Elves & Flower Fairy Day at Nature’s World

Tees Valley Community Foundation has teamed up with Hands On Middlesbrough to provide funding for the Friends of Nature's World, in Acklam, Middlesbrough, to buy gardening tools to help in their conservation work at the site. Pictured, seated left, is Friends of Nature's World Chair, Scarlet Pink along with some of the project volunteers.

The Friends of Nature’s World recently received some funding from Tees Valley Community Foundation for tools to help us maintain the gardens and water features at (the former) Nature’s World. We had previously been bringing our own from home, as we did not have access to tools onsite or even a space to sit down and have a cup of tea. We spent many a winters day wet, cold and huddled over a flask of tea to pass around a team of about 5 people. How things have changed in 2 years, as we now have a base in the tea room which is warm in the winter and cool in the summer and we have a team of about 15 regular volunteers. We have also been granted some access to council tools (for the time being), but thankfully funding from Tees Valley Community Foundation means that we can be secure with our own tools for the future.

To celebrate a successful summer, Friends of Nature’s World are hosting a Pixies, Elves & Fairies event. So come along make some fairy wands, plant some wild flowers and make some fairy and dinosaur worlds outside the Tea Room area at Nature’s World, Sandy Flatts Lane on the 28th July 11am – 2pm. There will be face painting, arts and crafts, fairy cakes and live music from well-known folk singers Sara Dennis and Marie Marx.

Elves, Pixies and Fairy Fancy Dress welcome!

Please be aware only the area around the tea room is open to the public for this event. This event is FREE but donations are welcome on the day. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Volunteers Enjoy Fruits of Clean up at Middlesbrough’s former Nature’s World-26th July 2016, The Northern Echo

Albert Park and Owld ‘Enry by Victor Wood

 Environment and Heritage

There has to be more to a town than just houses, retail outlets and their concomitant carparks. Each preserved green space within the town is an oasis a place of relief in what, otherwise, would be a homogenised urban landscape

Also for a town to be a community, to have a sense of self identity, it has to cherish its heritage and honour the people and be aware of historical events which have shaped its character.

Without these green spaces and a sense of heritage a town is, indeed, just a ‘desert with windows’

In Middlesbrough we have a beautiful green space which has so many pleasant associations for so many people and that is Albert Park. In addition, this park is closely associated with a man who possibly played the most important part in making Middlesbrough what it is.


Four generations in Albert Park

My daughter, My two Grandsons, My Mother, Myself

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Albert Park will always have a special place in my heart as, no doubt, it has in the hearts of many other Middlesbroughians. It was a place to go. A place we never got tired of. It had a recreation ground, a roller skating rink, a boating lake. For me, a kid from the garden-less, flagstoned terraces at the Newport end of Cannon Street, it had , above all, ‘proper green grass’. Not the coarse stringy stuff which we knew on “Cooper Common “or the even courser dull coloured variety where Billingham Beck joined the River  Tees   but, proper soft, green grass, the sort you could nestle your face in.

Although I live a little way out of Middlesbrough now I still visit the Park a few times each year. It’s almost a ‘pilgrimage’. Having taken my own children. I now take my grandchildren. It has such happy childhood memories for me that, half a century on, a stroll through Albert Park on a sunny afternoon can still chase away the blues.

I was delighted to read recently my daughter posting on FaceBook about her run in Albert Park

“Achieved my dream of taking 10mins off my first ever Parkrun time!! Especially lovely to be in Albert Park a place of many happy memories with several generations of the Fox Wood family”

I would add she drives all the way from Easington, County Durham to take her exercise in Albert park

 A Place of Happy Associations

Mention Albert Park and, more often than not, a happy association will be recounted. This is the sort of place it was, and, hopefully still is.

Ralph Davison

Ralph Davison was the Chief Constable of Middlesbrough from 1956 and then led the Teesside Constabulary which took over from 1968. In 1974 this force too was subsumed into the larger Cleveland Constabulary headed by Ralph Davison until his retirement in 1976. (Thus he was the last Chief Constable of Middlesbrough, the only Chief Constable of Teesside and the first Chief Constable of Cleveland.)

When he was serving with the Liverpool Police Force he regularly came home to visit his mother who was in North Ormesby Hospital and was greatly taken by Joyce Smith. who was nursing her. A stroll through Albert Park was the ideal opportunity to proffer the engagement ring to Joyce, which was accepted.

Clare Rymer

Clare’s story is typical of the warm memories associated with this veritable oasis of greenery.

My grandfather, Henry Rymer, was born in the house at the front of Albert Park as his father, also Henry, was Park Curator. I loved as a child listening to all the stories granddad told me about how really it was his back garden. He met my grandmother there whilst she was out walking one day. He took her to the greenhouses and presented her with an orchid they were growing. She must have been impressed as she married him!

Terry Greenberg

Terry grew up in Midlesbrough in the 1920s and 30s

Albert Park was a wonderful place for us. There was the playground, with its slides and swings, plenty of grass for rounders and meeting kids from other schools. You could watch tennis, bowls and putting. Early Sunday morning, my father would call me to go for a walk with him to the Park, he swinging his fancy walking stick (which I used later, with less style, when I was wounded in the leg). On Sunday afternoons, those of the age would parade in their Sunday best to those sitting on the benches near the main entrance.

Fishing for tiddlers in the Park lake was a favourite pastime. Sometimes, we stretched too far out and fell in the water. Some were lucky enough to have good toy yachts and toy motor boats. My yacht was always flopping on its side, so I had difficulty in retrieving it.

Those who could afford it would take a ride on the rowing boats at the back of Albert Park across from Park Vale Road. There was a huge, open area with plenty of goalposts. Every patch was free for the taking by whoever got there first. Of course, there were a few tiffs here and there. On Saturdays, we would watch the big local lads. I remember one star called Bozomato. On Sundays, a group of us, all shapes and sizes, would arrive with a full size football. The big local lads would turn up in their best Sunday suits and caps and kick a ball around, as if they weren’t supposed to be doing it.

Near the main entrance was the Dorman Museum. I liked the exhibits of flies, with warnings of the sickness they could bring. The stuffed animals were awesome.

On the wall near the Park entrance were the names of those who fell during World War I. We found there, the name of my mother’s cousin, David Smollan.

Dorman Memorial Museum

Terry’s mention of the Dorman Museum also resonates because, for many of us, the museum and the park went together. You never visited one without visiting the other. In the main foyer there was a stuffed lion forever eating a zebra . Also, like Terry, many of us would find the name of a family member lost in the First World War in my case my great uncle, Thomas William Fox.

The third attraction forever associated with a trip to the park for me was Forbes Bakery on the corner of Parliament Road and Linthorpe Road. Part of the ritual, when returning home along Parliament Road , was smelling the bread being baked wafting out the ventilators.

Old Pals Reunited in the Only Appropriate Place

So when two of us who grew up in adjoining streets off Cannon Street in the 1940s and 50s decided to meet up again where could the venue be? It could not be in our home area. It is long gone. The A66 runs over the top of it. Of course it had to be in the Dorman Museum followed by a stroll through the Park to talk over old times.

victor wood albert pk2

‘Owld ‘Enry

In May 2005, taking photos in the park I was somewhat disconcerted to hear a youngish man say to his child, ”Eeh, looka that fella’s ‘ead in a cage.” I was a bit more gratified to hear a later older passerby comment affectionately, ”Ah…There’s owld ‘Enry”.

