Unregistered Charity Annual Review September 2014 by the Heritage Commissioner
Since the launch last July by the mayor and the formal inauguration in September the Commission has achieved much.
Our First Year: The purpose of this first annual review is to update you on our rapid progress. The Brighton Toy and Railway Museum hosted our first meeting at which there were seventy of us present, commissioners were appointed and Francis Tonks our president and myself outlined the purposes and aims of the Commission. The committee of commissioners consists of ten and we still have two vacancies if anyone is happy to take part. We do need an Hon. Secretary in particular. Also the Advisory Group has swelled to a dozen people including Helmut Lusser Chairman of Hove Civic Society, Averil Older Chair of the BHCC Commemorative Plaque Panel, and Robert Bargery Secretary of The Georgian Group, the national statutory consultee with which we now have reciprocal membership. Members currently number just under one hundred which includes an extensive list of affiliates including Hanover CA, Round Hill RA, Hove Civic Society and Ovingdean Residents Preservation Soc. Our tasks to date have been numerous and I list them below, Web Site Nick Tyson of The Regency Town House has offered to set this up which he is in the process of doing although with the rapid progress of the commission we have had to rethink its format. Also we have had the good fortune to have our LOGO being designed by Robert Parsons of the College of Arms. Wilds Symposium Tom Sargant is arranging with Nick Tyson a one or two day event with guest speakers on these two architects. No dates are decided yet but it is likely to be in 2016 and surely an exciting event. WWI The Commission has been invited to give input to these commemorations and Francis Tonks, Averil Older and are in regular discussions the WWI Commemorations Steering Group for Brighton and Hove. This steering group has been initiated nationally by the Imperial War Museum. We have also had agreement from Southern Railway that the war memorial at Brighton station be cleaned and better presented for the start of the commemorations later this year. Historic Walks The Commission had two highly successful walks for Brighton Festival Fringe 2014. The Regency and Resort Architecture, and Montpelier and Clifton Hill. It is also the Commission’s intention with M&M Historic Tours to allow all the city’s tour guides to use the Commission as a platform to promote their activities. Historic Lighting Thank you all for your supports so far, we have much work to do and let’s see the Commission grow and grow. Spread the word please. Puget’s Cottage – Grade II, circa 1640 15 North Street – Grade II, first commercially used 1789 18 Wellington Road – Not presently listed Fly Stables – Grade II, Stone Street Gas Lamp Standard circa 1860, Reed & Sons 51 Middle Street. Subject of enforcement uPVC windows The city has many examples of historic lighting and with the agreement of the council it has embarked on recording this. Round Hill is blessed with the best and most varied selection and Rob Stephenson and I completed this first survey at the end of last year. Commissioner Bill Randall has also identified a similar problem of lamp standard removal by the council around Queens Park, this we need to address.
The Historic Street Name Plate Project: Last year the Commission seeded the installation of Temple Street and Donkey Mews signs also with help from community contributions from Temple Street and for the latter from The Friends of Brunswick Square and Terrace, and by the East Brunswick Residents Assoc. The latter now wish to have Waterloo Street installed. Other signs we have been successful in having agreed to as part of the planning process, including Hannington Lane, Pelham Street, Blenheim Place and others. This project now with council approval has taken off. Let us know if other signs are needed in the area in which you live.
Commemorative Plaques: There are six members of the Commission who sit on the city council plaque panel with the task ongoing. The Mocatta and Saxby. were successfully unveiled in August with the help of Southern Railway. Duncan Cameron wishes the Commission to nominate Graham Greene for a plaque. Also members have been given the chance to comment on the second batch of Neolith signs about to be erected in the city streets.
Planning: Seven members of the Commission sit on the BHCC Conservation Advisory Group be it representing other bodies, though the Commission does have an involvement in the planning process. Duncan Cameron has successfully achieved listing of the Fly Stables in Stone Street, and both of us have succeeded in also getting Puget’s Cottage and Timpsons listed Grade ll. He and I are presently considering the best way forward to protect 18 Wellington Road from likely demolition.
Trees Hove Civic Society has continued with its ambitious street tree planting scheme which the Commission supports and did contribute towards for last year’s planting. Also we have funded the Rottingdean Preservation Soc for the Jubilee Tree, which has now been planted at The Grange. Other plantings the Commission has initiated are in Clarence Square and shortly in Windlesham Road. Also in May two elm saplings grown by me, with Waitrose’s agreement were planted in their car park, stakes and straps supplied by Neil Brothers of BHCC.Cllr .Denise Cobb Mayor performed the ceremony. Portslade Heritage Centre Duncan Cameron, Neil England, Amanda Scales and myself have been advising on the proposal to the council to allow St Andrew’s Road Old Police Station, closed in 1954, to be an Heritage Centre headed up by Trevor Povey. We are still in discussions with Cllr Penny Gilbey and her colleagues. This could be very exciting for Portslade, the Commission will continue to offer its help and expertise. Heritage Board Southern Railway is working with us to erect at Brighton station an information board showing the city and its conservation areas, fully annotated with photos. We will keep you updated. Affiliates Meetings. Shortly commissioners will arrange a framework of meetings in order for all the affiliates to meet .The suggestion is to have two or three a year. Beacon Hill Hub This is an exciting proposal to revitalise the land round the Rottingdean Windmill and the Ovingdean beach area which are in the SDNP. I have been invited to be part of their group whoch the Commission fully supports. The council have agreed to grant the group a lease. Patcham Place Chris Gargan and his company Kingspan have recently taken a long lease on the house, we are helping him with matching replacement mathematical tiles for the building’s facarde. Heritage Prize Brighton and Hove High School have accepted the Commission’s offer to finance an annual heritage prize to be given to one girl at prize giving. Keith Shaw you must be congratulated for arranging this. Meadow Vale “Save our Deans” The Commission has been asked to take part in the objection to the proposal for building on this farmland which we firmly are backing by taking part in general meetings. It has also instigated the petition for No Building on Green Space before Brownfield Sites which we intend to present to full council when we have 1250 signatures.