Honorary part-time treasurer required for ChiSoc by October

The Society relies heavily on volunteers and we have a wonderful ‘bunch’ helping with such tasks as stuffing envelopes, hand-delivery of the Newsletter and membership administration. So now the Chichester Society is seeking a part-time Treasurer for October this year to join the ‘team’ when the present incumbent Bob Wiggins retires after 3 years in the role.

‘Treasurer’ sounds daunting but in essence it is to keep proper financial records and to demonstrate this by producing an annual statement of the financial position of the Society. To provide more details the tasks involved are summarised below and as you will see the volumes or effort involved do not in any way require full time commitment – just as and when needed by the matters at hand.

  • Issuing cheques (2 signatories are required to sign, one being the Treasurer) – approx 40 pa
  • Receiving monies (cash and cheques) and paying into bank – approx 50 cheques pa
  • Depositing and recording standing orders with the relevant banks – approx 15pa
  • Recording subscriptions received against relevant members and identifying and following-up non-payers – approx 380 members pa (most pay in Jan/Feb when standing orders operate)
  • Recording receipts and payments – approx 112 spread over the year
  • Reconciling records with monthly bank statements – approx 112 entries pa
  • Providing quarterly financial reports to the Society’s Executive Committee – 4 reports
  • Preparing annual accounts and paperwork for the External Examiner and obtaining approval from the Executive for his report – approx over 2 weeks around August-September (our year end is 31 August)
  • Presenting the Annual accounts to the AGM (October) – oral and written presentation
  • Managing Gift Aid details and claims – usually twice pa around May and September using template provided by HMRC
  • Managing Society details with Charity Commission – approx 1 week over the year
  • Issuing invoices and receipts for the Society (currently mainly to advertisers) – approx 12 pa

The present record keeping systems used by the Treasurer are as follows:

  1. Membership application forms, standing orders and gift aid declarations for each member are filed as paper copies in membership number order (Membership contact details are managed and kept by a separate Membership Secretary) It is anticipated that the incoming Treasurer will continue maintaining the paper records)
  2. Membership subscription and donation details for members are held electronically in a Microsoft Access database (The Access database could continue if there is familiarity with the software – otherwise it could be converted to a spreadsheet format or even managed on paper, albeit less efficiently)
  3. Receipts and payments are held electronically using freely available software  VT Cash Book available here (also used by the External Examiner). (It is preferable for use of VT Cash Book to continue, but its records can be exported to MS Excel and managed thereafter in that format – or even on paper , but much less efficiently)

Bob Wiggins will be available to smooth the transfer of duties and demonstrate and explain the 3 records keeping systems.

So are you interested? Or do you know someone who would like to develop experience in the work or software used or could help in elements of these duties to add to their CV? We are happy to clarify or discuss any aspect further.
If interested or have any queries please reply via our contact page.

Six Decades of Change across Chichester

One Cicestrian to witness the city’s changes is author and historian
Alan Green
Westgate Fields before the College and new road were built. Can you see the cows grazing? Photo: author’s collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 1959 aerial photograph provides a telling snapshot of the city as it was 60 years ago and is very nostalgic for me as it shews the Chichester of my boyhood. As a (true) Cicestrian I have observed closely the changes that have occurred over those 60 years and will point out just a few features that can be seen in the view.

Alan Green in 1959 when a pupil at Central Junior Boys School Photo: author’s collection
Open Spaces

Most striking from the first glance is the vast open expanse of Westgate Fields (B) which at the time were the city’s water meadows, stretching down to the harbour intersected only by the railway and the A27. For a boy growing up in Chichester in the 1950s and 60s, Westgate Fields was a lotus land: a busy shunting yard to be observed from the long footbridge, the River Lavant and its many tributaries, copious mud and many dogs. Loss of the fields began in 1962 with the building of Chichester College, followed in 1964 by the ring road (Avenue de Chartres) which cut across from Southgate to Westgate, then a car park (later to be redeveloped as multi-storey) and a rapid expansion of the college, all of which completely filled the area north of the railway. South of the railway the Terminus Road Industrial Estate was to spread westwards to occupy the fields down to the A27 (F) .

Westgate Fields before the College and new road were built. Can you see the cows grazing? Photo: author’s collection

More lost open land can be seen to the north of the photograph. In 1959 East Broyle Farm (X) had just been sold for a private housing development. Starting in 1961, 412 houses were progressively built on the site known as the East Broyle Estate. Just below that was Little Breech Farm (Y)whichwas also to be developed for housing from 1967,this time by the City Council to provide affordablehomes.