Indeed it is ‘owld ‘Enry or, to be more exact, a bust of Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow placed now behind a protective wire grid. It is close to the main entrance of the Park because it was Bolckow who gave the Park to Middlesbrough.

victor wood albert pk3

 Henry Bolckow

Henry Bolckow was a born on December 6th, 1806 in Sulten a small town in North Germany. not far from Rostock, a port on the Baltic coast. At the age of fifteen he went to work in a shipping office in Rostock where he made friends with a colleague, Christian Allhusen. Christian had a brother in the corn business in Newcastle-U-Tyne and he left Rostock to work there. He sent a letter back to Henry Bolckow along the lines of ‘this is the place to be if you want to earn a bob or two.’

So Henry went off to Newcastle where he did indeed make a bob or two having risen to the position of junior partner in the Allhusen Company. In Newcastle he met John Vaughan manager of the Walker Iron Works . They became firm friends and married sisters. It may have been this connection which brought them together

Bolckow had the capital and Vaughan had the expertise and together the two decided to venture into the iron trade. The place they chose for their new business was Middlesbrough which was ideally placed on a river with a railway connection close to the Durham coalfield and limestone deposits in Cleveland. So in 1840 a small iron works was built in Vulcan Street. Although they would not have realised it at the time, Bolckow and Vaughan were probably the saviours of the new town of Middlesbrough which was a mere decade old.

The Birth of Industrial Teesside

If Teesside were to celebrate a collective ‘birthday’ then it would have to be September 27th because it was on this date in 1825 that the Stockton and Darlington Railway opened. This was the beginning of industrial Teesside. Originally the railway had been built to transport coal from the mines of South West Durham to sell in Darlington, Stockton and North Yorkshire. The export potential of the Tees was soon exploited and coal was shipped out to further destinations.

The Vision of Joseph Pease

A Darlington Quaker, Joseph Pease, realised that extending the railway further down-river, where the water was deeper, would enable bigger ships to be used. The place selected was Middlesbrough probably the least significant hamlet on the River Tees. There seems to be some disagreement as to whether the Stockton-Darlington was the world’s first railway. It all seems to depend on the wording used…first railway or first public railway. However it is indisputable that Middlesbrough was the world’s first ever ‘railway town’ i.e. a town built specifically because of a new railway. The extension of the line to Middlesbrough was completed on 27th December 1830 and the first coals were loaded at the staithes on the 31st January 1831

At first the new town of Middlesbrough prospered. However, its economic success was short lived. Middlesbrough had captured the coal trade from Stockton because of better port facilities but, within a decade, was now losing it by the same logic as a rival company had constructed a railway to Hartlepool on the coast. In 1841 the Stockton & Darlington carried 460,000 tons of coal but the Hartlepool Dock and Railway Company carried 615,000 tons. Joseph Pease could foresee the town he had founded had a bleak future unless it diversified into new industries. He played an influential role in bringing Bolckow and Vaughan to the town.

Eston Ore

I took this photo (May 2005) looking south from the centre of what was the original town of Middlesbrough built in the 1830s. As you can see, sadly, nothing of it is left. (The ‘town centre’ of Middlesbrough shifted about mile south more than a century ago.)

vic wood albert pk4

Initially Bolckow & Vaughan did not produce iron . They imported pig iron from Scotland and, when they did decide to build their own blast furnace, it was at Witton Park in Durham not at Middlesbrough. The intention was to use the iron deposits found in the coal seams of the local mines. When these proved inadequate ore from Grosmont near Whitby was used. Transporting this ore via Whitby up the coast and the Tees to Middlesbrough, then by railway to Witton Park and then back to Middlesbrough as pig iron. proved costly. So Bolckow and Vaughan commissioned geologist John Marley to look for ore in the hills nearer Middlesbrough. John Marley and John Vaughan discovered a solid rock of bare ironstone 16 feet thick in the Eston Hills. Thereafter the growth of Middlesbrough and indeed Teesside was phenomenal .and Henry Bolckow was the major figure in the new town. He was the first mayor and the first M.P.

Henry Bolckow’s   Gift to the People of Middlesbrough

Albert Park was bought by Henry Bolckow for the people of Middlesbrough. Legal considerations required it to be purchased in the name of Middlesbrough Corporation in its capacity as the Board of Health for the town but it was Bolckow who paid for the land and the cost of the construction and landscaping. The Park was officially opened on August 11th, 1869 by H.R.H. Prince Arthur, the youngest son of Queen Victoria. It had been suggested that the Park be named ‘Bolckow Park’ but he declined the honour and, instead,it was decided to name it for Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. (It was noted that Albert was a ‘fellow Prussian’ )

Commemorating Henry Bolckow

Perhaps it would have been better if Albert Park it had been named Bolckow Park because then, at least, the name would have had some familiarity for the people of Middlesbrough. As it is, there is precious little commemoration to bring him to the modern citizen’s attention. A statue was commissioned. This was erected by the Royal Exchange where, at that time Marton Road met Wilson Street creating a triangular area. In 1925 this triangular area became the station for Middlesbrough Corporation buses and the statue was removed to Albert Park. In 1985 the bus station was closed and the Royal Exchange building demolished. The A66 required part of the area. Exchange Square was constructed out of what had been left. The Council decided to move the statue back to Exchange Square diagonally opposite the railway station.

vic wood albert pk5

Introduction to the Census

The Hands on Middlesbrough group as part of the ‘Cannon Street Revisited’ project is presently producing a website http://cannonstreetarchive.co.uk/ which provides a snapshot of the 1911 census for the residents of Cannon Street and will eventually extend to all the streets radiating from Cannon Street. A number of volunteers are presently examining the 1911 census and other historical sources to present a picture of the residents at that time. 

The 2011 Census is potentially the last census that the Government will be undertaking. With an estimated cost of £460 million to collect, collate and distribute the data collected from 25 million households this expense is considered too high to repeat. If the final cost is around £500 million then that equates to roughly £20 per household.

With all the data that is collected by the Government authorities and other organisations one argument is that this data could be collected from other presently available digital sources. Also, with most of this data being collected by private companies could we expect them to release the data for free? Do government databases actually ‘talk to each other’? Are these databases capturing the data the census provides?

Given that it takes around 10 years to complete the census (years of planning and testing followed by years analysing the data) the benefits of a census to all are considerable.

A brief history of the modern census

Parliament passed the Census Act in 1800 and the first Census of England and Wales was taken on 20th March 1801. The Census Act also applied to Scotland but Scotland’s Census is controlled separate from England and Wales. Ireland’s first census was in 1821. The Census data for the Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin) is within the England and Wales Census collection. With the exception of 1941 a census has been taken every 10 years.

The first census of 1801 relied on information collected from each household by the Overseers of the Poor, aided by constables, tithingmen, headboroughs and other officers of the peace. In Scotland the schoolmasters were made solely responsible for collecting the information. (Source: Office of National Statistics).

With the founding of the General Register Office of England and Wales by the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1836 Thomas Henry Lister was appointed Register General for England and Wales with the responsibility for organising the census passed to him. So the 1841 Census was expanded to collect more data and also implemented the use of household schedules for the first time and was the first one to collect names of individuals.

Sadly, the original household schedules have not survived for the 1841 to 1901 Censuses. Owing to a fortuitous change in the recording and retaining process, the 1911 household schedules with all their valuable details have survived.

