Hello and a warm welcome to St Bartholomew’s, one of the two oldest suburbs of Chichester, on the western Roman Road out of Chichester to Bitterne and Winchester. It’s been here since at least the 3rd Century, as that is the date of the cemetery underneath the garages behind the Georgian Priory.
Romans and later generations buried their dead outside of the city walls – and also put their dirty industries there too. Many of our back gardens, if you dig deep enough, have a medieval midden with lots of interesting rubbish to sift through (if you are an archaeologist of course). The number of oyster shells that surface each year is quite amazing and it’s not for nothing that some of our gardens are so lush…
Because the river ran through here too, a brewery was set up. Industries also arrived that smelled worse than boiled hops, were a health hazard and needed their effluent to be carried out to sea – animal slaughter and leather tanning being two which have left their mark on the street. But not any more. They finally disappeared in the 1950s-1970s and nowadays this street and its tributaries are in the top three of the most sought-after addresses in the City. You chose well!
Westgate Residents Association represents residents of Westgate, Henty Gardens, Mount Lane, St Bartholomew’s Close and Tannery Close, Chichester and was re-established in 2015 to meet the needs of our community. Interested Tollhouse Close residents are also welcome to join.
The objects of the Association are:-
- To represent the interests of residents within the roads listed above
- To work towards improving the quality of life and the environment of Westgate and its immediate neighbourhood for the benefit of local residents
- To foster community spirit through the promotion of occasional social events and activities
- To be non-party political and represent the majority view of the community
How you can get involved?
The Social Programme
There is an active social programme with lots of social events, including locals night at the Crate & Apple, monthly coffee mornings to meet the neighbours, and other groups meet regularly.
To join us and find out what is going on, please register your email address on this website. Under the new 2018 data rules, if you do not opt in then we cannot hold your data on our systems and you will never get to find out all that is going on.
If you don’t have an email address please just pass your name and address to the Chairman or Secretary. We have great coffee mornings, a monthly locals night at the pub, a French conversation group and a knit and a natter on Monday mornings. Last year we also took over our planters and these have been brought up to spec to make a lovelier street. Painting the bollards is next on the list. We have some 63 listed buildings in and around us, and the view of the north side of the Georgian end of the street is one of a small number of protected views in the Chichester Conservation Area Plan.
The Committee and its off-shoots
The Committee meets as required, usually every other month. A Traffic Advisory Group advises the main committee on traffic matters. Representatives of the Association liaise with local councillors, schools and businesses while others have responsibility for trees, street lighting and the Brewery Community Field. Members help with the distribution of our monthly bulletin and the bi-annual newsletter.
The Buddy System
Our regular bulletins are sent to all members for whom we hold an email address and we ask that these be shared with neighbours who may not have computers. There is a buddy system in operation for this and these are the nominees in the side streets – perhaps one is a neighbour?
- Annette Hutcheson – St Bartholomew’s Close
- Gordon Jones – The Tannery
- David Tregear – Henty Gardens
- Brian Raincock – Mount Lane
We also deliver a printed Newsletter to every address within our catchment area twice a year and hold an AGM each January.
So plenty for you to do!! If you want to help out here are the details of our officers and the other members of the committee. Get in touch.
- Chairman: Sarah Quail
- Secretary: Bebette Jones – 6 Tannery Close
- Treasurer: Vince Waldron – 72 Westgate
- Gabrielle Abbott (planning)
- Richard Staughton (traffic)
- Anthony Quail
- Brian Raincock (social programme)
- Julia Smith (cyclists)
- Kathryn Kellagher (Covid helpers)
Please join us and pay your subscription
From 2017 residents have been invited to contribute £10 per household to the running costs of the Association. Without a subscription, there are no funds to run the AGM and cover other ancillary expenses.
More importantly, the Association is a campaigning organisation. This means that if the need arises (as it did in 2016) to take legal advice with other residents’ associations (e.g. on the Whitehouse Farm developer plans), there are funds that can be drawn upon. This legal advice and the coordinated presence at the Council Planning Meetings have undoubtedly helped protect our position to date.
Subscriptions will not go on WGRA social events, which must be self-funding, but are to create an advanced reserve in place to make running the Association possible. Paying your sub entitles your household to vote at all General Meetings of the Association: all residents will continue to enjoy full access to all of the activities of the Association, but we hope that most households will be able to support the WGRA in this way.
You may hand in your £10 sub to a Member of the Committee at the next Coffee Morning or deliver to the Treasurer, Vince Waldron.
Do not hesitate to ask your neighbour, your street buddy or a member of the committee if you have any questions. We are here to assist and make your stay among us a very pleasant and an active one!