The other expanse of open ground is Oaklands Park (C) where a notable absence from the photo is the Festival Theatre. Leslie Evershed-Martin had had his brainwave in 1959 but construction was not to start until 1961, bringing the one major change that surely no-one would dispute as having been for the better. The theatre apart, Oaklands Park has miraculously escaped the attentions of developers.

Infrastructure

It is noticeable how the westward expansion of the city had been arrested by the Midhurst railway line (E). Although it had lost its passenger services in 1935, a stump of the line still served Lavant, conveying sugar beet. When this traffic ceased the line served new gravel workings near Brandy Hole Lane whence trains took the mineral to Drayton, thus obviating heavy lorry movements through the city. When this in turn ceased in 1991, the line was turned into a cycleway/footpath known, by dint of someone’s baffling logic, as Centurion Way. The Romans did many things for Chichester but railways were not amongst them! Staying with transport, Southdown’s bus operations had transferred in 1956 from West Street to a purpose-built bus station in Southgate. The adjacent, and brand new, bus garage (Q) has a thin shell, prestressed concrete roof whose clear span was ground-breaking for its era. Although locally listed, its future is now under threat from the Southern Gateway Development Plan.

In Stockbridge Road is the gasworks (O). This had stopped producing coal gas in 1958 when gas was piped up from Portsmouth, The south end of the site was redeveloped as the GPO sorting office in 1964 but the gasholders were to remain in use until the arrival of North Sea Gas in 1970. The north end of the site would eventually be redeveloped by McCarthy and Stone as Brampton Court.

Schools, Ancient, Modern and Revised

In New Park Road can be seen what is now the New Park Centre (L) with whose facilities most readers will be familiar. In 1959 however, it was still the Central Junior Boys’ School where I numbered amongst its pupils. The school was to move to Orchard Street in 1964 after which the site was earmarked for redevelopment. Fortunately, it was to be saved by a vigorous campaign to convert it into a community centre – a victory for democracy! In 1962 I moved on to Chichester High School for Boys (I) in Kingsham Road. In the photograph its extensive playing fields can be seen, but the eastern end of them have long since been developed for housing (Herald Drive) and most of the outlying school buildings have since been demolished. The remaining buildings were abandoned in 2014. They still exist, but only just as they are boarded up awaiting their fate: Chichester High School for Boys was to cease to be just two years later.

Chichester High School for Girls was then in Stockbridge Road (J). After it had amalgamated with the Lancastrian Girls’ School in 1971 it progressively moved to newer premises in Kingsham and the Stockbridge site was abandoned. Chichester Gate was built on its playing field in 2003 and recently the main school building was converted into student flats.

Industry and Infirmary

Almost opposite the Boys’ High in Kingsham Road was Wingard’s factory (P) . Wingard made seatbelts and other automotive products and were a major employer in Chichester. They were taken over by Britax who eventually relocated after which the site was converted into housing.

Chichester still had two main hospitals in 1959; The Royal West Sussex (M) in Broyle Road and St Richard’s (S)off Spitalfield Lane. Both were relativelysmall so the two gradually amalgamated at StRichard’s which was to expand exponentially into thecurrent hospital. The ‘Royal West’ (as it was knownlocally) was converted into apartments namedForbes Place after one of its founders. There wasalso the separate Isolation Hospital on the south sideof Spitalfield Lane [not indicated] but that closed inthe 1960s. I can claim to have been an inmate of allthree!

The Cattle Market (K) was still very active in 1959 with cattle arriving by train, being grazed overnight in Westgate Fields and then driven to market on the hoof. The photo shews the site covered with sheds and pens all of which were to be swept away in 1990 when the market closed and was converted into – yes – another car park.

The Festival Theatre under construction in 196. Photo: author’s collection.
Destruction

Also seen still standing is the east side of Somerstown (N) This late Georgian development of artisan housing, had been condemned in 1958 as slums by Chichester City Council – a controversial action challenged in the national press by Sir Lawrence Olivier no less. Protest fell on deaf ears though and all was swept away in 1964. The site lay empty for 10 years before redevelopment took place but, whilst the new housing estate perpetuated the name Somerstown, it was a very poor substitute for what had been lost. Mercifully the west side of Somerstown was to be spared, its erstwhile ‘slums’ now being considered highly desirable residences. There was also to be destruction of many Georgian buildings in Southgate and Westgate in order to accommodate the ends of the aforementioned ring road, and this took place in 1963-65.

