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Aside from our public meetings and responding to various major planning applications and other significant planning applications, here is what else has been happening at the Society:
 

Eden Street Mural


The mural can be found on the outside wall of the old British Home Stores [BHS] building in Eden Street, roughly opposite the Old Post Office. The mural was designed, modelled and installed by Maggie Humphrey, a ceramic artist from North Wales. It is a bas-relief, of 67 main pieces, made in glazed and fired stoneware clay. Its overall size is 2.75 m by 1.3 m [9 ft by 4.25 ft]. Commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, it was unveiled by the Mayor, Councillor Frank Steptoe in November 1985. The top section shows Anglo-Saxon kings, of which two, and possibly seven, were crowned in Kingston. The middle section depicts the River Thames, an important part of Kingston’s history. The bottom panels show some of the buildings and characters of Eden Street, formally Heathen Street, described by George William Aylliffe in 1914, and based on contemporaneous articles in the Surrey Comet. More about two of the residents featured in the mural, John Slawson, a baker, and John Rowles, a chimney sweep, can be found in a history of Eden Street at www.kingstonhistoryresearch.co.uk The mural reminds us that Eden Street once had a much greater population, with far more diverse occupations, than today.

The old BHS building will be demolished in the redevelopment of Eden Walk. While the timescale for this is unclear, already some shops on the site are empty, and it is important that the new Council puts in place some plans carefully to transfer the mural elsewhere in the Royal Borough where it can continue to be enjoyed by the residents and visitors alike. The Old Post Office, currently being refurbished, has been suggested as a suitable place for relocation of the mural.

If you are concerned about the future of this public artwork, which is part of our heritage, please let Councillor Liz Green [Leader of the Council] and Councillor Malcolm Self [portfolio holder for Culture and Heritage] know this. Respectively, their email addresses are Liz.Green@kingston.gov.uk and Malcolm.Self@kingston.gov.uk 
David A. Kennedy
 

Chairman's Message

December 2017

I would like to welcome our new members, as well as those who have been loyal supporters of the Society for many years.

The Society has been recently consulted upon a series of very large and important developments and plans across the Borough. We are trying to cope with responding to them, and making constructive comments. This work is set to continue as never before.

We have vacancies on the Committee. If you would like to join the Committee, to inject some fresh blood and ideas, thus ensuring that the Society continues to be a force to be reckoned with by both the Council and others - please get in touch.

 

Anthony Evans

 

Tony Leitch Townscape Awards 2017

Our bi-annual Townscape Awards event in October was a great success.
You can read more about it here


 

An Urban Room For Kingston?

Photo: The New London Model at the NLA, The Building Centre © Agnese SanvitoThe New London Model at the NLA, The Building Centre © Agnese Sanvito

Members of the Kingston Society will be well aware of the unprecedented development pressures facing the borough. And yet there is no dedicated space where individual development schemes for Kingston or a strategic overview can be presented and communicated to the public. A neutral forum where residents can engage with planning proposals, and developers and the council can communicate and consult about their plans, seems desperately needed. This would ensure that residents can positively contribute to the changes to their neighbourhoods, and reduce the risk of bad developments happening. This is the role of an urban room; to provide a space where proposals can be discussed, ideas generated and plans developed. A model, virtual or actual, could help to give context and highlight possible linkages. Individual planning applications could be shown, with separate displays for large scale developments. It could also provide a rich educational resource for local schools and colleges. 

There are around twenty urban rooms in the UK both permanent and temporary, linked by the Place Alliance's Urban Room Network, www.urbanroomsnetwork.wordpress.com

The Kingston Residents Alliance and the Kingston upon Thames Society support the idea of an urban room for Kingston. Other potential supporters/partners are being approached, including the University of Kingston, with a view to setting up a working group to explore the feasibility of the proposal, and its aims and objectives, and what form a Kingston Urban Room might take. Those interested in helping to take forward a Kingston urban room are cordially invited to get in touch with Peter Karpinski at pkarpinski@blueyonder.co.uk