As the census developed the number of questions expanded and more accurate responses were requested. The census forms were also completed in the householders own hand – complete with mistakes and additional, sometimes superfluous, comments.


Example of an 1801 Chelsea Population Book with limited information

Some problems with the census

The main problem with the census for those researching family and local history is that it is not accessible to the public for 100 years.

Enumerator’s have often introduced errors in transferring data from the household schedules to the enumerator schedules. The actual census results aren’t always complete in that not all enumerator’s schedules have survived.

census 2

Example of 1911 Census form

The quality of the scanned images can be poor and the handwriting may not be readily legible. Inverting the image and building up your skills will improve your speed in gaining the information you require.

People tend to ‘data grab’ in that they look only at one household. It is possible to crosscheck the information by accessing other data sources such as Parish Registers for Births, Deaths and Marriages, various directories such as Kellys and even military records.

Words change meaning over time with people confusing earlier and current word meanings.

Census images are only available on subscription or pay per view websites such as Ancestry, Find My Past and Genes Reunited etc. However, you can physically access the census via libraries, archives and family history centres for free but will incur costs if wishing to have photocopies of the images.

Beauty of the census

Each census provides us with a snapshot in time. As well as showing mobility of families it also highlights changes in housing. The number of rooms in each house starts to appear and uninhabited buildings start to be entered. By using local landmarks we can see new houses being built and older properties being demolished.

Using the head of household trades we start to see the change in employment opportunities and how each district was made up and what local industries they were supporting. Also villages moving from being self-supporting towards more reliance on local towns, both for entertainment and services and the expansion of towns and villages with previously distinct areas becoming parts of a larger unified area. The census can further reflect changes in suburbs with creation of more affluent areas and demise of previously affluent areas.

As limited as some of the earlier censuses are in their content it is surprising how much information on early families can be obtained by diligent research and the use of all the information now available to researchers.

By Paul Dunnill

Section 106 Frequently Asked Questions

Under S106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, contributions can be sought from developers towards the costs of providing community and social infrastructure, the need for which has arisen as a result of a new development taking place. This funding is commonly known as ‘Section 106’

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?

How is a S106 Negotiated?  

Does the Council have a s106 Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)?

What is the Planning Contribution Overview Panel (PCOP)?

What happens after the Planning Committee determine an application?

How do I make a Payment to the Council?

When are S106 Monies Paid?

Does S106 Money earn interest?

How is S106 Money Allocated once it is received?

Does the process involve public consultation?

Who is responsible for S106 obligations?

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new charge which local authorities will be empowered, but not required, to levy on most types of new development. The proceeds of the levy will provide new local and sub-regional infrastructure to support the development of an area in line with local authorities’ development plans. CIL will be levied in pounds per square metre of the net additional increase in floorspace of any given development.

From 6 April 2010 it became unlawful for a planning obligation to be taken into account when determining a planning application if the obligation does not meet all of the following tests:

(a) necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms

(b) directly related to the development; and

(c) fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.


This will apply to applications for developments that are capable of being charged CIL, whether there is a local CIL in operation or not.

Once adopted by the authority, CIL will not replace S106 in its entirety and S106 could still legitimately be used for site specific mitigation measures.

LBTH will be pursuing a CIL. Further information will be available on this site in due course.

For further detailed information, please refer to the Communities and Local Government website which contains an overview and a short explanation of the CIL

regulations. http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/communityinfrastructurelevy.pdf

How is a S106 Negotiated?

The negotiation of a S106 legal agreement is led by an allocated Planning Officer in discussion with the Developer and other colleagues both within and outside the Council. On smaller applications the s106 may only require the proposed development to be simply car-free for example, however larger schemes may require a number of financial and non-financial contributions to mitigate the impact of the proposal upon the surrounding area. In such circumstances, the Planning Officer, in conjunction with a number of internal and external consultees, will seek to agree the themes of contributions (known as ‘Heads of Terms’), the contribution sums and the triggers for payment through discussion and negotiation. The specific heads of terms will depend on the nature, scale and location of a development and its associated impacts. This is in line with the three tests as set out in Community Infrastructure Regulations (2010). (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2010/draft/ukdsi_9780111492390_en_1) which state that any s106 planning obligations must be:

(a) Necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;

(b) Directly related to the development; and

(c) Fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development

Applicants are advised to utilise the Council’s pre-application services (http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgsl/601-650/608_development_control/pre-application_advice.aspx) in order to ascertain the scale and nature of the likely s106 contributions associated with a development proposal.

Applicants should initially consult LBTH’s Planning Obligations SPD which provides guidance on the use and scale of planning obligations in Tower Hamlets. Applicants should use this SPD alongside an analysis of their proposed works to consider the impacts of the proposed scheme and any planning obligations likely to be required to mitigate the impacts of development. These details should be submitted as a draft ‘Heads of Terms’ document alongside the pre-application submission documentation,to allow officers sufficient time to consider the details contained within the draft ‘Heads of Terms’.

What is the Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)?

The Planning Obligations SPD is based on the principles established across a range of planning policies enshrined in legislation as well as national, regional and local planning guidance. Along side the Core Strategy the SPD forms a part of LBTH’s Local Development Framework and reflects the Mayor of Tower Hamlets’ Priorities for the borough. The document clarifies the current process and provides formulae for negotiating both financial and non-financial planning obligations. The SPD also provides certainty to applicants on when planning obligations will be sought and constitutes an important document to inform local residents about planning obligations.

Please contact the Strategic Planning Team (planning@towerhamlets.gov.uk) for more information with regard to the progression of the SPD.

What is the Planning Contribution Overview Panel (PCOP)?

In order to agree and if necessary prioritise the Council’s S106 requests, a Planning Officer will prepare a Development Report (prior to Committee) which outlines the proposed S106 package. This is presented to the Council’s ‘Planning Contribution Overview Panel’ (PCOP). PCOP is an internal, cross directorate officer-led panel set up by Cabinet in 2004 that has the authority, under delegated powers, to monitor the implementation and expenditure of S106 agreements and monies, and ensure delivery in accordance with the terms of the relevant agreement. The PCOP panel consists of Officers across a number of Directorates including: Development & Renewal, Communities, Localities & Culture, Chief Executive’s, Children, Schools & Families.

The PCOP panel considers the balance of the s106 package and whether it has appropriately represented Council priorities, as relevant for the specific proposal. It also ensures that the recommendation in the development report conforms to legal requirements and is valid in all other respects, e.g. the correct contribution amount, suitable trigger points for payment and that the obligation is deliverable. PCOP supports or rejects the s106 package and will suggest amendments to rejected reports.

Following agreement of PCOP, the proposed contributions will be included within a relevant Committee Report which is considered by Members as part of their assessment of the planning application. These Committee meetings are open to the public.

Elected Members then make the final decision as to whether to permit a development scheme and accept the S106 package which is detailed in the Committee report. Applications are sometimes refused if the s106 offer is considered as insufficient mitigation of the development.

What happens after the planning committee determine an application?

Reports considered by the Committee which recommend the grant of permission (as well as strategic applications which the Mayor has allowed the approval of, see below) will normally contain recommended Heads of Terms for a s106 Agreement. If these terms are agreed by the Committee, the applicant’s lawyers can then finalise the S106 Agreement in conjunction with our legal team. This is usually undertaken within a fixed time frame. Upon completion of the s106 Agreement, the planning permission is formally issued.

