On Thursday 14th September, the Lord Mayor of Chester, Razia Daniels, formally opened the Exhibition to celebrate 50 years since local authorities could designate 'Conservation Areas'. This has enabled them to exercise control over what was demolished, what should be refurbished, and what new developments were permissable.
The Exhibition is in the Weslyan Centre on St John Street, Chester. Just past the main Post Office, and opposite M&S's side entrance. It runs until 7th October and is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. There is no entrance charge. 73 printed images are on display, and 170 images run as a slide show.
The rev. Neil Stacey welcomed visitors to the Weslyan centre. About 35 society members attended, together with many from the Civic Trust. Stephen Langtree, who heads the Trust, explained the origins of the Act of Parliament that enabled Conservation Areas, and showed how Cheshire and Chester have been at the forefront in using these important powers. There are currently some 96 such areas in Cheshire West and Chester, with a 97th about to be announced.
The Lord Mayor opened the exhibition, and presented awards. The judges were Mike Reed, Derek Meredith, Ian Lawrence and Patrick Faleur.
The talks were rounded off with the architectural firm responsible for the design of the restored Weslyan Centre, Donald Insall Associates, explaining their approach to the design.
The winner of both the Print judging, and the Projected Images, was Richard Barrett. Since the two categories were judged by different members, and came to independent views, this is a very impressive achievement. Members who also received certificates of commendation were: Rob Adams, Ian Atkinson, John Beavan, Sue Champion, Mike Coe, Jeff Ewin, Den Fawcett, Keith Fitzpatrick, Chris Jones, Graham Latter, Bill Marks, David Melville, Ron Rose, Peter Turner, Owen Watkins and Jan Wilding.
The Centre is an impressive Church and meeting facility right in the centre of Chester. The Photographic Society are grateful to the Chester Civic Trust and the Weslyan Centre for being able to use this occassion to demonstrate their work.