News and Events

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Old Fairfield an illustrated talk by Chris Simpson

Over 40 members and guests of BCA attended the talk on Old Fairfield

Members of Buxton Civic Association were treated to a fascinating talk on “Old Fairfield” by Chris Simpson, at Poole’s Cavern visitor centre. It is largely forgotten that Fairfield was originally a town in its own right, with a town council and a town hall that can still be seen on Waterswallows Road. The 1831 Census returns recorded a population of 482 which was equal in size to Buxton.

The talk was illustrated with some wonderful original photographs and postcards. Particularly poignant were the pictures of the territorials on exercise on Hindlow in 1910. During the 1914-18 Great War, as well as being a centre for training which included trench building, Canadian troops were stationed at Buxton and underwent training and military exercises in the area. The 1914 -18 war was in part responsible for the decline in the hotel trade, and the major employer for the town became the quarries.
Chris went onto talk about two iconic houses, Pictor Hall which still stands, and the seat of Samuel Swan Brittain, Orient Lodge. Orient lodge has now been demolished but in its day was probably the largest house in the immediate locality. Samuel Brittain whose fortune was made in quarries, lost it all when his investment in a large consignment of tea was sunk in a shipping accident in the 1850’s. The house fell into decline and eventually was taken over by the Binghams before being demolished.

Fairfield was also famous for the quality of its horse breeding, being particularly well known for the quality of its hunters. There was a race course on the common with a Grandstand and an annual programme of horse racing which it was hoped would rival Cheltenham. The races were attended by people from as far afield as Ireland. A painting by Harry Kingsley entitled Fairfield Race course Derbyshire 1825 showing the course and the Grandstand can be seen in the Buxton Museum. It was decided to put an end to the racing after a mass riot and fight broke out in 1830. The race course was abandoned and the grandstand pulled down, and the wooden beams reused to form part of the Methodist Church on the market.

Buxton Crescent Project Update

We understand that Buxton Crescent is to receive an additional grant of £11m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) making a total of £23m in total awarded to the project. This still leaves a shortfall of around £2m to secure the future of the project. D2N2 the Local Economic Partnership for the region has been approached to provide this.

Civic Day 20th June 2015

It may seen along way off but by the time Christmas and the New Year is over Civic Day will only be 5 months away.

Civic Day is a national celebration of civic pride. Its a chance for communities across the country to express their pride in the place in which they live. The first civic day was organised in 2011 by Civic Voice, it will be held again in 2015 and, it has the potential to become one of England’s most popular voluntary cultural events. The event is a unique opportunity to stimulate new interest and generate a renewed sense of civic pride for communities across the country.

Although the coordinating work is done by Civic Voice, what really makes this event happen is the fantastic effort of thousands of volunteers. Its the guided tours , the exhibitions, street parties and the competitions that help the visitors understand the area they live in just a little bit more.

BCA is planning to hold an event or a series of events to mark the day. If anyone has any suggestions drop us an email at

National Community Design Award Launched

Civic Voice the National Association for Civic Societies, is calling on communities across England to nominate buildings and schemes for projects they consider make a significant contribution to the quality of their built environment, whether village, town or city.

Griff Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice said: “It will not be the usual sort of design award where professionals give an award to the work of other professionals. Instead, the nominations will be made and supported by local communities across the country”.

The Civic Voice Community Design Award was launched in Canterbury at the AGM of Civic Voice. The awards will be distinctive in that nominations can only be made by local communities.

Nominations for projects will be considered that are examples of:
• New buildings
• Historic buildings that have been reused or refurbished
• Public realm schemes such as street works, conservation area improvements, parks, improvements and enhancements of the civic realm.

The judges will be looking for excellence in terms of:
• Quality in design and construction
• Appropriateness
• Community participation and engagement
• Promoting pride of place.

Nominations can be made by community groups and organisations including:
• Civic Societies
• Residents Associations
• Building Preservation Trusts
• Neighbourhood Forums
• Development Tusts
• Local History Societies
• Community Arts Groups
• Other community based voluntary organisations.

Freddie Gick, Chair of Civic Voice said “We are introducing the award with the aim of demonstrating that communities are prepared to accept new development – when the development responds to local needs and is of a high standard of design. The civic society movement is focused on delivering high quality places and these awards are a great way to do that while encouraging collaboration between communities and developers on a local level.”
Communities can enter online at with a closing date of 31 March 2015

Serpentine Volunteer Days

Volunteers working hard on the Serpentine Project

Transition Buxton are coordinating a project to create a community food production and education area based at the old working greenhouses in the Serpentine off Burlington Road. Volunteers have managed to clear a lot of the invasive scrub already and Buxton Civic Association have supported them with a donation.

There is still plenty of work to be done however so if anyone is interested in volunteering, in particular to help with building raised beds, and composting areas, then there are a number of volunteer days through out the winter.

The days run from 10 til 4 and are on:

Wednesday 19th November
Wednesday 26th November
Sunday 30th November
Wednesday 3rd December
Wednesday 10th December
Wednesday 17th December

If you are interested in helping out, then check out the Transition Buxton website for more information at

Members Event

20th November 2014 at 7.30 pm at the Poole's Cavern Visitor Centre