Members – free. Visitors – £2.00
The Civic Society has arranged a visit to Wentworth Woodhouse, a stately home in South Yorkshire on Tuesday 24 July. A 31 seater coach will leave the Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Club, (Dunston Road, Chesterfield S41 9BF) car-park at 12.30pm for Wentworth Woodhouse with our 1 hour guided tour of the formal rooms to start at 2pm. There will be ample time afterwards to enjoy the delights of the on-site garden centre and coffee shop until we leave at 4.30pm. The cost is £28.00 per head with a reduction to £20.00 for National Trust members, who must bring their cards. This is payable by cash or cheque to 'Chesterfield Civic Society'. Online banking payments can be made to 60-40-09 a/c 80134009 using your surname as the reference, with an email to me to confirm at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a few spare places if you would like to join us and cars can safely be left at the Rugby Club. Frank Gorman Secretary
Well known , both to Chesterfield residents and further afield as a characteristic image of Chesterfield , the Black and White frontage of Knifesmithgate is well worthy of preservation .
Currently however , the upper floors are empty , and their future unknown. The issue is that the building belongs to a London property management company, and nothing is known of their plans .
Thank you Eileen for these memories of the ‘Vic’ as we all called the Victoria Ballroom . She captures the central part it played in our lives for those of us who grew up in the 1960s .
Just click on the link below the photo to read the full story .
It was good to just wander around Chesterfield the other Wednesday and see how popular the Wheel is mid-week . Chesterfield is still a market town , and all the roads seem to lead here eventually . If only on the way to the Library .
But , the heart of the town is here , and still attracts after centuries .
This article was first published in the 2014 newsletter
Chesterfield is an historic market town of some substance, having received its market charter from King John in 1204, and it has possibly one of the largest open air markets in Britain.
The town sits on a large coalfield which formed a major part of the area’s economy along with pottery, engineering and chemicals, until the 1980s. Whilst there is little evidence of these industries today, the town remains proud of its industrial roots and its Town Centre.
There was a phase, between the Wars, when a cosmetic offensive was mounted in Chesterfield to Tudor-bethan-ise’ the town centre, and revive the charms it probably never originally enjoyed. The awareness of a problem, however, and the willpower to do something to rectify it at the time is an interesting point.
Then in the 50s and 60s there is what could be called the Civic Era. It had begun before WW2 with the rather pompous Council Offices and some quite significant interventions in the neo-classical manner in the main streets, and it continued afterwards with the Law Courts and the new Civic Centre. There was even water and sculpture. All of the individual projects were quite good for their times, but they were planted out like bedding plants and turned their back on the historic core, which became increasingly seedy. Eventually Chetwynd House was replaced with a pleasant modern office block whose red brick walls and dark roof help knit the area together, though we still await the removal of the derelict car park at West Bars. (finally demolished in 2016)
Then came the first coherent attempt at a strategy for the whole town, both in its conservation aspects and in the provision of scope for new developments. The architect, Sir Bernard Fielden thought the net result was quite good and was rightly proud of his work. There is a legacy here which is worthy of study.The public library is a successful modern building, whereas Theatre Yard was good on conservation but changes in levels deter footfall. The later shops on Vicar Lane/ Steeplegate work on plan but disappoint by the lack attention to detail. That, and a respect for context and good quality materials, distinguish the better new buildings around the town. The new courthouse, for example, looks good on the outside, but the artificial stone plinth is starting to let it down.The Market Hall extension shows that improvements can be achieved on a tight budget.
The developments over the last 100 years reflect how we value the town centre.The 2009 Masterplan for the town centre has a strong commitment to the future but probably needs refining, to take account of retail trends that have left the Co-Op store empty and filled the new retail units on the slightly disconnected Ravenside retail park. It is likely that the town centre will become more attractive as a cultural centre and a place to live. To succeed, it will need more attention to the public spaces, more connectivity and more of the good conservation of buildings that has occurred recently though Lottery funding. That is quite possible and should be considered alongside the redevelopment of the Northern Gateway and Waterside projects.
The Civic Society supports Chesterfield Borough Council and North East Derbyshire District Council in their work, particularly in challenging economic times .
Professor John Tarn OBE and Bryan Thompson
Chesterfield & District Civic Society
East Midlands Association of Civic and Heritage Societies
Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Saints Centre,
St Mary’s Gate, Chesterfield
10.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Anyone interested in the work of Chesterfield & District Civic Society, founded in 1964 to promote pride in the town and campaign for environmental improvements and a high standard of architectural design, is warmly invited to come to our next public meeting,
held in conjunction with the regional organisation for civic societies.
There will be a business meeting and discussion on the work of the Chesterfield and other civic societies in the morning, followed at 2 p.m. by
An Illustrated Talk
by Peter Swallow on
and Chesterfield Waterside
Peter Swallow is Chairman of Destination Chesterfield, a network of businesses and professional firms which encourages inward investment into the town, and also Chief Executive of Bolsterstone PLC, the lead developer of Chesterfield Waterside, one of the largest regeneration schemes of its kind in the country, centred on the terminus of the Chesterfield Canal on Brimington Road.
Come and find out about both these important ventures and put questions to the man in charge. There will also be displays illustrating the work of civic societies from around the region, and one by the Chesterfield Canal Trust, which has campaigned for many years for the restoration of the Derbyshire section of the canal, including the creation of a new basin and moorings at Chesterfield.