midhurst, Hunston and Arundel. Monthly and annual competitions were held. Categories for entries included Seascapes and Landscapes, Architecture, and Lantern Slides.

Some members of the Society were prominent local citizens including George Turnbull who was an Alderman and also Mayor from 1909 to 1912 and again in 1919. He was a member of the Society until at least 1939 when he would have been around 85 years of age.

Members of Chichester Photographic Society about 1900-1910.
George Turnbull, Chichester’s Mayor 1909-12, is at back left
with the camera (hoto: The Novium Museum.)

The First World War took its toll of both the membership and its activities, and in 1917 meetings were abandoned. They were resumed, however in 1922 when a notice appeared in the paper in the rather formal style of the period inviting both LADIES AND GENTLEMEN to attend a meeting at the Technical Institute on North Street with the intention of restarting the Society. This led to weekly meetings, regular excursions and lectures. The Society moved to new premises in 1928 at Flint House in South Street. There they held an exhibition of old photographs taken by former and current members.

The society continued to flourish in the 1930s and competitions improved in quality and quantity of entries. 1938 saw an innovation in the way competitions were judged. Until this time entries had been assessed by fellow members but this changed and entries were passed to an external expert for judging. During the Second World War the Society met only twice in the two years 1940 to 1942. It seems fuel rationing greatly limited their efforts to organise excursions. By 1945 they had left their premises in South Street and placed their possessions in store.

A new beginning

Members of the Society did not meet again until 1949 when they emerged from the war years with a new name – the Chichester Camera Club. The club met fortnightly now at the Methodist Hall in the Hornet. The first post-war exhibition was held in 1950. Since then the Club has thrived. It is now recognised as one of the most successful photographic clubs in the country with a reputation for excellent photography and a programme of visiting speakers, competitions and social events. Anyone with an interest in photography is welcome.

Chichester Parking Management Plan – public consultation

The timescales for the consultation has been updated with a delay of a few days.

Key changes to the consultation timeline include:

 The consultation start date is revised from 25th February to 1st March (at which point the online consultation page will also be made live)

  • A press article is scheduled for release by 24th February
  • 25th February exhibition at the Swanfield Community Centre revised to 25th March between 2pm and 8pm
  • 27th February exhibition at the Chichester Baptist Church revised to 20th March at The Old Courtroom, Chichester City Council Offices between 10am and 4pm
  • 1st and 2nd March exhibitions at The Old Courtroom, Chichester City Council Offices between 10am and 4pm as originally planned.
  • Informal consultation finishes after 4 weeks on 31st March as originally planned.

This matter relates the Council’s Road Space Audit for which the final report can be viewed here

Good by Design – The view of the Horsham Society – so what is ours?

‘Good by Design’ is the Horsham Society’s views on what constitutes good design in Horsham. It combines and expands content from the Horsham Town Design Statement adopted by Horsham District Council in December 2008 and from the Design Protocol of Chichester District Council, December 2013. Click here to view their document.

The notes are intended as guidance as to what the Horsham Society is looking for and are  intended as starting point and the employment of judgement and evaluation are very much matters for the observers themselves.

So what are our views on such matters for Chichester?

The Chichester Society, through its Executive Committee, recently made known its views on the Chichester District Council’s Local Plan Review (the Review is available here).

In particular in relation to ‘ Section S20 – Design’ (reproduced below from the Review)  ‘ChiSoc welcomed this additional policy and supported its purpose in the Plan

Policy S20: Design

All proposals for new development will be required to be of high quality design that:

