Saving the City is the title of a talk for the Festival of Chichester in the Pallant Suite, 7 South Pallant, on Thursday, June 18 at 2.30pm (admission free).
Tim Rooth, the first secretary of the Chichester Society, will discuss the circumstances leading to the formation of the society and its turbulent early years – a period Tim has chronicled in his new book Saving Our City: The Chichester Society in the 1970s. The book, normally £9.95, will be available at a special discount rate of £5 for anyone attending Tim’s talk.
It’s a dramatic tale Tim will tell, the story of the gyratory road system which threatened what many citizens saw as widespread destruction. In response, the Chichester Society was formed to fight to preserve Chichester’s historic city and to fly the flag for the people who lived there in the face of prevailing commercial considerations.
As Tim says, in some ways the Chichester Society joined the fray too late; the city had already incurred significant losses.
But as Tim will argue, the Chichester Society, galvanising a rising tide of public protest, ensured that a great deal more was saved. Without the Chichester Society, we would be looking at a very different Chichester today.
“We started too late, but it was a partial victory,” recalls Tim who was right in the thick of it.