Brief History of Peebles Civic Society
In 1972 the County Council of Peeblesshire, the Planning Authority at that time, proposed the demolition of the whole of “The Bank House” (or “Buchan’s Corner”, as it was popularly known). This was to be part of the Cuddy Bridge widening scheme.
The possibility of losing this important building at the west end of the High Street aroused widespread opposition. The building was highly valued in the community because of its architectural merit and historical association with the Buchan family, especially Walter, John and Anna. In 1973 the Society was borne of the community protest against the scheme, with the intention of creating a local organisation that would seek to protect and enhance the Burgh’s built environment.
In its constitution the following aims and objects are listed:
1. To encourage interest in the past, present and future of Peebles.
2. To encourage the preservation, improvement and development of amenity in and around Peebles.
3. To encourage high standards of architecture and planning in accordance with item 2.
4. To promote wide public participation in the formulation of planning decisions.
5. To pursue these ends by means of any or all of the following methods: - Meetings – Exhibitions – Lectures – Publications – representation to Local Authorities, etc.
Chairman Charles Blacklaw
Secretary William Goodburn
Treasurer Angus Drummond
Members Ian Jenkins, Robert Morton, Peter Norris, E L Smith, R D Strachan, George Thomson.
The core work of the Committee has been to comment on planning applications, to seek to influence structure and local plans, and to arrange public meetings to discuss planning issues.
Other important initiatives have included:
a) The publication of a Town Walk leaflet.
b) The publication of “The Bridges of Peebles”.
c) Mounting exhibitions: The Listed Buildings of Peebles
Peebles High Street
d) Assembling at the Millennium a photographic record of the Burgh (the volumes of photographs are lodged in Peebles Library).
e) Publishing an “Appraisal of the Peebles Conservation Area”.
f) Encouraging the Planning Authority to extend the Conservation Area and to tighten the policies that control window replacements.
g) Establishing the “Postcard for Peebles” annual competition (10 postcards created so far).
h) Working with SBC to achieve an accurate and complete definition of Common Good land assets.
i) Tree Planting
There were 58 members in 1973. This had increased to 100 in 1985 and 200 by 1988. Since then it has remained at around 260.
An annual report detailing the Society’s activities is presented at the AGM in October of each year. Copies of the last two are included in this web site
A new programme of Public Meetings will be published in October / November 2013.