Large-scale and complex applications which are heard by the Strategic Applications Committee are normally referable to the Mayor of London. Once the Committee has resolved to determine the application, it is required to refer it back to the Mayor to allow him to decide whether to direct refusal, take over the application for his own determination or allow the planning authority’s decision to stand.

How do I make S106 payments to the Council?

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make payments when they are due and to ensure that they are on time. Payments can be by cheque made payable to the “London Borough of Tower Hamlets” and sent to a Planning Obligations Officer or through the BACS transfer system. Payments must specify both the S106 agreement Planning

Application number and site address in order to identify the relevant legal agreement and site.

When are S106 monies paid?

S106 monies are usually paid in installments at key stages during the construction of a development. The stages at which payments are due are known as ‘Trigger Points’. For example S106 contributions could be payable by installments with 50% paid upon commencement of development and the remaining 50% paid upon completion of a development. As developers have three years to commence a development once planning permission is granted, it can therefore take a number of years before S106 contributions are received by the Council from the time permission was originally granted. Where a development does not commence at all, the S106 will most likely expire.

Does s106 money earn interest?

Whilst schemes are waiting to be programmed and delivered, the Council is legally obliged to hold the S106 contributions it has received in an interest bearing account in accordance with the specifications in the agreement.

The accruing of interest is necessary to ensure that the contribution does not lose value from the date it is paid; and as most accruing sums are restricted through a S106 agreement, the interest will accrue against the specific contribution. It is then used as part of the budget to deliver a specific improvement.

How is S106 money allocated once it is received?

Until monies are received by the Council they are not formally allocated to specific projects in accordance with the S106 agreement. This is because money secured in a s106 agreement is not a guaranteed funding stream. Implementation can take up to three years from the granting of the permission. In some cases a development may not happen at all and the s106 money related to such developments will not be received.

These triggers are also specific and vary from agreement to agreement. The actual receipt of these amounts will be staggered across a number of years in accordance with specific trigger points (see previous section 6). For example, a payment could be due upon commencement of the development and another payment not due until the first occupation of a residential unit.

When s106 money is available, i.e. in the accounts, and that money is required for a project, a Project Initiation Document is prepared by the assigned LBTH Project Manager which details the project, its s106 justification, responsibilities for governance, programming, any match-funding, risks, other partners etc. This is to ensure monies are spent in accordance with the specific legal agreements in a controlled project management environment.

Officers programme these resources, in detail, to projects that are relevant at the time the money is received. These projects will reflect current Council priorities across a broad range of topics. The individual Directorates who cover the specific improvement area take the lead on identifying and managing projects. All decisions to finally allocate resources are then approved for expenditure through the Council’s Planning Contribution Overview Panel.

It is important to recognise that S106 money is already either largely allocated to a range of projects or ring-fenced to specific programmes which will deliver improvements in accordance with the specific terms negotiated through legal agreements. The legal agreement identifies, as tightly as possible, exactly what the money secured is for and/or how it is to be prioritised in the future when it is paid.

Does the process involve public consultation?

Public consultation is essential to successful Planning. The Council want to hear what residents’ and other stakeholders’ have to say so that their views shape the way local areas change. All key Council policy documents which inform the Council’s approach to S106, such as Corporate Strategies Development Plans and Local Area Partnership Action Plans, are publicly consulted on. In particular, the Core Strategy, which sets out priorities for infrastructure across the Borough has been subject to extensive public consultation. These priorities are used to inform s106 negotiations by planning officers.

Who is responsible for S106 obligations?

Planning obligations contained in S106 agreements run with the land to which they relate. Because Planning Obligations run with the land, any outstanding obligations will be transferred with the land if it is sold. Planning Obligations can therefore effect the value of land. This information is registered as a ‘Local Land Charge’ on the Land Charges Register (http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgsl/601-650/610_local_land_charges_person.aspx) and will be revealed in searches submitted on behalf of a potential purchaser of an individual unit or entire development site.

Any outstanding planning obligations are legally enforceable against the registered owner, this applies to successors in title, of the land to which the obligation relates. This will be cited in the land registry search of the plot of land.

Planning obligations will not be enforceable against individual units within the development site. This is not to say that s106 obligations will not impact upon your property. Where “car free” obligations apply, for example, you will not be eligible to apply for a permit for on-street parking.

The Council will enforce against non-payment of a S106 contribution if a developer is found to have reached a ‘trigger point’ without paying the Council within the required timescales as set out in the agreement


Sudbury Pond, Marton, a rural pond in an urban setting

Sudbury Pond is an old farmhouse pond originally part of West Moor Farm, a part of Sir Arthur Dorman’s Grey Towers Estate prior to 1931. The pond is now enclosed within a modern housing estate built c1970s. The pond is in the ownership of Middlesbrough Council and its future existence is protected by a legal covenant as a permanent asset to this area.

sudbury pondThe pond itself is approximately 60 – 100 feet long by 50 feet wide and lies at the base of a grassed valley area approximately 300 foot long by 80 ft wide.

The depth of water in the pond appears to be seasonally variable and is dependent on water table seepage from nearby higher areas.

The pond has a surround of Typha reed (Bulrush) which, whilst attractive to the eye, can very aggressively multiply during the summer months, invading the areas of open water. This requires a constant maintenance effort in controlling the growth.

sudbury pond2


The wild surrounds at the eastern end of the pond, beyond the Typha reedbed, are populated with dense stands of willow herb, attractively flowered in summer but dying back to brown stems in winter. This is a wonderful refuge for the many amphibians and other animal life. The western end of the pond is an open mowed play area and a wild flower area.

A variety of animals exists in and around the pond. The open water area attracts a variety of birdlife including mallard duck, moorhen, and in the past the occasional swan and heron. In summer the air above the pond is often flown over by house martins, swallows and swifts feeding on the abundant insect life. Pipistrelle bats have been observed feeding on insects as dusk falls.

The wet area and its damp surrounds support a variety of amphibian life including frogs, toads and newts (but sadly no Greater Crested Newts). Entrance holes around the banks show evidence of small mammals such as field voles and possibly water voles.

sudbury pond 3The western boundary has a substantial shrub and tree cover, primarily dogwood and willow, with a number of cultivated trees existing in adjacent garden ends. The Friends have installed a number of both bat and bird boxes in the trees.

A park bench was very kindly donated by the Nunthorpe Gospel Hall Trust and is located next to the local paved public footpath and a gravelled access path down to the water’s edge protected by a wooden palisade, ideal for children to safely feed the ducks. The pond is close to Dixons Bank and can be found by following Carnoustie Way (off Stainton Way) in Marton to the Sudbury – Thurlstone road junction (postcode TS8 9XZ)

The pond is regularly maintained by the Friends of Sudbury Pond assisted by Environmental Apprentice groups from various Councils across the region.


