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The Formation

The Chertsey Society was formed in Autumn 1960 by a group of likeminded local residents who were concerned that the historic character of the town was being eroded by sequential replacement of notable local landmarks. The threatened demolition, approved by Chertsey UDC but resisted by SCC of Denmark House in Windsor Street in 1957, provided a catalyst.  Eventually a meeting was convened at Curfew House, the home of the Medd family in October 1960. The meeting was extensively reported in The Surrey Herald (see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curfew House (left) and Denmark House, Windsor Street

 

 

Extract from the SURREY HERALD 21st OCTOBER 1960

COUNCIL GIVES A BLESSING TO THE NEW CHERTSEY SOCIETY BUT THERE MAY BE TROUBLE AHEAD

With eyes wide open to the possibility of future disputes between them, Chertsey Council and the newly constituted Chertsey Society set off resolutely down the path to peaceful co-existence at the Society’s first meeting last week.
After lengthy discussion, the Society decided that its objects should be:

  • To encourage preservation, development and improvements of a kind which will ensure Chertsey is a pleasant place in which to live and work.
  • To stimulate public consciousness and appreciation of the beauty, history and character of the neighbourhood and its surroundings.
  • To promote the study of civic design.
  • To pursue these ends by such means as meetings, lectures, study groups, exhibitions and publications.

The society would have no political or religious activities and should be a non-profit making, it was decided.
Among the first to speak at the meeting was Councillor R Lowther, Chairman of the Council’s Public Relations Committee. As a specially invited guest, he conveyed the Council's full blessing on the meeting. He said it was a particular pleasure to address the Society, for he shared its aims and objects. He said no doubt that from time to time, the Council and the Society would have differing viewpoints, but he welcomed it as being unlike so many similar societies which were formed purely to attack the local authority.
Mr Lowther said the objects of the Society fell mainly into two streams: architectural and historic and preceding generations of Chertsey citizens had failed to safeguard the town’s history.