Finding out more about the society that champions Midhurst

The Midhurst Society’s aim is to enhance the experience of living, working and visiting Midhurst and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 8:02 am

The society was founded 60 years ago in response to the widespread post-war development.

Harvey Tordoff is vice-chairman of The Midhurst Society, he said: “Not all of it was sensitive to the architectural and cultural history of this ancient town. For example, in 1966 the splendid Victorian Public Hall in North Street (later the Orion Cinema) was demolished to make way for an ugly supermarket.

“For the first 30 years or so we fought rear-guard actions, lodging complaints against what we saw as inappropriate planning applications.

History leaflets published by Midhurst Society

“With the advent of better planning laws, and the establishment of the South Downs National Park (replacing the old AONB) our involvement with planning issues became less critical, but we still find plenty to say on major applications.”

The society gives regular talks on local issues along with publishing a magazine.

Over the years the society has become more proactive donating seats and trees in public spaces.

It has also published books on Midhurst, along with a collection of history leaflets that are still freely available as downloads from its website.

Dave Woods (Tesco Store Manager, Midhurst) and Harvey Tordoff, placing a defibrillator in North Street

Harvey said: “More recently, we installed two defibrillators; one in the Cowdray sports pavilion; the other a joint partnership with Tesco in North Street.

“We are working with SDNPA on a project to improve a riverside footpath to ‘easy access’ standards, allowing wheelchair and buggy users to enjoy this tranquil part of the town.”

Its website has grown to become a valuable resource for researches and residents with sections on history, listed buildings, society news, its talks programme, and details of campaigns and planning proposals.

Harvey said: “Above all, we encourage a sense of community and civic pride. We would like to encourage all who share our values to support our work, either by becoming members, buying our magazines, or by following us on Facebook.”

Audience for a public talk hosted by The Midhurst Society at the South Downs Memorial Hall, North Street

For more information and to apply to be a member, visit midhurstsociety.org.uk