Bob Mullen, Friends of Sudbury Pond


Cannon Street Revisited-Local History Month

cannon st sign

On Saturday 14th May, Hands on Middlesbrough, with help and support from local historians, ex-Residents and their families, organised a free Community Exhibition “Cannon Street Revisited” in association with The Dorman Museum, Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society and Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery Nature Reserve. The event ran throughout the day and included a talk by local historian Ian Stubbs, a screening of a collection of interviews ” Cannon Street Reunited” and a public screening of recently digitised interviews with residents filmed during the demolition of Cannon Street during the 1960s and 1970s (courtesy of North East Film Archive and BBC North East & Cumbria). We also launched The Cannon Street Digital Archive, which traces residents of Cannon Street back to the 1911 Census. The site is ran by local historian Alison Brown and we are hoping to recruit volunteers to develop the site further to include the streets that ran off Cannon Street.cannon street event

Cannon Street Revisited isn’t just a one-off event and Hands on Middlesbrough hope to ensure the streets and their residents are not consigned to a historical footnote and eventually forgotten. We would be happy to enlist help from anyone who would like to share information, be interviewed or get involved in research. If you would like to help please join our facebook page Cannon Street Revisited or email handsonmiddlesbroughfuture@gmail.com

My own personal connection with Cannon Street comes via my Grandad, George McNeil who was born in Severs Street in 1923, moved to Cannon Street but was bombed out during the war. I was always told he was blown out of his pyjama’s and everyone would laugh, but I now know this sense of humour was always used to tone down stories for a child’s ears. These events were in fact horrific and family members and neighbours seriously injured. When talking about the past it is always important to remember that despite the good times and strong community, times were hard and people struggled to make ends meet. (George McNeil: Centre)grandad mcneil

That said, it can’t be denied that Cannon Street had…and still has a special place in people’s hearts and is an important part of our heritage. Perhaps councils can learn from successful communities of the past when “building communities” today and look at new ways of engaging people in the planning and development of the town.

cannon street 1How towns change and develop affect us all because we have both a financial and emotional investment in where we live. Think of all those small businesses lost. Over 60 businesses on one street.

This is perhaps why people still talk about Cannon Street today. It was a community that functioned successfully, despite the problems and hardships people had to face in their everyday lives. People worked together, shared and looked out for each other. I think we could all learn something from that. (Photograph courtesy of Derek Smith)

By S Pink

Cannon Street Reunited Interviews

Teesside Gazette “Remember Cannon St?”

Teesside Gazette “Dozens turn out to remember Cannon Street”

Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve, by Malcolm Cummins

DSCN5484The Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery and Nature Reserve, The friends: are an amorphous group of people from all walks of life who come together with one goal, to make the Linthorpe cemetery a more welcoming and relaxing place for people, to enjoy the walks, fresh air, history, botany, wildlife and feeling of wellbeing. They are passionate about “Our Cemetery”, the desire to make it attract people to come and explore its mysteries, its flora and fauna which in some cases is unique to the cemetery. They have been doing this for a long time working away quietly and un-noticed with occasional bursts of publicity then dropping back into obscurity.


The friends drop into many individual groups which crossover and cross fertilise, the study of the flora and fauna, the birds, the bats, the history, the cemetery is a microcosm of the history of Middlesbrough, it’s development from a hamlet to an international port/city, it’s founders, civic dignitaries, it’s people, past and present.

The friends have a plan: long term and short term, but both directed at a common aim, they want the people of Middlesbrough to be able to come in and enjoy this open space of ours (53 acres) in the middle of town, to be able to relax, sit, converse amongst themselves and with nature, conduct research if they desire. Most of all do it safely.DSCN5429

We the friends do not do it all on our own, we could not. We are ably supported and guided by the team at The Bereavement Services Department not withstanding our strongest ally Paul Holmes, our dedicated gardener who helps, aids, guides, nurtures both us and the plants whilst also doing his duties that are his day to day job. So many people have said to us Paul the gardener pointed the way out to me, told me where it was, without him I would never have found it.

Thank you for your time.

Malcolm Cummins

Vice Chair of FoLC&NR

FOLC & NR Website

Max Lock’s Middlesbrough Survey and Plan by Richard Pink

Maxlock_04When the Middlesbrough survey and plan, directed by Max Lock, was published in 1946, it was hailed as a great achievement and a major innovation in town planning. Many Middlesbrough residents had been involved its production, along with a large team of experts and researchers from various academic disciplines. 22,000 people saw the accompanying exhibition and it received coverage in the national press. The plan was accepted by the local council as a model for future development and it is still referred to in many books on urban planning and regeneration. According to his obituary in the Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, this work became “a model for future development plans.” However the plan was never implemented. Some of its ideas (clearance of the worst housing and the development of civic, retail and cultural centres) have gradually appeared in the subsequent 60 years, but large scale development and the overall vision of the plan have largely been ignored.

Max Lock was born in 1909. He attended the Architectural Association school in London, graduating in 1931. He was elected to Watford Council in 1935 and fought for better housing design and subsidised rents for pensioners, those with large families and those on low wages. He served on the executive committee of the Housing Centre Trust and was also a member of the Modern Architecture Research group. In 1939 Lock worked on a slum clearance project in London, before moving to Hull to develop his ideas on Civic Diagnosis, which were heavily influenced by the social evolutionist and town planner, Patrick Geddes. Social and physical surveys were the basis of the Hull Regional Diagnosis. It used maps, photographs and other visual aids, to make the content of the study accessible to the ordinary citizens of Hull. People were the focus of the survey and it illustrated various social issues, such as: housing conditions, shopping locations, leisure facilities, juvenile delinquency, and infant mortality.

In December 1943, Lock was appointed to oversee the production of the survey and plan for the reconstruction of Middlesbrough. The town’s rapid growth between 1840 and 1870 had produced a concentration of poor quality, terrace housing, which was situated amongst heavy industry and railways. Lock believed that it was not bomb damage, but this appalling housing and a lack of supporting infrastructure, that needed to be redeveloped. He believed that the ills of society, the blight and decay he found in the inner cities, could be remedied by urban design, with town planners working in partnership with social and economic experts to achieve clear and practical social objectives. Lock believed there was a need for “fearless diagnosis of the ills of environment” and that planners should “look at what the people who will inhabit the urban environment want, instead of just looking at the buildings”. He called for “an army of civic surgeons who can find out what is wrong and prescribe a cure in terms of the ascertained needs of the inhabitants themselves of a city or region.” His intention, he explained, was to work in a new way, planning with the inhabitants rather than for them, thus transforming what had previously been a largely technical discipline into ‘a democratic process’.

It was the influence of Patrick Geddes which led to Lock focusing on the needs of persons and groups as the basis of any plan: “To this all else is secondary.” In the Middlesbrough plan, Lock acknowledges Geddes as pioneer who “first drew attention to the need for a penetrating analysis of town life before any planning remedies for existing evils could be effected.” Lock claimed Geddes as an ally against superficial methods of urban planning, which simply looked at the architectural appearance of a town. Against this, Geddes promoted an investigation into the human and physical issues which needed to be remedied, treating communities and their dwellings as “things of organic growth, with a past and a future as well as a present, whereas we too often see these wider consideration ignored in favour of some exigency of the moment.”

Geddes’s method followed a scientific observational model of survey, diagnosis and plan. This required a detailed survey of past, present and future uses of buildings and an acknowledgement of their historical significance and cultural meaning. He saw exhibitions of survey work as a means of promoting interest in civic sociology and as a means of informing local people and encouraging their participation in civic action.

