St Albans Museum + Gallery exhibition celebrates 50 years of conservation in our city

Exhibition organiser Geoff Dyson, Cllr Anthony Rowlands and Prof Tim Boatswain at the opening of the

Exhibition organiser Geoff Dyson, Cllr Anthony Rowlands and Prof Tim Boatswain at the opening of the St Albans Museum + Gallery Conservation 50 exhibition. Picture: Conservation 50 - Credit: Archant

An exhibition has been opened at St Albans Museum + Gallery to celebrate 50 years of conservation areas in the city.

St Albans District Council was one of the first local authorities to establish a conservation area in 1969, aiming to conserve and enhance St Albans's architecture, character and environment.

The Conservation 50 exhibition was opened in the upstairs gallery off the assembly room at the museum and gallery by Cllr Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for community, leisure and sport.

Cllr Rowlands, a former history teacher, expressed his appreciation for St Albans's historic heritage, but also addressed the need for progress which respects the character of the city.

He said: "I am delighted that 50 years of the conservation areas are being celebrated in this wonderful city of ours and congratulations to organisers and volunteers that have made this happen.

"It is important in such a historic place like St Albans, that we conserve and enhance its unique character."

St Albans has 19 conservation areas. Every local authority has at least one, with nearly 10,000 now in existence. The Conservation 50 project was organised by the Civic Society and local residents' association, in conjunction with the St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society and St Albans Camera Club.

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The exhibition features a series of photographs and displays of conservation in the city, covering both built environment and trees. There will also be a video showing how modern places in St Albans looked in the past, a panel on the importance of tree conservation, and a record of conservation projects of the 1960s and '70s.

Professor Tim Boatswain, chairman of Conservation 50, spoke at the exhibition opening and reminded everyone that it was just the start of a month of celebrations.

A conference will be held at Dagnall Road Baptist Church from 2pm on Saturday, July 6, with national and local guest speakers and a Q&A session chaired by Julian Worricker from the BBC.

A primary schools competition on the theme of Conservation 50 is already under way, and the pupils' work will be on display at St Albans Museum + Gallery on Sunday, July 7.