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I've seen the future and it's sooner than you think! A talk by Kevin Tricke...

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The Kingswood Suite, Wakefield Town Hall

Wood Street

Wakefield

WF1 2HQ

United Kingdom

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Civic societies were established out of a concern for the built environment. In the 1950s and 60s, post-war planners and developers stood accused of tearing the hearts out of our historic towns and cities. Many fine and much-loved old buildings were being swept away in pursuit of a modernising agenda. Meanwhile population trends and technological developments meant that the ways in which we lived our lives were changing – and rapidly – changes at least in part exemplified by the rise in car ownership. Such lifestyle and technological changes continue today and, if anything, the pace of change is quickening: who in the 1960s could have foreseen the huge changes that would be brought about by our use of the internet? And what are the implications of driverless cars?

Back in 1964, when Wakefield Civic Society was first set up by a group of ‘concerned citizens’ to debate what was happening in the city, buildings such as the old Corn Exchange in Westgate and many other examples of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian architecture had already been lost or were under threat, including in the latter category, parts of St John’s Square which the Society helped to save from the wrecking ball.

The Society still continues to campaign to conserve the best of our historic heritage but recognises that it is neither feasible nor indeed desirable to preserve everything just because it is old: there needs to be a public debate about what to keep and what to let go and, where something is to be demolished, what should take its place. That debate is something that civic societies are well placed to stimulate and to participate in: we can act as ‘honest brokers’ between developers, land owners and planners.

However, to participate in any discussion about the future of our town and city centres, it is vital that civic societies and their committees stay on top of their game: committee members in particular need to be aware of the changes that are happening around us from demographic and technological change through to political and legal changes being proposed by government at national, regional and even local level. Yet many civic societies struggle to find committee members willing to serve and some civic societies have closed down. Although Wakefield Civic Society has an active and lively committee we too need to find the people who will take over as existing committee members step down. Who will be the committee members of the future, not just here in Wakefield but at other civic societies across the country? Are the young still concerned about their built environment and is there still such a thing as ‘civic pride’? If so, how do we tap into that interest and identify the people willing to serve on committees in the years ahead?

As Wakefield Civic Society embarks on a new exercise to consult with its members about the challenges ahead and what sort of organisation they want Wakefield Civic Society to be, this talk by Kevin Trickett, president of Wakefield Civic Society for over 15 years, will highlight some of the issues facing society at large and encourage you to reflect on what’s to come.

Whether or not you are a member of a civic society, this talk should get you thinking about some of the changes that will affect us all.

After the talk, stay behind and chat and discuss some of the issues raised over a complimentary drink.

This is a free event, open to all, but we would appreciate your booking in advance where possible.

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Date and Time

Location

The Kingswood Suite, Wakefield Town Hall

Wood Street

Wakefield

WF1 2HQ

United Kingdom

View Map

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