Geddes had founded the Sociological Society in 1904. He was interested in town planning as a means of “civic betterment” and was influenced by Le Play and his survey method. Frédéric le Play spent a quarter of a century travelling throughout Europe, collecting data on the social condition of working class people and basing his work on the key themes of place, work and family, or folk. This work was published in 1855 as Les Ouvriers européens and the following year he founded the Société internationale des etudes pratiques d’économie sociale to promote his studies and survey method. Le Play’s work influenced the way subsequent social surveys were carried out, as will be shown, but it must be noted that he also had a political influence. Le Play thought that the task of social science was to maintain a social order and resolve the conflicts inherent in capitalist society. His political ideas resembled feudalism, in that they involved people accepting their place in society. It is for this that he became popular with fascist leaders such as Salazar and Mussolini.

Le Play inspired other people to produce similar studies. For example, Henry Mayhew produced his London Labour and the London Poor in 1861. Mayhew and his researchers spent two years interviewing “the humbler classes of society”, providing detailed descriptions of their work and living conditions. Although in his preface, Mayhew talks of the curiosity and novelty value of his work, he does state that his aim is to “cause those who are in ‘high places’ to bestir themselves to improve the condition of a class of people whose misery, ignorance, and vice, amidst all the immense wealth and great knowledge of ‘the first city in the world’, is, to say the very least, a national disgrace.

 However, the roots of social surveys go back further than Le Play. In the article “The Revolution in Town Planning”, Lock refers to the reform work undertaken by Edwin Chadwick for his 1842 report, “Survey into the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Classes in Great Britain”. Chadwick had developed his survey method working on the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act. For the sanitary report, Chadwick contacted over two thousand poor law guardians, medical officers, clergymen and local notables from all over Great Britain and asked them detailed questions on the conditions the poor lived in. Chadwick collated this information into a report, which included the comments of those interviewed, as well as tables, graphs, statistics, maps and drawings of sewers and privies.

Chadwick was only one of many people throughout the Victorian period who investigated the work and living conditions of the poor. Charles Booth also investigated the poor of London, carrying out many surveys over a thirty-year period, from 1885 onwards. His most famous achievement was the London poverty map, which showed the social condition of every street in London in 1889. This involved compiling a vast amount of survey data and assigning to each street one of eight categories to signify its social status. The results were plotted on Ordnance Survey maps for public display and publication.

Booth’s research findings had an influence on the political arguments of the day and can be seen as the starting point where methodical surveys began to influence new social policy. Therefore, his work can be seen as a forerunner to the civic diagnosis, the removal of social ills through planning, which Lock advocated. In analysing urban blight, Lock’s use of the American “block data method” – the street by street analysis of various symptoms of decay, plotted on large scale on maps – is very similar to the poverty map of Charles Booth. This forms the basis of Lock’s “scientific method”, that by overlaying maps of plotted social problems, it will show the areas most in need of redevelopment.

Although the Sociological Society was influenced by Le Play and his survey method, there was no strict definition as to what the survey was, how it was to be carried out and what its aims were. Therefore, in the 1920s, the Society set about issuing a series of guidelines in several papers and pamphlets, mainly written by Alexander Farquharson, a prominent member of the movement. These emphasised the Le Play model of concentrating on people and their work and promoted the use of exhibitions to display the findings of surveys. Farquharson also emphasised the importance of involvement of the local community, not only from the point of view of consultation, but also as being active stakeholders in the production and implementation of the plan. He stressed that the outcome of the survey should be practical, that it would be useless “unless it includes some simple, clear and definite suggestions for future action.”

Farquharson’s definition of the Regional Survey aimed to bring scientific rigour to the exercise by stating that it “must be based on factual observations, methodically made; and these must be systematically arranged by the aid of verifiable hypotheses.” He described the process as beginning with a field investigation into the geography of a region and progressing to the sociological perspective, a transition from science to art. Similarly, Lock describes the method of civic diagnosis as the “investigation of those factors which are visible and measurable, in order to understand the less measurable social and economic maladjustments that lie beneath the surface.” The criticism of the survey method was that its accumulation of a mass of information sometimes caused confusion and a lack of direction as to which problems needed addressing.

The Middlesbrough plan was produced towards the end of the Second World War. Virtually since the war had begun, people had looked to its end as an opportunity to rebuild a better Britain and clear away the unplanned slums that were a product of the “jungle-like competition” of the nineteenth century. Lock used recent legislation to justify the need for an investigation into social issues, rather than simply concentrating on the reconstruction of buildings. He claimed that the Town and Country Planning Act was the first planning measure aimed at removing the causes of blight in urban areas, because it gave the Corporation the responsibility to “secure the best use of land in the public interest.” Lock claims that because the plan is based on “a comprehensive survey or diagnosis of the town’s ills”, this will provide the scientific evidence to support the council’s claims for funding to carry out the redevelopment of the town.

In the plan, Lock comments that, “Too long have we treated urban problems as if they were merely skin deep, forgetting that the aesthetic superstructure of fine building can only grow upon sound economic and social foundations” and the regeneration of towns “requires a penetrating diagnosis of all aspects of town life”. He talks about the “formulation of the Masterplan – in fact, a plan or policy for every aspect of town life.” Lock’s starting point was the conviction that planning had to involve extensive dialogue with ordinary people. The citizens of a place, he insisted, were “the planner’s clients” and “must be consulted in the same way as the clients of an architect are consulted”. In order to achieve this, he believed, planners needed to break with the “cosmetic”’ and develop the “diagnostic”.

After moving to Middlesbrough in the spring of 1944, Lock rented a two-storied suburban house, and began recruiting helpers. After a few weeks he had assembled a group which included the geographer A. E. Smailes, the sociologist Ruth Glass, four planners, and 18 assistants (some part-time). Lock then turned to collecting raw material. The team scoured printed sources and also did much fieldwork. Lock himself, together with the other planners, surveyed the town’s housing, open spaces, transport and public utilities; Smailes examined the economy; while Glass completed an ambitious investigation of neighbourhood structure, health and education services, and the retail sector. Much of this work involved recording fairly predictable information. But the team was also able to tap into more subjective dimensions, because, the government’s Wartime Social Survey was persuaded to organise a complementary exercise in opinion research, distributing detailed questionnaires to a randomly selected group, drawn from every twenty-third household, of 1,387 housewives and 1,209 other adults.

The contents of the survey include: geology and geography, which will show what natural resources are available in the region; the economy, trade and industry; the sociological structure; and, finally, the “architectural arrangement of the streets and buildings.” The plan covers all the essential services required by a town: public health, rehousing and neighbourhood development, indoor and outdoor recreation, worship, piped services, disposal of the dead, traffic, retail trade, business and administration, industry and employment. All these areas must be surveyed in order to develop plans that are not “merely superficial suggestions perceived from a physical or aesthetic angle only.” In what seems like an attack on architects and the physical and aesthetic style, Lock writes that, “The ordering of people’s homes and streets can no longer be based purely on geometrical principles of design imposed upon the community from above by the individual genius of architects backed by aristocratic patronage.”

Lock and his team transferred much of the raw data onto transparent maps, and learnt much from overlaying them in combination. By the late summer of 1945, the plan was finished and in the hands of the council. Three months later, it was formally accepted “in principle” and became official policy. The final version, complete with numerous maps and tables, was published in 1947, alongside a book edited by Glass that summarised much of the fieldwork.

The Middlesbrough plan was just one of many plans produced during and shortly after the Second World War as a foundation for reconstruction. Like Max Lock, the writers of many of these plans were influenced by the ideas promoted by the Sociological Society and focus on the human aspects of town planning. For example, A Plan for Plymouth says that “in no direction has planning advanced more rapidly in recent years than in the conception of the City as a human Community.” The plan for Durham, Cathedral City, states: “A city is more important as a place to live in than to look at.”

