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THIS WEEK : Selma Montford: The hope that the £1bn schemes will all disappear

TALKBOARD : Step Back in Time – A History of the Argus

LATEST IN DIRECTORY : Preston and Patcham Society launches new web platform


LATEST: New platform launched November 2016: As well as news and information and details about the background of the society, together with the Muriel Elms Collection, a gallery of old photographs of the area, the new web platform from the Preston and Patcham Society is also smart phone ready. Browse the new web platform here.


BRIGHTON : Preston and Patcham Society

In 1960 the Old Patcham Preservation Society was set up to save some cottages on Church Hill, Patcham, including the terrace of early nineteenth century houses from numbers 13 to 21, from demolition.

Under the chairmanship of Mr W Alan Duke the cottages were bought by the Society, much of the funds provided by Mr Duke himself. The cottages were renovated and then sold for a small profit.

Brighton and Hove By-pass
This Society, which at times had 150 members, faced its biggest battle of the second half of the twentieth century over the construction of the Brighton and Hove By-pass. In 1973 six routes for a new east-west road to by-pass the Greater Brighton area including downland and urban options, were identified for public consultation.

Preston Society
In the same year, 1973, a proposal to demolish Lourdes Convent in Preston Road led to a group of local residents forming the Preston Society.

They were also actively involved with the proposal to demolish Brighton Station, as Anthony Dale, secretary of the Regency Society, had refused to object to its demolition saying that it was only Victorian.

The Preston Society decided to link with the Old Patcham Preservation Society to fight the By-pass scheme and The Preston and Old Patcham Society was created by John Morley, then Director of the Royal Pavilion, and Selma Montford. In 1974 they also founded the Brighton Society to deal with schemes which affected Brighton and Hove as a whole.

Preston and Old Patcham Society
In the mid 1970s, The Preston and Old Patcham Society was concerned over a development of flats and houses as what is now called Varndean Park, built in the grounds of three villas on the London Road.

about the society
The Preston and Old Patcham Society was founded in 1973. Our work is concerned with maintaining a sense of continuity in the community and matters related to conservation issues.

The Society embraces the area between Ditchling Road, Springfield Road, Dyke Road, Snakey Lane, Patcham village, Withdean, Westdean, Varndean and the surrounding downland.

The Society plants trees from time to time. We check significant planning applications weekly. We are represented on the Conservation Advisory Group which advises Brighton City Council’s Planning Applications Sub-Committee on matters of conservation and listed buildings.

We hold regular meetings to which we welcome all members.

join us
You can send a cheque payable to the Preston & Patcham Society to the Hon Treasurer Brenda Mann, 82 Larkfield Way, Brighton BN1 8EF. We also have arrangements to accept standing orders. Please contact our treasurer for further information.

Here are a few of the services that we offer:

  • regular meetings for members
  • planning advice to people who are members
  • tree planting
  • representations on conservation

muriel elms collection
We are lucky to have been been given the opportunity to digitise this collection of more than 100 images.

We are currently showing a total of 30 images on the platform. Muriel Elms gave the collection to the Brighton & Hove Archaeological Society. We are very grateful for the loan of the material to display on our web platform.

Muriel Elms built up this collection over a lifetime and used the slides to illustrate her talks on Patcham to local groups. The Collection is also well-known to local historians.
Here in the section of the platform we have titled, Who Was Muriel Elms? you can find out more about the author of this unique collection of images. The information comes from a talk given by Muriel herself, to local community groups, supported by her collection of photographs.

Preston and Patcham Society
about the society
join us
muriel elms collection

In 1960 the Old Patcham Preservation Society was set up to save some cottages on Church Hill, Patcham