The Wokingham Society is a Civic Society established in the 1960s to combat the threat to the town's buildings
and facilities from widespread and often thoughtless redevelopment. Although it has not always been possible to
prevent the loss of individual landmarks, the Society's voice has been significant in helping to preserve many
local historical features and to ensure that development has been sensitive to the town's heritage.
As an independent and non-political organisation the Society can and does represent the whole town at local, regional and national levels Not only are members' views solicited, but links have been established with other organisations and individuals concerned with conservation and preservation. Purposeful and constructive dialogue is held with both the Town and Borough Councils, and members of the Society's Executive Committee serve on a number of official Forums and regularly attend meetings organised by local residents to discuss matters of local import and significance.
The Society's aims are clearly set out in the constitution which is available on the website here, but its main purposes may be summarised as:
• Encouraging the conservation of the character and traditions of
Wokingham as an historic market town
• Promoting study of the history of Wokingham and interest in our heritage
• Welcoming new development and business which enhance and invigorate the town
while constructively opposing measures that do not
• Proposing improvements to the town's environment and amenities
In order to achieve its aims the Society has worked consistently to save several fine buildings from demolition
or unsightly modifications and proposed sympathetic restoration of external features. The Society's Committee,
under the guidance of the Society's Planning Officer, reviews planning applications and development schemes, makes
recommendations to the local authorities and is consulted by the Borough Council's Planning Officers. It also
initiates and contributes to proposals to improve the town's environment and cultural activities and Public
Meetings are held to raise awareness and to stimulate debate. In achieving its aims the Society is assisted by its
membership of Civic Voice and the Open Spaces Society.
To contact The Wokingham Society please email the Chairman: Peter Must or the Secretary: John Griffin.
To read of David Tinker's talk 'The Great Stink: Joseph Bazelgette and the Building of London's Sewers' here .
For a list of previous Open Meeting topics and reports please click here.