W.E. Eden, in an article in The Town Planning Review of 1946, is somewhat sceptical of the new, all-encompassing approach to town planning, that the Middlesbrough plan is an example of. Of the new-style town planners he says, “With such all-embracing aims as they say are theirs…one is left with the uncomfortable feeling that they are not quite sure where their job begins and ends.” Eden obviously feels that some of the research and recommendations that come out of a civic survey are outside the usual concerns of the town planner. He says that a good architect would not attempt to produce a town plan “without reference to the uses to which the various plots of land might conceivably be put.” He speaks of the “tyranny of the survey” and how this sociological research takes up too much of the architect’s time. He even says that the survey is “considered by some as a substitute for a plan, but this is no more than a passing phase arising presumably from the indecision of those who are new to the work.”

According to Eden, the architect can study the sociological aspects of a city “to his own satisfaction”. It is then his job to produce a plan and not to spend his time informing the residents of the social composition of their city. This goes against all that the sociologists believed. According to Mumford, “The task of regional survey is to educate citizens: to give them the tools of action, to make ready a background for action, and to suggest socially significant tasks to serve as goals for action.” Eden concludes his attack on social surveys and defence of architecture by saying that, “the architect who thinks of a city as a ‘human community’ may do more for that community by studying to improve his skill as an architect than by dabbling in sociology.”

The Middlesbrough survey and plan shares many of its ideas with the other reconstruction plans – the focus on social issues and the idea of the city as a human community, rather than a collection of buildings. The sociological aspects of Lock’s survey were part of a long tradition: the method of interviewing residents directly and incorporating widespread consultation, the visual presentation of the information and the aim of creating an environment in which individuals can achieve their potential, were all ideas which had been utilised previously in other plans and surveys.

Some of the recommendations Lock’s civic diagnosis produced for Middlesbrough seem like common sense – the regeneration of poor housing and the creation of suburban neighbourhoods, the development of separate residential, business and industrial areas, and the provision of amenities. All this has happened in Middlesbrough since the end of the Second World War. However, the imposition of a large scale plan on an existing town, is too redolent of the worst types of social engineering and scientific experimentation, despite the planners’ aims to remove social problems. Regardless of the financial cost, people have too much emotional investment in the place they live, for such a scheme to ever run smoothly. The places where this type of large scale development have been successful, are where new towns are being developed in open spaces (such as Lock’s subsequent work in Iraq), or the ruling elite can override public opinion and force through their policies (such as Geddes’s work in India).

Lock had always believed that it was part of the planner’s job to cultivate enthusiasm and debate, and as a result, he took a great deal of care in Middlesbrough to ensure that communication with ordinary people remained a priority. His team opened an office in the town centre; addressed many meetings with residents and community groups; gave interviews to the press and radio; produced “penny pamphlets” on their main ideas, together with a popular version of the final plan; built models for display in local venues; and collaborated with the council on a major exhibition. Not all of these initiatives were equally successful. But it appears that Lock did at least partly achieve his goal. Most visitors to Middlesbrough directly before and after this time tended to view it as generally introverted, without a vibrant civic culture. Priestley labelled it a “dismal town”, whose chief passions were beer and football. Others concurred. Yet during 1944 and 1945, there was without doubt a pronounced upsurge in public engagement. Some 22,000 people, perhaps one sixth of the population, visited the exhibition; an array of inhabitants, from industrialists to schoolchildren, took part in discussions about planning issues; and the plan itself was, for some months, a major topic of local conversation. Outsiders registered the change, with one informed observer, for example, reporting that the plan had “aroused a storm of protest and interest”. Given that some other planning schemes of this period provoked only marginal and fleeting comment from the population at large, this, in itself, was certainly a significant achievement.

Lock’s recommendations took into account popular feelings. The Wartime Social Survey had analysed local peoples’ feelings about housing and planning, and discovered a deep yearning for the suburban lifestyle. 90 per cent of “housewives”, 92 per cent of “working men” and 93 per cent of “working women” wanted gardens. When questioned about where they would like to live, “a large section of the [local] population” named Middlesbrough’s existing suburbs, because of “their open development, more modern housing and more healthy surroundings”. Lock balanced this desire for extensive development with the need to preserve both the countryside and what he saw as one of the town’s great assets, the vista of the Cleveland Hills to the south. Six new estates would be built on the fringes of the town, “pointing southward towards the sun and view”, but each would be closely demarcated, separated out by “green wedges” that flowed right into the city centre. As Lock explained, what he sought to create resembled the imprint of a spread out hand, with the estates as the fingers, and the wedges as the spaces in-between.

Lock’s planning in Middlesbrough was innovative and significant, especially his approach to incorporating popular opinion. However, this episode made far less of an impact on developments in Middlesbrough and on planning over the next thirty years than might have been expected. The plan drew together many methods and ideas of sociological and regional survey work, but the mechanism to implement the redevelopment outlined in the plan did not exist then and it does not exist today. In order to implement the plan, Lock calls for “a change of administrative method which can break down the rigid departmentalism where it occurs in local and regional government.” He criticises “the departmentalism of local government administration which hinders the pooling of information, and the failure to make one official or department responsible for collating the vast mass of information relating to public environment in the same way as the medical officer of health collects and publishes statistics relating to public health.” The idea of a local planning agency which will be “a dynamic initiator and reconciler of conflicting interests in all their detail and complexity – financial, legal, and personal” has never been realised. The various departments of local government – housing, social, transport, planning – still operate separately, with separate management structures and budgets and separate aims. This, along with the fact that local residents and interest groups are naturally opposed to being ordered out of their homes by faceless bureaucrats, means that compromise is the only solution.

In the Author’s Note, Lock talks about how survey and diagnosis must be a continuous process and that there is a need for “continuous teamwork between specialists, officials and civic leaders.” The council then, or local strategic partnership as it is now, is meant to be the organisation that brings together “industrial, trade, cultural, and citizen groups” to contribute towards redevelopment and “create the impetus that will translate proper plans to reality.” However, the length of the process, the short lifespan of local governments, constantly changing agendas, national directives and local issues, mean that Lock’s idea of continuous survey and diagnosis becomes fragmented. This is why the overall vision of the survey and plan was never implemented in the way that its architect intended.


Bales, Kevin, “Popular Reactions to Sociological Research: The Case of Charles Booth”, Sociology, Vol. 33, No. 1, February 1999, pp. 153-168.

“Charles Booth and poverty mapping in late nineteenth century London”, http://mubs.mdx.ac.uk/Staff/Personal_pages/Ifan1/Booth/

Eden, W.E., “The Art of Building Cities”, The Town Planning Review, Vol. XIX, Spring, 1946, No. 2, pp. 91-98.

“History of Max lock Group”, Max Lock Centre website, http://www.wmin.ac.uk/builtenv/maxlock/HISTORY.HTM

“The Institute of Sociology”, http://www.dfte.co.uk/ios/institute.htm

Joshi, Priti, “Edwin Chadwick’s Self-fashioning: Professionalism, Masculinity, and the Victorian Poor”, Victorian Literature and Culture, Cambridge University Press (2004).

