History

The first Cheltenham Civic Society was founded in 1925, but by the end of the 1930s it had ceased to meet. In 1950 a Regency Society was formed from the remaining members of the Civic Society and the Cheltenham branch of the local Georgian Group, but this too was short-lived.

However, in 1955 the Architectural Review published architectural critic Ian Nairn’s article ‘Outrage’ – in which he coined the term ‘Subtopia’ to describe the post-war spoiling of our towns and cities by a failed planning system – which raised awareness across the country of poor design, traffic planning and street clutter. And that newly stimulated awareness led to the reformation of Cheltenham Civic Society, which has flourished ever since.

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