About Halstead 21st Century Group
In 2013 a planning application to build a supermarket and car park in a town centre green space in Halstead was refused by Braintree District Counicil. Next to the High Street, the application site contained natural springs, woodland, a Victorian garden and a rare group of sixteen WWII air raid shelters – a unique combination. Campaigners soon realised that the site would remain at risk - and so Halstead 21st Century Group was formed to help preserve it. And we were right; in 2018 a further application was submitted – and also refused.
As time passed, we soon realised that other valued parts of our local area were under threat and working to preserve our local heritage and open spaces became our mission.
Years of building networks, extending our activities and building the organisation have helped us develop a stronger, clearer voice. In 2018 we registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Charity Commission and in 2020 we were awarded a grant by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to strengthen our organisation even further through our Readiness & Resilience project.
Here are just some examples of what we do:
- Monitor and comment on planning applications that impact on our natural and built heritage
- Champion our built and natural assets through nomination to registers, e.g. Local Heritage List, Ancient Tree inventory)
- Produce a quarterly newsletter
- Record oral histories
- Arrange heritage talks at local venues
- Curate and man displays for the public (e.g. Essex Industrial Heritage Fair, Colne Valley at War, Halstead Christmas Fayre)
- Liaise with local councils
- Encourage community involvement with heritage through social media
- Work with other organisations to promote our heritage (e.g. the Courtaulds Connects project, Heritage Open Days)
- Promote our vision for Halstead Heritage Park. a sustainable alternative to major development for a town centre green space
All images on this website contributed by H21stC Group members, Halstead Heritage Museum and Emily Hunn, unless otherwise stated.