CIVIC AWARDS 2017

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Most of us live in a world of buildings;  they are all around us and a part of the landscape.  It is important to us therefore that they should, as far as possible, be attractive to look at, well designed and suitable for their purpose.  To be surrounded by ugly monstrosities can be very depressing and can affect our quality of life.  Many buildings will also carry memories for us; a school, place of work or a church where we were married, for example.   Some are of historic interest or add character or beauty to their area.

 

For these reasons buildings may have an importance beyond their practical use, or if no longer required for the purpose for which they were originally constructed.

 

Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic  Society does its best to highlight buildings which it believes are of significant merit to be worthy of preservation for the enjoyment and education of future generations, and lobbies to protect them if they become under threat from development.  We are not always successful, sometimes practical considerations overrule sentiment, but in many cases we are listened to.

 

In addition to this, we have  also inaugurated a scheme by which, in active co-operation with Newcastle Borough Council, we make bi-annual awards to encourage and reward examples of good design and workmanship for new developments, both commercial and residential, and tasteful refurbishment of older properties.  If you know of any such construction, completed during the last two years, which you feel should be considered for such an award, please let us know.

 

Municipal Hall Clock – Your thoughts ?

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This locally made clock, by Skerrett in 1890, is currently on display for all to see in the town library. It is an important symbol of our town’s heritage and Civic pride. The library was built on the site of the old Municipal Hall and that iconic building’s demolition was the impetus for the founding of the Newcastle -under-Lyme Civic Society in 1968.

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Now a new “Civic Hub” is being built on the adjacent site of a recently demolished landmark Victorian school next to the Queen’s Gardens and the library will be moved into part of that new building. The space allocated for the library service is much smaller than it has at present. Consequently the future of the clock is now in doubt as space will be at a premium.

 

Civic Society members fervently believe that the clock should be prominently displayed in the “Civic Hub”. This view is supported by our local Member of Parliament, Paul Farrelly.

If this is not possible alternative sites within the town centre will need to be considered.

What do you think ?

Let us know where you think the clock should be displayed so that it can remain on view for everyone admire.

Did You Know ?

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There has been a planning application submitted (16/00933/FUL) to demolish the former Savoy Cinema in the centre of Newcastle and to build an 11 storey block of student accommodation in its place. This site is in the Newcastle Town Centre Conservation Area, adjacent to our iconic Guildhall and in close proximity to St Giles Church.

The unsympathetic height, mass and design of the proposed building is unlikely to compliment  or enhance the centre of our market town which consists mainly of three storey Georgian / Victorian buildings.

The Civic Society is strongly objecting to these proposals.

If you feel that this proposed development will detract from the character, ambiance and domestic scale of our Town Centre Conservation Area we urge you to make your views known too.

For further information visit –

publicaccess.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk and type Savoy in the search box

Sir Joseph Cook GCMG New Blue Plaque

Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society is pleased to recognise another distinguished local resident with the installation of  a Commemorative Blue Plaque on his former residence at 86, Newcastle Street, Silverdale. To find out more about Sir Joseph Cook’s extraordinary life we highly recommend the recently re-launched biography  “Pit Boy to Prime Minister” by G. Bebbington.

 

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Heritage Open Days 9th – 11th September 2016

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Heritage Open Days – 9th – 11th September 2016

Visit and learn about local places of interest free of charge !

The following places are open during the Heritage Open Days. See each listing for opening times.

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Newcastle Cemetery, Lymewood Grove, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 2EH

Newcastle Cemetery Chapel will be open from 10.00am to 3.00pm on Saturday 10th September.

Members of Newcastle Civic Society will be in attendance to talk about the chapel and the Society.

Newcastle Cemetery Chapel is a Victorian Grade II listed building of architectural and historical interest. It is set on a hill just outside the town centre in 33 acres of burial ground surrounded by trees and shrubs.  The interior has a beamed ceiling, half tiled with Minton tiles and is set out with wooden pews and chairs indicative of the era.

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Unitarian Meeting House, Lower Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 2UA

Unitarian Meeting House will be open from 11.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 10th September.

Non-conformist meeting house or chapel built in 1717 in the shadow of the Parish Church (St Giles) original building dated c.1650 burnt down by rioting mob. Attended by master potter Josiah Wedgwood and Joseph Priestley: chemist, theologian and discoverer of oxygen. Charles Darwin also known to have visited.