  1. responds positively to the site and its surroundings, cultural diversity and history, conserves and enhances historic character and reinforces local identity or establishes a distinct identity whilst not preventing innovative responses to context;
  2. creates a distinctive sense of place through high quality townscape and landscaping that physically and visually integrates with its surroundings;
  3. provides a clear and permeable structure of streets, routes and spaces that are legible and easy to navigate through because of the use of street typology, views, landmarks, public art and focal points;
  4. is well connected to provide safe and convenient ease of movement by all users, prioritising pedestrian and cycle movements both within the scheme and neighbouring areas and ensuring that the needs of vehicular traffic does not dominate at the expense of other modes of transport, or undermine the resulting quality of places;
  5. incorporates and/or links to high quality Green Infrastructure and landscaping to enhance biodiversity and meet recreational needs, including public rights of way
  6. is built to last, functions well and is flexible to changing requirements of occupants and other circumstances;
  7. addresses the needs of all in society by incorporating mixed uses and facilities as appropriate with good access to public transport and a wide range of house types and tenures
  8. is visually attractive and respects and where possible enhances the character of the surrounding area in terms of its scale, height, density, layout, massing, type, details, materials,
  9. provides a high standard of amenity for existing and future neighbours, occupiers and users of the development;
  10. creates safe communities and reduces the likelihood and fear of crime;
  11. secures a high quality public realm with well managed and maintained public areas that are overlooked to promote greater community safety, with clearly defined private spaces;
  12. ensures a sufficient level of well-integrated car and bicycle parking and external storage;
  13. is sustainable and resilient to climate change by taking into account landform, layout, building orientation, massing and landscaping to minimise energy consumption and mitigate water run-off and flood risks.
Now it’s your turn!

We would welcome your views on such design issues whether on major developments or ones that affect a particular locality. You may do so via our contact page. However before doing so you might like to consult the full Local Plan Review here

ChiSoc responds to the Local Plan Review

Having considered the content of the Review document the Society has filed the following comments and suggested changes on development principles, transport strategy, design, the Southern Gateway and land allocation.

Please refer to the original document here for background to the comments

On Policy S13: Chichester City Development Principles

  • ChiSoc welcome the minor changes proposed which include the protection of views of the cathedral. Please note the duplication of the policy on the city’s existing heritage, arts and culture

On Policy S14: Chichester City Transport Strategy

  • ChiSoc propose the following additional measures are included:
  • Replacement of the level crossings in Basin Road and Stockbridge Road by an underpass or bridge
  • Safeguarding of land to enable the expansion of the Chichester railway Station, its tracks and platforms, from 2 to 4 to enable a fast train service
  • Safeguarding of land close to the A27 for a future “park and ride”
  • Safeguarding of land close to the A27 for a “consolidation centre” for break bulk delivery to city retail units.

On Policy S20: Design

  • ChiSoc welcome this additional policy and support its purpose in the Plan

On Policy S23: Transport and Accessibility

  • ChiSoc welcome this additional policy and support its purpose in the Plan.
  • It especially welcomes the proposed New road connecting Birdham Road to A27 Fishbourne roundabout (see Policy AL6), known as the Stockbridge Link Road when first proposed by Highways England as part of Option 2b in the 2016 Consultation.

On Policy AL5: Southern Gateway

  • ChiSoc propose the following changes are made:
  • In site specific requirement number 3 we propose “3. Respect for the historic context, have regard to that part of Southern Gateway that lies within the Conservation Area and to the Listed Buildings and Heritage Assets, and make a positive contribution towards protecting and enhancing the local character and special heritage of the area and important historic views, especially those from the Canal Basin towards Chichester Cathedral;
  • We propose to add as site specific requirement number 4 “provision of a bridge or underpass to allow the removal of the level crossings on Stockbridge Road and Basin Road”
  • We propose the removal of paragraph 7

On Policy AL6: Land South-West of Chichester (Apuldram and Donnington Parishes)

  • ChiSoc supports this new policy, and its land allocation.

Draft Local Plan Review and Transport Study

THE LOCAL PLAN AND REVIEW

The Preferred Approach version of the Chichester Local Plan Review has now been published for  consultation as part of the preparation of the Chichester Local Plan Review, for the Chichester plan area (outside the South Downs National Park). The consultation period for the Chichester Local Plan Review – Preferred Approach (Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning Act (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012) will run from 13 December 2018 to 7 February 2019.

The document can be viewed here Local Plan Review 2016-2035

THE TRANSPORT STUDY

Peter Brett Associates (PBA) was commissioned to undertake a transport assessment to inform the preparation of the Chichester Local Plan Review (LPR) 2016-2035.

The Transport Study can be viewed here Transport Study

Amongst other considerations within the study it ranked the 6 junctions along the A27 in the following priority of construction:

1 Fishbourne Roundabout
2 Bognor Road Roundabout
3 Portfield Roundabout
4 Oving Junction
5 Stockbridge Junction
6 Whyke Junction

PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS

Exhibition events will take place throughout the consultation period. Officers will be available at these events to answer questions.

