Previous Projects

The Society has undertaken a variety of projects since our foundation in 1962. These have varied from research projects to landscaping projects and from competitions to tourist guides. We are very proud of these projects and below is a collated list of the project work we have undertaken over the year.

Please do visit the Projects page for details of our current project work.

2023

Ghost Signs

Ahead of Halloween 2023, Historic England put out a call to invite people to share images and information about the ghost signs seen across the country for inclusion in a new online map to record these unique reminders of the past.

Ghost signs are reminders of previous uses of buildings and generally, though not exclusively, are hand painted advertising signs on external walls of buildings. To qualify as a ghost sign, the use of the building and occupier must have changed from that depicted in the sign.

The Society contributed to the project and the results can be found on Historic England’s online map, which can be viewed here.

2023

Ringwood Town Map

After the Covid pandemic we spoke with a number of High Street & Market Place shopkeepers who expressed concern that visitors to Ringwood weren’t always aware that there is more to Ringwood than the Furlong Shopping Centre.

In response to this, and until connections are improved, we produced the Ringwood Society Town Centre Map, which incorporated our, soon to be relaunched, Visitors Town Trail.

We secured a grant of £2,700 from HCC’s post pandemic ‘Get Going Again’ fund to install the map at a key arrival point in the town and print 2,500 Town Trails. Together these help visitors to understand how much there is to explore in Ringwood Town Centre and encourages them to investigate Ringwood’s built heritage.

2021 to 2023

Town Trail

Our hugely popular Town Trail was revised and republished in 2023. The trail around Ringwood’s historic town centre, designated a Conservation Area, was compiled to provide interesting facts and a new appreciation of some of the buildings and sights in our town centre.

The printed version of the Town Trail has been distributed across the local area and copies can be found in many shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses across the area. Designed for visitors, but equally of interest to locals, the Town Trail starts at the Ringwood Meeting House and History Centre, taking you down to the Market Place, along the High Street down to the Bickerley, down West Street and back to the Market Place and the Furlong.

The trail takes about an hour, providing interesting facts and pieces of history, it also includes lots of opportunities to stop at cafes, pubs and restaurants for a drink or something to eat.

We secured a grant of £2,700 from HCC’s post pandemic ‘Get Going Again’ fund to print 2,500 Town Trails and install a copy of the Ringwood Town Map at a key arrival point in the town. Together these help visitors to understand how much there is to explore in Ringwood Town Centre and encourages them to investigate Ringwood’s built heritage. A further reprint of 10,000 Town Trails later in 2023 after the original print run was exhausted was funded by Society reserves and a New Forest District Council Councillor Grant.

An online version of the Town Trail can be found here.

2017 to 2020

Clean Up Ringwood Campaign

2016 to 2020

Ringwood Improvement Initiative

2016 to 2018

Friday’s Cross Signage

2008 to 2011

Southampton Road Enhancement

2000

High Street and Market Place Photographic Project

1999

Millennium Clock

The idea for the installation of a clock in the town to celebrate the Millennium was the brainchild of Society member; Ann Cole, who was also the main contributor to its cost.

In January 1999 the Society received an approach from Ann, who was willing to donate up to £5,000 towards a clock in the main car park to mark the Millennium. Ringwood Town Council contributed £1,000 toward the cost of the clock, and after considering two options designed by committee member Dick Sheerin of Sheerin Bettle & Associates, an application for planning permission was made to New Forest District Council in early July 1999.

The application was granted in late August 1999 and the project was progressed quickly with assistance from the Town Council Millennium Committee, especially Ringwood Society Committee members Dick Sheerin and Jeff Wickens, who put in an enormous amount of work to ensure Ann’s idea reached fruition. Installation of the clock commenced on 9th December 1999 at 11am and was complete in time for commissioning at noon on the 31st December. Assistance with the installation was provided by John Iles of local machinery distributor; Merlo UK Limited, who provided machinery to lift the clock into place.

The clock was formally inaugurated on New Year’s Eve 1999 as part of Ringwood’s Millennium celebrations. A ceremony was performed by Reverend Canon John Turpin, the parish vicar, and Councillor Neville Chard, the Chairman of the Town Council, accompanied by The Ringwood and Burley Band, with baked potatoes and mulled wine being served.

1995

Ringwood Town Guide

1994

Visitors Guide

1993 to 1997

Mansfield Road Flower Bed

The project was created by committee members Jeff Wickens, later chairman of the Society, and Dick Sheerin. The intention was to improve the visual amenity of a leftover triangle of land created when Mansfield Road was cut through the town in the 1970s as part of the Poulner Lane Diversion scheme.

The project was funded by The Ringwood Society with funding assistance from Hampshire County Council’s Community Action Fund, New Forest District Council and Ringwood Town Council. The project could not have been carried out without the substantial goodwill and help from local companies willing to donate their time and materials. Local builder Mik Harrop arranged the foundations, with the digging being undertaken by Jeff and Dick, and built the wall and seat, Hanson Brick Limited donated the majority of the bricks, Elliott Brothers Builders Merchants contributed the rest of the materials, except the concrete and sand which were given by C J Lee & Sons. Bath Travel provided free power and water for the construction, Raymond Brown Limited provided the protective fencing while works were going on, Parker Timber provided the wood for the seat and Allum Brothers made the seat itself. The plants were provided at cost by Guys Nursery, and planted by Dick Sheerin and his wife Maureen

1993 to 1995

Town Trail

1981 to 1984

Town Centre Car Park Competition

1975 to 1978

Hampshire Treasures Survey

The Hampshire Treasures project was run by Hampshire County Council and was created as a response to the two ‘Countryside in 1970’ conferences held in November 1963 and November 1965. One of the ways it was suggested that liaision between different organisations could be improved was through the creation of a single record of ‘Treasures’ for each county.

Hampshire County Council began a Treasures Survey in 1967-68 with a pilot study, with the work developing beyond the pilot as a joint project between the County Planning Department and the Hampshire Council of Community Service. Volunteer Field Correspondents undertook the survey work with assistance from Local Amenity groups among others.

In Ringwood assistance was provided by The Ringwood Society and our survey work fed into the creation of the Treasures list for the parish between 1975 and 1978, with a draft list being published in April 1978 as part of the ‘New Forest West’ survey. These draft lists were eventually updated and ratified, and the completed list was published within Volume V – New Forest of Hampshire Treasures in 1981.

1967 to 1969

A Survey of Ringwood

Towards the end of the 1960s The Ringwood Society embarked upon their first major project; A Survey of Ringwood. This document was intended to appraise the centre of Ringwood and form a platform from which the case for a Conservation Area designation could be made. The document was published in January 1969 and was used as an exemplar by the Civic Trust.

A Survey of Ringwood did indeed help make the case for a Conservation Area in Ringwood, and 1970 opened with the designation of the Ringwood Conservation Area, following a boundary largely unaltered from Society proposals. This designation made Ringwood the first Conservation Area designated in what is now the New Forest District.

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