The Chesham Society: Celebrating 65 Years

Chesham Society 60th Anniversary Timeline

7 August 1957

Meeting held at Val Biro’s home, and decision made to form Chesham Society.

12 November 1957

First committee meeting.


Society campaigns and wins victory preventing inappropriate lighting in High Street.

28 May 1958

Permission granted to demolish Crown Hotel in High Street.


Proposals published for Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


The County Council’s Town Plan proposing prosing road-widening and widespread demolition of Old Town.

December 1960

Decision made not to build relief road to which Society had strongly objected.

March 1961

Society provides suggestions on relieving traffic congestion and saving Town Hall.


Old Town Hall in Market Square demolished.

26 November 1965

Society organises and curates Picture Chesham exhibition.

January 1966

Society supports Local Council’s suggestion of a one-way road system.


Demolition of 37-41 High Street against advice of Society.


Demolition of No.48-52 High Street and construction of original Waitrose store.

November 1968

Conservation Areas for Chesham proposed by County Council.


County Council unveils plan for Chesham Bois bypass, known as the Link Road.


Society helps organise and participates in Millenary Festival to celebrate Chesham’s 1000 years of recorded history.

September 1970

Conservation Areas adopted by County Council Planning Committee.


Mineral Cottage partly demolished.

July 1971

Major clear-up of Captain’s Wood by Society and Natural History Society.

February 1972

Chesham’s sole surviving building of Tudor origin, 35 High Street (Coral Fish Bar), demolished.


56-58 High Street (The Lamb) demolished.


Society issues first edition of newsletter Focus.

March 1973

Non-listed part of Amy Mill demolished.

Summer 1973

First of many members’ barbecues and barn dances.

July 1973

Amy Mill partly demolished.

Late 1973

Society raises awareness of traffic problems, taking Councillors on tour of the Town.

22 April 1974

Society successfully campaigns work to start rebuilding Town Bridge.


Chesham Urban District Council and Amersham Rural District Council combined to form Chiltern District Council.


Society restores ornamental ironwork above gateway leading to St Mary’s Church.

May 1976

Society successfully requests listing of 1 Blucher Street (Climpsons’ Wine Merchants).

Early 1978

The formation of the Chesham Society’s Policy Statement.


First edition of the Town Trail published by Ray Payne and his Special Projects Group.

12 October 1981

Public enquiry begins into Council’s Local Plan for widening and extending St Mary’s Way.


First application to develop old Co-op site at north end of High Street.

March 1984

Report published accepting in principal widening St Mary’s Way.


Waitrose develops old Co-Op site at northern end of High Street.

May 1987

The Chesham Town Centre and Waterside Local Plan becomes a reality thirteen years after first being proposed.

Autumn 1987

Lord’s Mill site largely demolished.


Society successfully appeals against extending Watermeadow carpark onto open space known as the Donkey Land.


Centenary of the Metropolitan Railway coming to Chesham.


High Street becomes part-pedestrianised.


Widened St Mary’s Way becomes operational.


Society organises exhibition of old photographs of Chesham.


Society conducts the Chesham Town Survey.


Society launches first of Chesham Society Awards.


Society successfully challenges extension to west front of St Mary’s Church and advises on interior refurbishment.


Society’s newsletter Focus upgraded and enlarged.


Sainsbury’s submits draft proposal for new superstore.


Society advises on H G Matthews’ conversion of former doctor’s surgery Ivy House, Red Lion Street, into three separate dwellings.

September 1998

Society organises first Heritage Open Day in Chesham, opening The Bury to the public.

Spring 1999

Sainsbury’s development, including The Elgiva and new Town Hall, completed.


Society supports application for purpose-built Mosque in Bellingdon Road.


Society supports permanent relocation of market to High Street.


Jennifer Moss writes history of Chesham Society based on its archive.

November 2000

Society becomes a registered charity.

March 2002

Society attempts to redevelop Market Square.

January 2009

Government establishes High Speed 2 Ltd.

January 2012

Secretary of State for Transport announces that HS2 would go ahead. Society begins campaign to protect Green Belt and AONB.

February 2013

Community orchard planted.

7 September 2013

Society sponsors an evening with Tony Hawks at The Elgiva.

October 2013

Society picks up award at Civic Voice’s Civic Awards Day.

27 February 2014

Society responds to HS2 Environmental Statement.

Summer 2015

Society publishes eight Visions for Chesham in response to District Council’s Local Plan to 2036.

18 November 2015

Change to the Constitution of the Chesham Society.

28 January 2016

Jennifer Moss stands down as President of Chesham Society after more than 40 years work with the Society. Helen Salisbury elected new President.

Summer 2016

MP Cheryl Gillan calls Society’s A Vision of Chesham “exciting”.

Summer 2016

Intellectual property pertaining to A Vision of Chesham is passed to Chesham Community Interest Company.

11 September 2016

Society organises Chesham Heritage Open Day. Twenty-one events attract 3450 visits.


Society joins London Green Belt Council in support of protecting Green Belt.

3 November 2017

Launch of Chesham Renaissance Community Interest Company masterplan.

12 November 2017

Society celebrates 60 years of Putting Chesham First.