Exhibitions will take place in the following locations:

Location Date and Time
Bosham – Bosham Centre Monday 7 January – 15:00  20:00
Chichester – CDC Committee Room 1

 

Tuesday 8 January – 15:00 – 20:00

Monday 14 January – 09:00 – 17:00

Selsey – Selsey Centre Wednesday 9 January – 15:00 – 20:00
Chidham and Hambrook – Village Hall Thursday 10 January – 15:00 – 20:00
East Wittering – Bracklesham Barn Friday 11 January – 16:30 – 20:00
North East – Wisborough Green Village Hall Tuesday 15 January – 15:00 – 20:00
Fishbourne – Fishbourne Centre Wednesday 16 January – 13:00 – 18:00
Southbourne – Bourne Leisure Centre Thursday 17 January – 14:30 – 19:00
Hunston – Hunston Village Hall Friday 18 January – 15:00 – 20:00

 

Council has extra housing allocation ‘dumped’ on it by SDNPA

Chichester District Council (CDC) explain on their website that : “changes to the way the Government requires us to calculate future housing needs means that we now plan to build at least 650 new homes each year in the Local Plan Area, up to 2035”.

(This is not a proposed development – merely indicative – like a cartoon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Planning Policy requires CDC to accommodate only 609 new homes each year; however, in addition, they are under a duty to add an allowance “for accommodating unmet need arising from the Chichester District part of the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).”

The SDNPA have a shortfall  of 41 dwellings in what they say they can accommodate resulting in an additional 41 dwellings being added to the CDC figure making 650 new dwellings each year.
We question this decision because CDC has so little space on which to build all these houses.

To the north lies the SDNP, to the south lies the Chichester Harbour AONB and then the Manhood Peninsula which is part of the southern coastal plain. The southern coastal plain has some of the highest grade agricultural land in the country comprising highly productive brick earth strata and a climate suited to early ripening crops.

How can the SDNPA fail to provide sufficient space for their own housing needs despite towns such as Midhurst needing to expand?

Honouring Admiral George Murray is important for Chichester

Local Historian Alan Green on George Murray’s life, and plans for a commissioned sculpture in the cit.

There can be few living in Chichester who have not now heard of Admiral Sir George Murray following the “Murrayfest” held in 2015 and the recent newspaper publicity about the proposed statue of Murray and Nelson by Chichester sculptor Vincent Gray. Admiral Murray’s importance to the country as a whole as the naval officer of whom Nelson famously said “Murray or none”, is well known, but why is he so important to Chichester as to justify his own statue?

Admiral Sir George Murray around 1815 by Charles Woolcott (Image: with thanks to Ian Murray)
To sea aged eleven

George was the middle one of three surviving sons of George and Ann Murray all of whom went on to become prominent citizens, much involved with the life of their native city following the example of their father who was an alderman.1  George was born in January 1759 and baptised at St Peter the Great on 16 April that year.2

In 1770, at the tender age of eleven, George Murray joined the Royal Navy, rising swiftly through the ranks. He served under Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when the two men became very close friends. He was then sent to the Mediterranean serving as Captain of the Fleet under Nelson, and on 23 April 1804 he was promoted to rear admiral.

A rare photograph of Admiral Murray’s former house taken in the early 1930s (Author’s collection)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturally Murray spent most of his active service at sea but missed the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 as he had to remain ashore to sort out the estate of his late father in law; had Murray been at Trafalgar perhaps he, rather than Hardy could have been alongside Nelson when he died.

Life as a civilian

Admiral Murray made a significant impact on Chichester with the building of his grand new house on the corner of North Street and Guildhall Street (now The Ship, also known as the Harbour Hotel) between 1804 and 18063 John Marsh, that great Georgian diarist, obviously thought it rather pretentious when he recorded his first visit to the house on 7 February 1807:

On the next day we fix’d our first visit to Mrs G Murray at ye Admiral’s new House in North Street, term’d whilst it was building the Admiralty . There we met a large company in two rooms of six card tables, one of them a Commerce party of 13.4

After 1808 Admiral Murray did not go back to sea but instead became fully involved in the social life of his native city. John Marsh records several events at the house including the entertaining of royalty; the Prince and Princess of Hesse Hombourg no less (she the third daughter of George III) visited Chichester on 18 June 1818 and Marsh records that “[after] 2 & 3 o’clock… they went to breakfast at Sir G Murray’s”.5

He was also a member of the Book Society whose meetings were held at The Admiralty.

