City of Southampton Society
Registered Charity No 1006256 England and Wales
caring for our city's heritage and its green open spaces
Webmaster John Avery
                                      Titanic departing from Southampton April 1912          John Melody Town Crier          
   About us
Queen Mary entering KG DOCKOur outdoor visit to Minstead Church in 2011 image Will TempleWarrior who after service on the front in WWI became a Southampton Police Horse. Image by kind permission Bitterne Local History SocietySouthampton CenotaphJohn Melody Town Crier at Tudor Revels 2012 image Arthur Jeffery



                     50 years  city status


President City of Southampton Society

Mayor of Southampton and Admiral of the Port
CoSS PresidentCouncillor Cathie McEwing
 Arthur Jeffery Chairman
Our executive committee
Chairman Arthur Jeffery contact
Secretary Sue Sefton         contact
Treasurer Jacky Barnes
Editor Review - Brian Sefton  contact
Membership Secretary Sarah Chorley
Marian Hubble

Honorary Life Members
Kathleen Flint
Jack Candy

Planning and Environmental sub committee
Carol Cunio [chair]contact
Marian Hubble 
Arthur Jeffery [minutes secretary]
Brian Sefton
Alec Samuels

The committee vets planning applications for major commercial developments, monitors all applications for conservation areas and listed buildings. Additionally all matters on commons, parks and green ways.

Reports are made to the appropriate council officer on potholes, defective street lighting, traffic signs etc, dog fouling and stray dogs, parking of vehicles on pavements, anti social behaviour such as fly posters, litter and fly tipping and graffiti.

The sub committee reports actions and recommendations to the executive committee.
The newsletter is normally published twice a year. The editor welcomes contributions particularly with Southampton being the subject matter. Original non published articles are preferred but material previously published in other media should be with the consent of the editor of another magazine. Articles should be 12 point font in Arial and images should not be embedded into the article but sent either by e mail or on CD disc. Please use a Word programme if using a PC. Images should be a minimum of 300 pixels per square inch. The author should show the source of the image and credit the copyright owner [or items out of copyright the source such as a library or archive]. The editor may shorten the article or correct typographical /spelling inaccuracies at his / her discretion. The post of Editor was taken on in November 2014 by Brian Sefton.
Green Open Spaces Award
Acting jointly with Southampton Commons and Parks Protection Society a judging panel visits gardens where volunteers from local communities work with SCC parks division to create and help to maintain small community gardens. The site is not eligible for the award if it hold a Green Flag which in itself indicates a level of excellence [although local Friends groups may contribute to the success of that award].

Illustrated talks at general meetings

We attempt to select a variety of subjects with speakers recommended or selected from first hand observation from other meetings. Regular speakers return to give alternative subjects often from a range of well prepared subjects.
These include Jake Simpkin [see picture], Geoff Watts, John Avery, Jill Daniels, Dr Andy Russel.

The talks are held at the Edmund Kell Church Hall in Bellevue Road off London Road [facilities for disabled visitors]. The meetings start at 7pm. contact

Court Leet


Previously held in the open air on the Common, the annual event is now held in the Council Chamber in the Civic Centre before the Sheriff and a panel of Jurors. The Society is normally represented and Presentments if accepted are forwarded to the council for observations and action. Usually a class of school children attend in the visitors gallery having earlier in the morning accompanied the Sheriff to beat the bounds, another ancient custom.

Mayor Choosing Day

Normally members of the Society attend the annual choosing of the Mayor in the month of May in the Guildhall.

Mayor Making Ceremony 4th June 2014 
Image courtesy Ann MacGillivray
Portrait HM The Queen at the Mayor's Parlour, Civic Centre, Southampton. Image Will Temple 
The portrait of HM The Queen in the Mayor's Parlour [Image Will Temple]
When John Melody the Town Crier is in full flow see people nearby protecting their ears! Image Will Temple 
[The late} John Melody Town Crier announcing the start of Court Leet in 2012 [Image Will Temple]


At 26th January 2016 we had 116 members.

How we started - Alan Robinson, founder

Alan Robinson founder member of the City of Southampton SocietyThe Southampton that I grew up in was that of the 1920 s and 30 s. I well remember the town centre with its open-top trams and attractive selection of shops and cafes in Above Bar. I remember its many cinemas – some conversions from other uses and later on some impressive contemporary buildings, two of which I think have survived the passage of time, although no longer used for their original purpose.

This picture abruptly changed in the winter of 1940. As I watched from the relative safety (!) of an army ammunition store on Salisbury Plain it soon became evident that a heavy air-raid was taking place over Southampton.

The following morning I rushed to the nearest telephone box to check on the family only to discover that there were no telephone connections to Southampton. Fortunately I was able to obtain a day’s leave and I travelled there by bus to find that the centre of town was blocked off and the scene was one of incredible destruction. Approaching the Junction I was shocked to see that Plummer’s store was completely burnt out and the view into Above Bar was almost unrecognisable.

Anxious to get home I approached a nearby tram still apparently unharmed to discover that there was no overhead wiring left! However, further out of the centre the system was still working and I was able to reach my home and find my family were safe.

For me, that was the end of Southampton as I had known it.

While the destruction of the town centre had been abrupt, the process of restoration proved to be slow and as it developed, seemingly without much coherence or sense of style. It soon became clear that there was an urgent need for an organisation which could monitor the development of the new Southampton centre.

In 1962, in conjunction with the Civic Trust, I called a meeting to be held in the Conference Room of the Civic Centre on Friday 23rd November. Ironically, this clashed with several other worthy gatherings, thus depleting our numbers. After a short introductory address by me the meeting was handed over to the representative from the Civic Trust, a Mr Tim Rock, and subsequently for general discussion.

Although the idea of a civic society was universally accepted a majority preferred the title of Civic Trust, and this was adopted until some time later when it was changed to City of Southampton Society. “Caring about our City” was the reason for the formation of the Society fifty years ago, and remains our fundamental objective now.

Fortunately, we have had a succession of dedicated supporters and committed Southamptonians who have given their time and services both to the continuation of the Society and the enhancement of modern Southampton.

6Latest update  6th March 2016

                                   Acknowledgement We use the image o the late John Melody the Town Crier [which had been given with his permission] and the image is by courtesy flickr [Roly40 Ronald Rollison] as our logo on this site.

Copyright City of Southampton Society 2011/1213/2014/2015/2016
Outdoor visit to Minstead Church image courtesy Will Temple Outdoor visit on a Guy Arab open top busTug tender Calshot in preservation Copyright 2016