On the other side of Broyle Road is the Sloe Fair Field (V) taking its name from the eponymous fair that had taken place annually by Royal Charter since 1107. The field was tarmacked over to form a new car park in 1961 which deprived the fair of much of its charm. It invariably rained on 20 October resulting in the field becoming a quagmire making squelching through the mud an added attraction.

Envoi

Much of the change over the last 60 years has beeninevitable in order to provide for an ever expandingpopulation, but some, such as the wanton destructionof the east side of Somerstown and the obliteration ofthe water meadows, is difficult to forgive. One wouldlike to think that such would not happen today…

The same aerial view in 2079 will shew Whitehouse Farm (Z)developed with its 1,600 houses – but whatelse besides one wonders? I for one will not be hereto see it!

Alan Green is chairman of Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee and the author of several books on the city’s history.

(This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of the Society’s Newsletter. To see more from this issue go to our past Newsletters page)

Objections to outstanding Reserved Matters for the erection of 73 residential dwellings Whitehouse Farm

The Chichester Society objected to various matters that arose in the planning application from Miller Homes and Linden Homes concerning the erection of 73 dwellings in Land West of Centurion Way and West of Old Broyle Road.

Proposed character areas

In particular the following objections were made:

  • The overlong access drive to the SANG car parking creates an un-necessary suburban
    element of what is currently a country road out of the City.
  • The provision of tandem parking to most houses is a difficult feature in user experience.
  • The implementation of the architectural character studies has been disappointing in particular with the provision of dummy chimneys, painted brick facades, uPVC windows and that more articulation of facades and attaching of detached houses to form architectural groups would improve place making.
  • This first phase to be built is well screened, but is remote from all community facilities and the current 2 hourly bus service into the City produces a car dependent settlement.
  • The preponderance of culs de sac adds to vehicle journey lengths.
  • The affordable and shared ownership housing is readily identifiable ranged along the side closest to traffic noise rather than scattered throughout the estate.

The reference document in question is the West of Chichester Residential Architectural Design Strategy available to view here as Part 1 and Part 2.

Full details of the planning application 19/01134/REM and of comments made can be viewed on the Council website here.

ChiSoc object to new late venue in Terminus Road

An application was lodged by Mr Kieran Stanley in March relating to the property ‘Feather and Black’ in Terminus Road to create  “a Dinner Dance Show Experience with Live Shows and Late night Music to be enjoyed by all ages and families” designed for all types of celebrity acts. Opening times for restaurant, dining and leisure use envisage from 12:00 (13:00 on Sunday) to 03:00 every day.

The Society’s Executive Committee would welcome the provision of a major venue in Chichester and believe there is an opportunity to provide this in a purpose-built facility within the Southern Gateway Regeneration Area close to a rebuilt City Transport Hub. However they were of the opinion that this Terminus Road property is not suitable for this purpose and would be better utilised for relocating the bus depot and post office to
free up the Southern Gateway site.

Their specific objections were:

  • The hours of operation and the large audience numbers will cause a noise and behavioural nuisance for residents.
  • This property does not offer adequate parking nor acoustic insulation.
  • The proposed use would clash with the recently permitted change of use to a church at the adjacent Ambulance Station.
  • There are not adequate or believable studies submitted regarding fire safety, acoustic performance, and the traffic plan of the proposed use with the large audience numbers.

Full details of the application and of responses from the public can be found here 

Rousillon Park housing development wins an award

Hard on the heels of the Government’s announcement of the establishment, amid much controversy, of its ‘Building Better. Building Beautiful Commission’ came the news that the Housing Project of the Year under the British Construction Industry Awards for 2018 had gone to Rousillon Park in Chichester, the site of the former military barracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The project was commissioned by Homes England and designed by architect Ben Pentreath and adopts a traditional street layout that responds to the historic street patterns within Chichester. A narrow, gridded street pattern links a series of green public spaces. Built on the site of the town’s military barracks, brick predominates but with the occasional use of the local grey sandstone and Sussex flint.

The architectural language adopts the scale, proportion and materials of traditional town houses, but is designed to feel intentionally contemporary in its restraint, with more modern detailing of elements such as doors, windows and railings. William Smalley Architects also worked on the design of houses.

Construction commenced in 2012 and the site was completed in 2018.

(Thanks to Stuart Tappin for referencing the item in the Ancient Monuments Society Newsletter and to Ben Pentreath for information from their website)

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