The entry on the mayoral boards in the Council Chamber recording George Murray’s year of office.
(Photo: Alan Green courtesy Chichester City Council)

George also followed his father in serving on the Corporation, but prior to this he was awarded the Freedom of the Merchants’ Guild by the Mayor in September 1800. In October 1802, he was nominated for the office of Portreeve and in September 1815 he was elected Mayor.6

Admiral Murray was clearly a man of great wealth whose income enabled him to live a lifestyle commensurate with the scale of his new house: he amassed a considerable wine cellar which was put up for auction on 27 July 1819 after his death and realised £672 15s 6d – equivalent to £47094 at today’s prices7. Not only that, he sent his son George to be educated at Winchester College which cost him some £45 per term in fees.8

George Murray died at his North Street home in Chichester on 28 February 1819 aged 60. John Marsh lamented the loss of his friend, recording with genuine feeling in his journal:

Besides the loss to the Corporation and our Book Society, a valuable member of each, the society in general of Chichester and its vicinity had a great loss, there being no-one who was more universally liked or esteemed.9

Whilst the funeral services of his two brothers were held in the church of St Peter the Great, which at that time was still in the north transept of the Cathedral, that of George, on 8 March 1819, took place in the Cathedral proper, after which he was buried in the Close in the area bound by the cloisters known as Paradise. 10

The unveiling of the blue plaque to Admiral Sir George Murray on the Ship Hotel by The Mayor of Chichester, Cllr Alan Chaplin, on 24 June 2013 (Photo Alan Green)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fine monument to George, and his wife Ann who died in 1859, can be seen in the Sailors’ Chapel in the Cathedral. In 2013 a blue plaque to him was installed on the front of The Ship bearing those immortal words None but Murray will do.

The monument to Admiral Murray and his wife Ann in the Sailors’ Chapel in Chichester Cathedral (Photo Bob Wiggins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vincent Gray’s statue of Nelson and Murray will stand opposite The Admiralty in the front garden of 40 North Street (now Jack Wills); appropriately, this was the house of George Murray’s elder brother Richard.

How the twin sculptures of Nelson and Murray will appear when placed on a plinth at 40 North Street, Chichester. Image: courtesy of Peter Robson Architect

 

  1. WSRO St Peter the Great, Chichester, Parish Records
  2. WSRO St Peter the Great, Chichester, Parish Records
  3. For a detailed history of the house see The Ship Hotel, Chichester built as the house of Admiral Sir George Mur – ray by Alan H J Green. New Chichester Paper No 6, Chich- ester Local History Society & The University of Chichester 2014
  4. John Marsh History of my Private Life. John Marsh was a wealthy barrister who moved to Chichester in 1787. Every day he wrote about three pages in his journal giving us an authentic – if at times somewhat acerbic – picture of life in a Georgian cathedral city
  5. John Marsh– op cit
  6. WSRO C/3 Chichester Common Council minute book 1783- 1826
  7. Ian Murray collection. A copy of the sale catalogue marked-up with the prices
  8. Ian Murray collection – a statement of Admiral Murray’s account with the college. £45 is equivalent to £3,150 today
  9. John March op cit 10. WSRO Cathedral Close burial register
  10. WSRO Cathedral Close burial register

(This article originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of the Society’s Newsletter)

Goodwood’s Motor Circuit – a glorious mix of tradition and technology

Jon Barnett, the Motor Circuit’s General Manager, describes the history and future of this historic site from War-time fighter station to iconic star of the British motor scene.

The Goodwood Motor Circuit Aerodrome began life as RAF Westhampnett, satellite airfield to RAF Tangmere  during the Second World War. However, this story begins before the outbreak of the war when the 9th Duke of Richmond and Gordon gifted this land to the war effort on 7 December 1938. It was designated as an Emergency Landing Ground. But with the fall of France in July 1940, Westhampnett received its first residents: the Hurricanes of 145 Squadron. Being one of the most southerly fighter stations, it was kept very busy, playing an important role in the Battle of Britain. Several well-known fighter aces flew from RAF Westhampnett including Douglas Bader, Johnny Johnson and ‘Cocky’ Dundas, as well as many Commonwealth pilots. By July 1942 the Americans had arrived: on the 26 July the 31 Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Force flew from RAF Westhampnett to join their British comrades in combat; they were the first US Fighter Group in the European theatre. But once the Allies moved across Europe, RAF Westhampnett’s importance declined. It was officially closed in 1946.

