My View, Margaret Herbert: Keeping an eye on our historic buildings

Doncaster Civic Trust help preserve the Grand St Leger Hotel
Doncaster Civic Trust help preserve the Grand St Leger Hotel

For nearly 70 years, Doncaster Civic Trust has kept a watchful eye on our historic buildings.

Action by the Trust has saved such important landmarks as the Grand St Leger Hotel, the Subscription Rooms portico, TSB on the High Street, Parkinsons – now the Georgian tea rooms – and the Boat Inn at Sprotbrough.

In the 1970s the Trust wrote a report encouraging the Local Authority to designate conservation areas.

At the time there were none in the town centre and only a few in the rural areas.

After the report designation started in the town and now there are 46 conservation areas across the borough.

Today the Trust often provides historical information for reviews and appraisals.

But the Trust does far more than concern itself with buildings.

It has paid for many trees to be planted in the borough. You can see them in places such as Tickhill, Denaby Main, Wadworth, Bennetthorpe and the Town Fields, among many others.

Our summer heritage walks, launched this summer and taken over from the Tourist Information Centre, have been popular, with more than 100 people enjoying them.

A new venture in 2015 was an enjoyable walk in Bawtry and it is hoped to expand into Tickhill next year.

In addition our Town Trail sells well and is regularly updated.

A walk around the town also reveals that the Trust has put up various plaques in the town centre commemorating historical buildings and people.

Last year we had the plaques completely refurbished and they are in pristine condition.

In the last few years the Trust has embarked on an education programme.

It gives bursaries of up to £1,000 per year for students studying architecture, design or town planning, provided their home is in the Doncaster area.

Last year we ran an architectural competition in primary schools and this is under way again for this year.

Do have a look at the Trust’s website on which gives far more detail than we can tell you about here.

For example, we put old newsletters on the web which contain important articles about such items as architects, streets, trees and buildings which have since been knocked down.

Together they form a library of Doncaster’s architectural history.

If you feel you are interested in joining us, it is only£5 for the year.

And one more thing – the trust is a charity, independently run entirely by volunteers.

There are no paid staff involved.