PSMCA NEWSLETTER 2020
PLYMPTON ST. MAURICE CIVIC ASSOCIATION
We would like to begin by saying how much we appreciate the work that many of our members have done on our behalf, from the mowing of Barn Meadow, the boat in Dark Street Lane, our troughs and work in the Non-Conformist Cemetery, Pathfields and the green spaces which are so important to us, especially at this time. We have witnessed the St Maurice community spirit and many acts of kindness during these difficult times. Our thanks have been echoed by the RHS who sent us this week a Certificate of Recognition for our continuing participation and successes in Britain in Bloom.
Remembrance Sunday has been acknowledged with a wreath being laid at the Plympton St. Maurice Memorial. We are hoping to repeat the Advent Windows which proved so popular last year. Look out too for the Santa Trailer which has become a part of our Christmas festivities.
We have a good working relationship with our councillors, Plymouth City Council, Historic England, the Georgian Group and Devon Gardens Trust. There are several concerns such as the entrance to Barn Meadow and the state of the Castle Mound and we are grateful to those who bring issues to our attention. However, we appreciate that at this difficult time, to achieve results is not easy but rest assured we will continue to push our case.
We have responded to the Government White Paper on new planning proposals. It is important that the character of the Conservation Area with its setting is protected. We try to represent the views of our residents in responding to planning applications, such as the application to build in the East Field of Plympton House
We take great pleasure to let the community know that the Old Grammar School (Joshua Reynolds Centre) will be opening as a Community Hub. Everyone is encouraged to make this happen and for more information please contact the following email address:
AN UPDATE FROM SMaRRT (St. Maurice against Rat Run Traffic)
We’re all looking forward to seeing the Christmas windows being done by residents of St Maurice. We’re so lucky to have such a beautiful conservation area to live in, but how many of us are aware that the area is under threat?
The ancient streets and buildings many graded and rich in history – are national treasures going back many hundreds of years. They risk irreparable damage unless something is done to stop the area being used as a rat-run.
Since 2005 a lot of work has gone on by a group of volunteers who have been researching and negotiating with various bodies to try and ensure that the growth of traffic through the conservation area is curtailed. This isn’t a NIMBY move. It’s a move to try and halt the damage that is being done to buildings so that future generations can admire the national architectural treasures that we tend to take for granted in Plympton St Maurice. Because unless traffic is controlled, many of the buildings, already showing signs of stress as traffic roars along roads built in the11th century, will not only cause huge risk to historic buildings, but also to residents who live in the area.
To this end, SMaRRT has been formed, and has spent over £7,000 raised from private donations and contributions from the PSMCA consulting with a nationally recognised traffic specialist consultancy as well as our own councillors and MP to try and find a way to halt the increase in traffic. The work put in has been enormous and is on-going. The process is very slow and often disheartening to those who have spent many hours trying to find a solution. Not least trying to ensure that the £25k s106 funds, (promised for traffic management by Plymouth City Council related to Sherford) will be spent on previously agreed measurers to lessen traffic.
The work being undertaken requires expensive expertise. Unless funding is found, well you know the answer. The streets will become busier, noisier, the buildings will suffer and in years to come our children may turn round and say “Why didn’t you do something to save the area?”
Fundraising at this time, at any time, is tough. But SMaRRT is looking at ways to do this, whether it’s through crowd funding, grant making facilities, private donations, Christmas sales – anything. Every £ raised is an opportunity to preserve this historic conservation area. So we hope, while you enjoy the Christmas windows, you’ll also value the buildings and do your best in some way to help keep them safe for future generations. If we don’t do something, no one else will. If you want to support in any way, please contact:-
AN UPDATE FROM FROGS (FRIENDS OF PLYMPTON GUILDHALL)
Although the pandemic has caused us to suspend most of the events in the Guildhall there was a brief period when some activities resumed. We were even thinking about starting up the Pop-Up Cinema. Alas that will now have to be shelved for the immediate future.
Those of you who managed to see inside the Guildhall will have seen the magnificent redecoration of the entrance hall and stairwell. This included varnishing the floor boards, stripping the doors and frames, replacing the skylight and hanging another chandelier. During the course of these works considerable damp ingress was discovered under the stairs. A damp course has been inserted and the rotten woodwork replaced. The vast majority of the work was undertaken by Andy Cooper to whom the FROGS again owe a great debt of gratitude.
Externally you may have noticed that Plymouth City Council provided a cherry picker during the summer to inspect the upper chamber roof and to carry out some much needed repairs. PCC are due to return to do further work on the roof. I would like to thank the committee members who liaised with PCC over this and would particularly like to thank Rachel Broomfield.
I would also like to thank our new neighbours who have been redeveloping the old Foresters. They have provided access to guttering and have generally been supportive of our efforts.
In terms of the long term redevelopment, we would like to acknowledge the enormous contribution from Hilary Bracegirdle in getting our initial application for lottery funding approved. We are now into the second of three stages of funding. Inevitably the process has now ground to a halt for obvious reasons.
PSMCA - AGM
Our constitution states that we will hold an AGM in January of each year. Given the “unprecedented circumstances” that currently affect us all and heeding to the Governments Guidelines on Social Distancing etc it is unlikely, if not impossible, to hold this event in the normal manner. With this in mind, we are working on alternative ways of holding the AGM so that all members can still witness and contribute accordingly.
We will update our website as soon as we have a way ahead with this so please keep an eye on it for this information and all other information relating to things going on in our beautiful village.
Thank you all for your continued support.
www.plymptonstmaurice.com or visit us on our Facebook page (search Plympton St Maurice Civic Association).