From airfield to race track

Goodwood’s race track had its beginnings with the original perimeter re-fuelling road for the Hurricanes and Spitfires in the years Westhampnett was a fighter station. How did this come about?  The 9th Duke of Richmond – Freddie March – was a renowned amateur racer who had won the Brooklands Double 12 in 1930, later going on – as an engineer – to design both March sports car bodies and aircraft. He was approached by his friend, Squadron Leader Tony Gaze, who had flown from Westhampnett during the war years. Tony had raced his old MG round the service road in his down time, using fuel from the planes! This is why Tony was so sure the road would make a great race track and why he suggested converting the perimeter road into a motor racing circuit. Freddie March seized upon the idea. It wasn’t long before the Duke and Duchess officially opened the track by driving around the Circuit in a Bristol 400, then Britain’s state-of-the-art sporting saloon. The date was 18 September 1948, a Saturday. (The NHS was two months old).

Racing in the early days of the Goodwood Motor Circuit before closing in 1966

The response was rapturous, for the British public had been deprived of motor racing during the Second World War when Brooklands had been forced to close its doors in 1939. Huge demand for wheel-to-wheel competition saw 85 drivers and over 15,000 spectators turning up to Goodwood to support the UK’s first professionally-organised post- war motor racing event. Imagine the picturesque scene at the foot of the Downs steeped in heritage. This same venue has since witnessed some of motor racings greatest heroes in action, including Juan Manuel Fangio, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss.

The Motor Circuit closes

By 1966, the Duke could foresee that the rapidly changing nature of front-line motor racing would require Goodwood to make sizeable investment in physical changes to the venue in order to continue. By now in his mid-Sixties, and by nature disinclined to follow the expensive dictates of the ‘authorities’, the Duke opted instead to stop all motor racing. Both he and later his son did have the foresight, however, to ensure the circuit continued to be used, and therefore maintained, for testing, Sprints and other uses for the next 30 years.

A new chapter
The Goodwood Revival is all about style! (Photo by Dominic James)

On 18 September 1998, exactly 50 years to the day since the Goodwood Circuit first opened, the 9th Duke’s grandson, the present Duke of Richmond, re-opened the Circuit in spectacular fashion – using a Bristol 400 identical to the model his grandfather had used half a century earlier. This was the very first Goodwood Revival meeting for which preparation had been meticulous, the Circuit restored to look exactly as it did in its heyday, down to the very last detail. Since then the Goodwood Revival has been held every year: thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing with some of the most valuable grid selections in the world, dancing to the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, the joy of the fun fair and the smell of engines mingled with perfume. Experience the Goodwood Revival and you experience the romance and glamour of motor racing as it used to be: a step back in time to the years between 1948 and 1966, when the joys of motor racing allowed the post-war world to kick off its heels  and have a jolly good time.

The Circuit today

In addition to Goodwood’s Revival, the circuit today is a hub of activity year-round, now also hosting the two-day Goodwood Members’ Meeting in March. This weekend recaptures the atmosphere and camaraderie of the original British Automobile Racing Club meetings held from 1949 to 1966. But there is more, such as Motor Sports Association Sprints, Car Club Track Days and Manufacturer Press Days. Members of the public and corporate groups can get behind the wheel of their own car or choose to drive one from the Goodwood fleet, like the entire BMW M Performance range; or there is an eclectic mix of 1960’s classics including an Alfa, Porsche, Ford Falcon and MG amongst others.  Moving on – new experiences.

Chance to drive one of their classic Land Rovers

Goodwood’s Motor Circuit continues to evolve and a new addition this year has been the introduction of a fleet of six classic Series 2 Land Rovers. To understand the world’s love affair with the Land Rover, you need to drive one and preferably drive a classic. So we offer the chance to drive off-road across the Downs on farm and forest tracks. We make no bones about it, these vehicles have seen life and they have character and patina, which makes them totally unique. As quintessentially British as a plate of fish and chips, the boxy, utilitarian Land Rover has become an iconic part of what it is to be British.

(This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Society’s Newsletter)