March the 13th, 2013
The death of our Honorary President, Stan Crowther, was announced on March 11th. Below is an appreciation:
Stan Crowther – An Appreciation
Stan Crowther had a lifelong interest in Town Planning and the environment. In 1966, as Chairman of the Planning and Development Committee, he was instrumental in the establishment of a separate Planning Department at the Borough Council. He was the driving force behind the pedestrianisation of All Saints Square, the creation of a central bus station, the new Centenary Market, and many other projects which transformed Rotherham in the late sixties and early seventies.
Recognising that the considerable environmental problems and lack of industrial sites for new development were holding back the town, Stan led calls for ‘an environmental onslaught’ to make Rotherham a more attractive town. He was also instrumental in bringing about the formation of the Rotherham Area Development Council which played a key role in lobbying for regional funding assistance from the Government and in attracting new firms to the Borough.
Stan sat on the Executive Committee of the Town and Country Planning Association and was a member of the steering committee set up to establish the Rotherham Civic Society in December 1968. Stan was one of the first members of the Civic Society and, following his retirement as the town’s Member of Parliament, he took on the role of Chairman in April 1992.
Shortly after his election as Chairman, and very much on his initiative, the Society launched its Environmental Improvement Trophy which was to be awarded once every two years for high standards of architectural treatment in both new build and building restoration.
Stan was a frequent contributor to the letters pages of the Rotherham Advertiser, often promoting the Society’s views on current planning issues within the Borough, or contributing memories of theatres, public houses and other buildings that no longer existed.
In May 2010 Stan stepped down from the Chairmanship and was elected as Honorary President, and in recognition of his outstanding service to the Society it was agreed that the Environmental Award made by the Society be re-named ‘The Stan Crowther Environmental Award’.
Stan was keenly interested in local history and enthusiastically assisted the publication by the Society of a series of booklets aimed at encouraging others to share that interest. Income from the sale of these booklets has enabled the Society to recently embark upon another of his great passions, the installation of heritage ‘blue plaques’ commemorating notable citizens of the Borough.
For the last twenty years Stan Crowther wrote and campaigned for the restoration of the medieval Three Cranes Inn on High Street and it is very sad that he did not live to see the completion of its restoration. He would, however, fully support the work of Chris Hamby in his efforts to achieve this very worthwhile objective.