We have been active on several fronts in the last few months. We are liaising with various parties on the future of a number of sites that have strategic importance for Midhurst and surrounding villages, in particular:
the empty site behind the hoardings at The Grange Centre;
Dunford House (Richard Cobden's old home);
the Bailey Unit at the Community Hospital;
Rotherfield Mews, adjacent to the Community Hospital.
We have also taken an interest in what will become of the Bluebell in Cocking.
We have looked at the idea of a swimming pool in Midhurst but that's not at the stage of being considered a campaign!
We will provide details as these campaigns develop.
In March 2018 we invited our members to let us know what issues they felt we should become involved with. We sent out questionnaires covering various topics. It was a healthy response, and gave us encouragement to continue what we started doing in 2017: widening our field of interest beyond just planning. This is what we said to Members:
The composition of your Committee has changed in recent years, and after this year's AGM we will have a new chairperson. Looking to the future, it would be helpful to know what issues members would like the Committee to support. We would be grateful if you could indicate your preferences on the list below. Please feel free to add other items in the blank spaces or on the reverse.
And this is the result, summarised to show the percentage of those who responded were in favour of our involvement. The fact that some topics did not receive a great deal of support should not be seen in negative terms. Those Members may well have been in favour of action; just not by The Midhurst Society. Click Survey Results here
Of course, we cannot promise to make things happen, but as and when appropriate we can present your concerns to the press, the planners, or other interested parties.
Midhurst’s Memorial Hall gets its place in history
WHEN treasured plaques were removed from the Memorial Hall in Midhurst there were fears the historical significance of the much loved old building would be lost forever.
But now thanks to members of the Midhurst Society, its importance has been preserved.
Chairman of the society Sheila Ryan said: “When Capron House and adjoining buildings were acquired by the South Downs Park Authority and were immediately shrouded in builders’ hoarding, there was apprehension in Midhurst, rightly or wrongly, the ‘Memorial Hall’ would lose its historic identity.
“This belief was perhaps exacerbated by the removal from the hall to Midhurst Rother College of the First World War Memorial, together with a memorial to the much respected and long-standing headmaster of the Midhurst Grammar School, NBC Lucas.
“The Midhurst Society, which is always concerned about the preservation of the history of Midhurst’s listed buildings, decided to provide a short record of the history of the Grade II listed Hall and the South Downs National Park Authority welcomed this offer.”
In drawing up the history the society drew on the recollections of its vice-president, Henry Bond, a pupil at the grammar school in the years between the wars, and of Dr Joe Vitagliano, principal of Midhurst Rother College.
And now a framed notice, containing a photograph of the war memorial to grammar school boys killed in the first world war has been handed over to Helene Rossiter, director of corporate services at the SDNPA, and her colleagues by Mrs Ryan who was accompanied by Mr Bond and members of the executive committee of the society.
The notice will hang on the wall formerly occupied by the war memorial as a reminder to everyone of the part played by the hall over its long history since its construction in 1821 as SCHOLA GRAMMATICALIS.
“Importantly,” said Mrs Ryan, “the notice confirms that in its new existence as part of the SDNPA headquarters the ‘Memorial Hall’ will continue to be known as such.”
As it appeared in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer.