Fifty years ago, an Act of Parliament was passed which enabled Councils to designate Conservation Areas. Within months, Middle Street Conservation area in Deal was created – the first in Kent and one of the first in the country.

To commemorate the anniversary of conservation areas, The Deal Society is showing an exhibition in the Deal Maritime and Local History Museum, from Tuesday 13 June to Sunday 25 June, to explain the history of conservation areas and why they are still important.

On Saturday 17th June, Civic Day, Deal Society Chairman David White will give a talk about conservation areas at the museum starting at 1.30pm. At 2pm he will then lead a walk around the Nelson Street conservation area which will last for about an hour, returning to the museum where tea and cakes will be on sale. Normal museum entry fees apply and there are no additional fees for the walk or talk and no pre-booking is required.

The timing of the legislation to create conservation areas was very fortunate for Deal because just three years earlier, in 1964, a plan had been proposed which would have demolished much of the historic centre of the town in order to make way for office blocks, ring roads, a shopping centre, housing and lots of car parks. Amongst the many historic buildings which would have been demolished was Deal’s Georgian Town Hall which would have gone to make way for a road.

Fortunately, the plan was rejected but the establishment of the first conservation area in Deal ensured that the buildings, now highly prized, would never again be threatened.

For details of opening hours, visit the museum’s website at www.dealmuseum.co.uk.