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St Giles Parish Church, Church Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 1QS

St Giles Church will be open from 9.00am to 12.00 on Friday 9th September and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 10th September.

Soaring architecture, glorious glass and many notable features including Medieval Pelican lectern, fine organ and churchwarden’s chest. This beautiful Gilbert Scott church has many gems. This year see the work undertaken with Heritage Lottery Fund to improve and beatify the church grounds and show to great advantage the fine collection of memorial stones.

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Holy Trinity Catholic Church, London Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 1LQ

Holy Trinity will be open from 10.30am to 5.00pm on Saturday 10th September.

Built in 1834 in blue brick, an outstanding example of local Gothic architecture, with original altars and fittings, stained glass and other features, including life size statues of St John Fisher and St Thomas More, with engraving by Eric Gill. A church of national importance as it was one of the first Catholic churches built on a main road after the Catholic Emancipation Act. Open this weekend for visitors to explore. Guide book and parish history available. Church has been extensively repaired and re-decorated, including a new (restored) pipe organ. This year we are celebrating the 400th anniversary of local martyr, Blessed Thomas Maxfield, born in Red Street Chesterton, and who was put to death in Newgate in 1616. There will be a display of information about his life and death available in church, and the Martyrs Chapel contains a relic of his forearm bone, brought from Spain in 2000.

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St Margaret’s Church, Church Lane, Wolstanton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 0EH

St Margaret’s Church, Wolstanton will be open from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 10th September.

There will be tours within the church and churchyard, advice on researching the baptismal, marriage and burial records and two special exhibitions – the centenary of the Battle of the Somme 1916 and the soldiers from the Wolstanton area that fought and died there and the life and achievements of James Brindley. 2016 is the 300th anniversary of his birth and the 250th anniversary of the cutting of the first sod for the Trent and Mersey Canal. James Brindley and Anne Henshaw were married at St Margaret’s Church on 8th December 1765.

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Keele Hall, University of Keele, Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 5BG

Keele Hall will be open from 10.00am to 3.30pm on Sunday 11th September.

The Keele estate was owned by the Sneyd family from 1540 to 1949. The first Keele Hall was built in 1580 and was rebuilt to the design of the celebrated Victorian architect Anthony Salvin in 1855-1860. It is a Grade II listed building. In 1949 the University College of North Staffordshire was founded on the site, which received the Royal Charter as Keele University in 1962. Keele Hall houses an outstanding collection of Mason Ironstone ceramics.

The Raven Mason Collection in Keele Hall outlines the development of Mason ceramics. Curator Harry Frost will be available and offers a free identification service for ceramic items.

There will be guided tours of the heritage areas of Keele Hall.

The Chapel is open to visitors around service times (i.e. afternoon only). Designed by George Pace and consecrated in 1965, it is the first purpose-designed ecumenical place of worship in the UK.

The campus has over 600 acres of landscaped grounds, farmland, woodland and University buildings and facilities.

There are leaflets for self-guided walks around the campus and arboretum. The arboretum includes a national collection of cherry trees.

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Kidsgrove Heritage Walk

Starting at Harecastle Tunnel, Kidsgrove Canal, Kidsgrove, ST7 1EA at 10.45am on Saturday 10th September.

James Brindley was one of the country’s most famous engineers. With his pals Josiah Wedgwood and Erasmus Darwin, he was responsible for bringing the Trent & Mersey canal into being. The mile and a half long Harecastle tunnel where our walk starts is acknowledged to be one of his finest achievements, although sadly he did not live to see its completion.

This heritage walk, in the company of a knowledgeable and engaging local historian, takes you from the mouth of the tunnel that bears his name, to his final resting place at St James Church in Newchapel. Your guide will regale you with stories of the life and achievements of Mr Brindley along with other fascinating insights into local history. If you are very lucky, the great man himself may even join you for the walk !

Nearby Kidsgrove Library in The Avenue will have a display of local history books available to peruse before and after the walk.

The walk is about 4 miles long (round trip) with a slight incline at the end and 4 stiles to negotiate. Much of it is along paths but the final section crosses a field so may be muddy if it has rained. Sensible footwear and suitable clothing is recommended. This event is NOT SUITABLE for children under the age of 5.

PRE-BOOKING IS PREFERRED

BOOKING CONTACT – Trudi Barnard – Call 07946 339110    or  Email  gokidsgrove@gmail.com

Booking closes 2.00pm Friday 9th September

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