Law, Alex, “The Ghost of Patrick Geddes: Civics as Applied Sociology”, University of Dundee website, http://www.trp.dundee.ac.uk/general/geddes.html

“Le Play House”, http://www.dfte.co.uk/ios/leplayhouse.htm

Lock, Max, “Rebuilding the Cities: Diagnosis as a Foundation for Planning”, The Times, 16th September 1943.

Lock, Max, The County Borough of Middlesbrough survey and plan, Middlesbrough Corporation, 1946.

Lock, Max, (Director), Hull Regional Survey, reprinted for the Housing Centre from The Architects’ Journal, July 29, 1943.

Lock, Max, “The Revolution in Town Planning”, pp. 95-102, in Osborn, F.J. (Ed), Planning and Reconstruction 1944-45, Todd Publishing Co. Ltd., London and New York, Third Edition, 1945.

Mayhew, Henry, London Labour and the London Poor, Griffin, Bohn and Co., London, 1861.

Motouch, N & Tiratsoo, N, Max Lock, Middlesbrough, and a forgotten tradition in British post-war planning, University of Luton.

Mumford, Lewis, The Culture of Cities, Secker & Warburg, London, 1938.

Osborn, F.J. (Ed), Planning and Reconstruction 1944-45, Todd Publishing Co. Ltd., London and New York, Third Edition, 1945.

Picture Post, Hulton’s National Weekly, A Plan For Britain, January 4, 1941, Vol. 10, No. 1.

“Pierre Guillaume Frédéric le Play”, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/

“Professor Geddes on Civics”, The Times, 20th July 1904.

Rocquin, Baudry, “An impossible compromise: The rise and fall of the Sociological Society (1911–26)”, http://britishsociology.com/dissertation

Royal Institute of British Architects Journal, July 1988, Vo. 95, No. 7.

“Sir Edwin Chadwick, KCB”, http://www.civeng.ucl.ac.uk/edwin.htm

“Social Science Social Reform and Sociology”, http://past.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/121/1/209.pdf










How to Protect Local Heritage and Green Space

exchange building

Exchange Buildings by Clive Winward

Protect Heritage

In the UK, we are able to protect heritage in the following ways:

  • Identify & Designate Heritage via Historic England
  • Protect it through the planning system

Historic England and the Local Authority, have a statutory duty to protect the best examples of our historic environment.


AckHallCW4The Avenue of Trees by Clive Winward

Historic England are “the public body that champions and protects England’s historic places”.

One way, that we can protect heritage locally, is by applying to Historic England to designate our heritage. Designation is the term given to the practices of listing buildings, scheduling monuments, registering parks, gardens and battlefields, and protecting wreck sites. These are collectively known as designated assets. Designation allows us to highlight what is significant about an asset and help to make sure that any future changes made to it do not result in the loss of its significance.

If you would like to know more about how to list, schedule or register a site, please look at the links taken from www.historicengland.org.uk shown below:

Historic England What is Designation & Listing

Historic England How to List a Building or Site

Historic England Advice on Neighbourhood Plans

Historic England Advice on Planning

However, the final decision is made by centralised government and recommendations (which are based on national significance) are passed to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

rest park4

Occasionally, heritage of significance to local people, may not be regarded as worthy of designation (e.g. The William Henry Thomas Memorial, Whinney Banks Rest Garden) or meet the criteria set out by Historic England (The Avenue of Trees). In some cases, as with the medieval moated site at Acklam Hall, despite being regarded as of National Importance (following a site inspection by Historic England), pre-existing planning permission meant that it could not be scheduled as a monument.

With this in mind, how do we take responsibility for supporting and protecting our heritage?

  • Join local history groups societies, or organisations
  • Use our public Listed Buildings
  • Get involved with local events celebrating heritage
  • Inform Historic England of Heritage at Risk
  • Apply Historic England to List or Schedule Heritage assets
  • Take an interest in how the town is developing
  • Check Middlesbrough Council website (Search & Track)

LHEN (Local Heritage Engagement Network) support local groups interested in their historic environment to protect and advocate for their local archaeology, history and heritage, through the provision of practical advice, platforms for discussion and information-sharing, assistance and training. They offer a variety of helpful toolkits, guides and information. Please click on the link for further information: LHEN Toolkit to protect local heritage 

If Localism is to work in practice, then the Local Authority needs to:

  • Effectively consult about planning applications which put heritage or green space at risk
  • Engage the community in the planning process (including young people and hard-to-reach groups)
  • Encourage residents to identify heritage and green space of importance
  • Give advice and support with developing neighbourhood plans
  • Ensure that town planning is driven by community involvement

Green Space (The Open Space Society)

The Open Spaces Society www.oss.org.uk helps members protect their local common land, town and village greens, open spaces and public paths. They act as an advisor for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and National Assembly for Wales on applications for works on common land, and are notified by local authorities whenever there is a proposal to alter the route of a public right of way. We campaign for changes in legislation to protect paths and spaces.

How do we Support our green space locally?

  • Join local conservation groups, societies or organisations
  • Use our green spaces
  • Support activities and events on local green space
  • Join a “Friends” Group
  • Set up a “Friends” group
  • Apply to Historic England to Designate Local Green Space
  • Take an interest in how the town is developing
  • Check Middlesbrough Council website (Search & Track)

OSS Designation of Local Green Space

OSS Neighbourhood Plans

OSS Community Asset & Protecting Open Spaces

“Friends groups”

There are a number of Friends groups in Middlesbrough:

Friends of Blue Bell Beck

Boro Becks

Friends of Fairy Dell

Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve

Friends of Nature’s World

Friends of Stainton & Thornton Green Spaces

Friends of Stewart Park

Friends of Sudbury Pond

Friends of Thorntree Park

Friends groups are always looking for volunteers to help maintain some of our most beautiful green spaces. To get involved you can follow link from Middlesbrough Council Website and register Middlesbrough Council Volunteer

Local Heritage Groups, Societies & Organisations

Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society

Teesside Archaeological Society

Tees Archaeology

Other Useful Links

Council for British Archaeology

Heritage Help Heritage Organisation A-Z

Middlesbrough Borough Council Consultation Portal

Middlesbrough Borough Council Search & Track

Middlesbrough Borough Council Freedom of Information

River Tees Rediscovered

Tees Valley Wild Green Spaces

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust


MEC will relocate to Nature’s World

nature trans

Photograph by Clive Winward

It was confirmed in a council meeting on 16th December 2015 that Middlesbrough Environment City,  a charity which run a variety of projects in Middlesbrough which focus on communities becoming more sustainable, will be based at the former “Nature’s World” site. This will secure the future for part of the site. The council has demonstrated commitment to grant use of the site to benefit the community and for environmental uses for the short to mid-term which is commendable. This shows what can be achieved when “activists”, community groups and volunteers work together to secure the future of places they value. By demonstrating a proactive attitude it can open up new possibilities.

Volunteers have maintained and protected the towns assets for a number of years…just look at all the Friends groups who put events on for families and keep areas nice for us all (and for wildlife) such as Friends of: Linthorpe Cemetery and Nature Reserve, Stainton Quarry, Stewart Park, Blue Bell Beck, Boro Becks, Fairy Dell and Nature’s World.

It is good news that MEC will be moving onsite but the future is still uncertain for the gardens and water features.

Friends of Nature’s World are always in need of volunteers, so please get in touch if you are interested in helping out.

“Charity could move to derelict nature’s world site” Northern Echo

“Former visitors attraction could be taken over by leading charity” Evening Gazette