Raymond Gorbing about setting up a planning office
This excerpt is about setting up a planning office in Nottingham, but it will give you an idea about how the planning offices were working in the first years.
So my first job was in planning and was in Nottinghamshire, they were at that time just after the war, the government didn’t have sort of very much idea what planning was all about. I don’t think we did really, but we at the school of planning had were the only people who could really produce structure plans for counties, in fact we produced the first structure plans and worked out the method of how to do it.
This was Nottinghamshire county council, yes. And they sent me up there, it was quite amusing really, I went to Nottingham and saw the director of planning, who was an engineer and he said I don’t know anything about planning, he said what are you going to do? And I said well you know you have advertised the job the job was North Nottinghamshire, as planning officer North Nottinghamshire. Well I don’t know what you are going to do, he said, there’s your area, North Notts, it runs from Nottingham right up to Bawtry and Retford and Worksop. Go up there and sort yourself out, fix yourself up with an office, and I said well, he said Ill allow a lorry, he said go and buy equipment, drawing boards, or what ever you want (laughs) and get your staff together, this was ridiculous I mean I, this was my first job, you know.
So I said, I virtually did, I went up and found an old garage and set up an office, filled in the you know the inspection pit and as it so happened er I got a chap to help me who was a colleague of mine at the school of planning so between two of us we recruited, local staff, student planners up there and we produced a, the first, one of the first plans I suppose that were produced in this country for structure of North Notts.
We were given about two and a half years to produce it and we finished it in about a year, the whole thing you know all the plans and sent them down to Nottingham and they sent them down to the Ministry of London, they didn’t know what to do with them and they just sort of sat on them there you know, so it really meant that we were sitting up there, without any work to do, we had done it all and it was at that time after about 18 months up there that they, that the job in Stevenage was advertised, so I applied for to come down to join the staff in the new town.