Our next speaker meeting will be at 7.30 p.m on Thursday 28 February at St Thomas’s church centre. This will be a discussion meeting on the theme of ‘Do we want HS2 in north-east Derbyshire?’. We were prompted to arrange this after HS2 Ltd held a series of what they described as ‘consultation’ meetings in various places (including St Thomas’s), which for visitors proved to be less a chance to consult the promoters of the line as a sales opportunity for the company. The desirability of building what has been described as the most expensive railway ever to be proposed in Britain did not seem to be on the agenda. Since then there has been further press publicity concerning the ever-increasing cost of the project.
To give local people the chance to hear various points of view, we have arranged a meeting with four speakers:
Coun. Mrs Tricia Gilby, the Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, will explain why her authority supports the building of a link line from HS2b (the Birmingham– Leeds section) near Tibshelf to the Midland Main Line at Clay Cross, which would itself be electrified to Sheffield, rejoining HS2b itself north of the city. Either as part of this scheme, or independently, the approach to the station at Chesterfield would be radically remodelled to create better vehicle access and an improved interchange with bus services.
Glynn Waite, who is well known locally as a railway historian but is professionally a railway industry consultant, will explain his reservations about the project.
Tony Mellors will speak on behalf of a community group formed to oppose the building of the link line, which will sever the villages of Newton and Blackwell.
Mike Rose, a chartered engineer, former partnership officer of the High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership and a committee member of Railfuture Yorkshire, will speak about HS2 in the wider context of London–Yorkshire rail services.
This is a balanced and well-informed panel of speakers, and the evening will be arranged to allow ample time for questions and discussion. It should be an interesting evening, which we hope Civic Society members will find helpful and informative. Come along prepared to ask questions and find out more about a project that could transform Chesterfield’s railway service to London.
Members may wonder why HS2 Ltd themselves are not taking part. There is a simple explanation: the company was asked in November to provide a speaker and eventually, earlier this month, wrote refusing to do so. North East Derbyshire District Council has also declined to be represented.
Admission Members Free, Non-members £2
For location details and directions , please click on the picture .
The society met at the St Thomas’ Centre for a talk by Paul Staniforth on Development Management and Conservation within the Borough. Although understandably this could cover only items within the public domain he managed to include the major town centre developments, and submitted affably to some fairly tough questioning, particularly on that perennial favourite topic, Chesterfield Market. He referred extensively to the list of heritage assets maintained by the Council, and details of this and other aspects of conservation can be found on the link at the bottom of the page.
As it was the first day of the Chatsworth Road Exhibition at the Museum we have reprinted the 1996 Brampton Trail booklet. Produced by the Brampton Living History Group and published by the Civic Society, full details can be found in the previous post. You can link to it directly by clicking on this picture of Bradbury Hall, one of the fine drawings in the guide.
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.
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 .
Some fifty Civic Society members and guests joined the Mayor of Chesterfield, Coun. Maureen Davenport, and the Mayoress, Mrs Liz Archer, at the Ringwood Hall Hotel in Brimington on Wednesday 17 January for a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Charles Paxton Markham, who lived at Ringwood between 1908 and his death in 1926.
Among the guests were Mr Toby Markham, a descendant of C.P. Markham’s brother, Sir Arthur Markham Bt MP, and his wife, and Mrs Halcyon Palmer, a great niece of C.P. Markham’s sister Geraldine. The Leader of the Borough Council, Coun. Mrs Tricia Gilby, Coun. Terry Gilby and Coun. Barry Bingham were also present.
Ringwood Hall was built in 1829–30 by George Hodgkinson Barrow, the owner of Staveley Ironworks, and was later occupied by his son Richard Barrow. After C.P. Markham died, the House became a social club for Staveley staff. Having stood empty for some time, it has been restored in recent years as a luxury hotel.
After the Mayor unveiled the plaque, the owners of Ringwood Hall, Mr and Mrs Heyer, entertained the party to an excellent lunch. The event concluded with a short speech of thanks to the hotel by the Civic Society chairman, Philip Riden.
In the spring, the society hopes to install a plaque at 55 West Bars, the first large store built by Chesterfield and District Co-operative Society, which opened in 1903.