The Chesham Society: Celebrating 65 Years

The Appearance of the High Street

The appearance of the High Street has always been important to the Chesham Society. The proposed installation of unsympathetic street lighting was on the agenda of the very first committee meeting in November 1957 when the Council wanted to install concrete lampposts with fluorescent lamps.

Throughout the 1970s it fought a prolonged battle for shopfronts commensurate to the scale and character of the Town Centre Conservation Area. In 1974, for example, the Society made its feeling known for the new shop at 56-58 High Street, now Boots, which wanted to impose its corporate style on the site that had once been the quaint The Lamb public house. Boots agreed to use small bricks, rather than standard ones, to match those used on nearby premises and it altered the building’s rear fire escape to a more attractive spiral one.

 Elsewhere the Society had considerable success in pressing for the preservation and the matching of existing frontages and rooflines.

It has been less successful in eliminating illuminated signs in the High Street but there has over the intervening years been a measure of self-regulation prompted by examples of good practice in other areas.