The urban landscape of many British towns and cities was transformed during the 1960s and early 1970s and the cathedral city of Chichester in West Sussex was no exception. By the early seventies, ‘slum’ clearance schemes and over-ambitious road plans had already caused irreperable damage and now threatened yet more historic buildings with demolition. This led to an explosion of anger among the local population and, in the autumn of 1973, the formation of The Chichester Society.
Members came from all walks of life, from the local populace and further afield, supported by celebrities who had come to know the city while appearing at the nationally-renowned Chichester Festival Theatre.
Adopting the slogan ‘Save Our City’ the new Society launched a vigorous campaign to draw local and national attention to the threat to Chichester and to persuade the local authorities to scrap their needlessly destructive Town Plan. They argued that more sympathetic planning concepts were urgently called for, which would give less priority to roads and traffic and greater consideration to the quality of life of people living in the city.
This book, by the Society’s first Secretary, recounts the turbulent early years of the Society’s existence, the great Cathedral meeting of 1974, the Eastgate sit-in of the summer of 1976 and its succesful campaigns to save many ancient trees and historic buildings from demolition.