Prominent architect and Wimbledon heritage guru Norman Plastow recognised with gallery and exhibition

Wimbledon Guardian: Norman Plastow Norman Plastow

A prominent heritage conservationist has been honoured with a gallery he designed renamed after him.

Norman Plastow, 84, a lifelong Wimbledon resident and professional architect, has made considerable contributions to Wimbledon's heritage since the 1970s.

He designed the Village Hall Trust Gallery in Lingfield Road, which opened in 2012 to provide more exhibition space for Wimbledon artists.

Residents and artists gathered for a ceremony on Friday, March 7 to honour his work with a temporary exhibition and launch the renamed Norman Plastow Gallery.

The exhibition, Norman Plastow's Wimbledon, includes photos, texts and memorabilia relating to the Wimbledon museums he has been instrumental in constructing, his campaigns to protect Wimbledon's heritage and personal documents, including a photo with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Mr Plastow, who has been president of the Wimbledon Society since 1998, said: "I'm just grateful and amazed that people are prepared to put their time into putting this exhibition together."

He first got involved with the Wimbledon Society as a schoolboy at King's College School, when the society helped him with his history projects.

After studying architecture at Kingston University and setting up his own practice, Mr Plastow served as chairman of the society in 1975-83 and 1986-94.

He has also chaired the Village Hall Trust and the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, as well as leading the restoration and establishment of the Wimbledon Windmill Museum.

Through the Wimbledon Society, he has campaigned for an improved town centre, a replacement for the Civic Hall which was demolished when Centre Court was built, more conservation areas, and the use of Cannizaro House, now a hotel but once promised as a cultural centre by Merton Council.

Mr Plastow, who will continue to campaign for heritage conservation, said: "I campaign because of frustration at the way things are badly changed with council policies, whichever party is in power."

Also a successful writer, Mr Plastow's books include Safe as Houses, a detailed study of the bombing of Wimbledon during WWII, and A History of Wimbledon and Putney Commons.

The Norman Plastow Gallery with a dedicated exhibition is open to the public on March 13, from 2.30pm to 5pm the weekend, 15 and 16 during the opening hours of the Museum of Wimbledon.


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