Architect’s impression of the new Public Services Hub
Architect’s impression of the new Public Services Hub
Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society welcomes all new members.
If you are reading this page you must be interested in our town and probably want to ensure that its history and character are preserved for future generations to appreciate.
The Civic Society does not oppose progress and understands that the needs of our community change and develop over time but we do not wish to see our interesting, historic heritage swept aside and replaced by generic new buildings that fundamentally change the character of this Georgian / Victorian market town.
The objectives of the Society are to promote and encourage the following :-
The Society currently meets at 2.00 pm on the second Friday of each month at the Brampton Museum.
Not all everyone can attend meetings but all our members receive detailed minutes to keep them up to date.
Our annual subscription is just £7.00 per year payable in January.
If you want to help to make a difference by joining the Civic Society please email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org
John Wild, who sadly died on 28th September at the age of ninety three, had been a member of the Civic Society from very soon after its foundation in 1968.
An Architect by profession, he made his skills freely available and helped to stay the tendency of certain developers to vandalise parts of Newcastle which were rich in heritage. The project to save Maer Hills from totally unsuitable development was just one of the many causes he espoused, and he also gave valuable guidance in preserving Maer church from decay.
A very active member of the Civic Society, he served as Honorary Secretary and later as Chairman for many years, before being elected as President. In 2002 John resigned from the Society due to increasing hearing problems, and was elected an Honorary member to mark our appreciation of his enormous contributions to the work of the Civic Society.
On 18th December 2007 the Town Mayor, Councillor David Clarke, and members of the Borough Council decided to issue Certificates of Outstanding Service to certain valued citizens. John Wild was the first person to receive one of these prestigious awards, in a ceremony at the Civic Offices, attended by his family and colleagues from the Civic Society. With typical modesty, he felt that this was as much an honour to the Society as to him personally.
John Wild (left) with Councillor David Clarke and Jim Worgan (right)
John was a real gentleman, of great integrity. Polite, gracious and always ready to listen to others, but also a man of inner strength and convictions to uphold what he knew to be right.
He will be greatly missed, by his family, by the Society and by a Borough to which he devoted so much of his time and energy.
Denis joined the Civic Society in 1991. A regular attendee of our monthly meetings, he was a staunch supporter of the Society’s projects.
For many years he was the hard working and conscientious Honorary Secretary, and would often deliver minutes to members by hand, always finding time for a chat as he did so.
In 2009 Denis was elected as President of the Society and in 2014 he became one of only four elected Honorary members, positions he held with considerable pride for the rest of his life.
His knowledge of the locality and buildings was of great value to the Civic Society and his well-informed advice was readily given whenever requested.
Always cheerful and ready to help on any occasion, Denis became a good friend to all of us who knew him, and he will be greatly missed.
Bernard Billington – Died 31st January 2015
Bernard, ably supported by his wife Kathleen, had been a staunch member of the Civic Society since its early days and he regularly contributed his well-considered views on most subjects discussed at our monthly meetings.
Probably the highlight of his achievements as a member was the fact that it was he who first suggested that the Civic Society should endeavour to get the Queen Victoria statue removed from the Station Walks and returned to a more appropriate site in the town. He also introduced us to his friend Wilf Burt, the stone mason who eventually oversaw the safe transport and re-erection of this statue in the Queen’s Gardens. Bernard personally paid for a new sceptre to replace the original one which had been stolen.
Bernard suffered medical problems in his later years, exacerbated by the rather sudden death of his much loved wife, but although no longer able to attend our meetings, he retained his interest in the society’s activities to preserve and enhance his beloved Newcastle to the end.
Bernard saw wartime service in the RAF, during which time he was “mentioned in despatches”. This was followed by a career in the insurance industry.
A man of high standards and integrity, his contributions to the work of the society, and his friendship with those who remember him will be greatly missed.
(died December 1980)
Margaret was the eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. F. H. Clews. She was educated at Newcastle Grammar School and qualified to become a primary school teacher, subsequently teaching on the Westlands, where she lived.
Her strong affection for Newcastle led her to become an active founder member of the Civic Society, as were her parents.
Together with them, she was a member of the Unitarian Meeting House, being the Secretary from the mid 70’s until her death.
Members, friends and local organisations contributed to a memorial fund that financed the commissioning of the plaque from the Royal Label Factory, now part of Leander Architectural, and its installation in Merrial Street by the Borough Council in 1986.
Jim was the son of a local pharmacist and spent all his life in Newcastle apart from the time he spent serving his country during WWII.
On his return he became a well – known local character and ran a photographic and music centre shop originally next to his brother Roger’s pharmacy in the town centre.
Jim had a deep interest and care for his home town and watched its development keenly, sometimes seeming to spend more time in the Civic Offices than did those who worked there.
He was a determined, tenacious campaigner – a wonderful ally but a fearsome opponent !
Jim was a founder member of Civic Society and was, for some years, its Honorary Secretary. He championed many local causes the most recent being the Listing of Lancaster Buildings.
He was so highly regarded he was made an Honorary Member of the Society, one of only three in the Society’s history.
He was also, for many years, a member of Newcastle Rotary club taking particular interest in the activities of its Community Service committee.
He was kind hearted and generous and seemed to have an endless supply of sweets and cakes which he distributed freely.
Jim will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues in the Society.
Who are we ?
Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society is a well established and active group who aim to conserve the character and prosperity of our unique and historic town and Borough whilst accommodating the needs of our 21st century community.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society was formed in 1968 and currently has approximately fifty members. We are a diverse group of local people from all sorts of backgrounds brought together by our desire to protect, conserve and improve the character of our historic town.
The aims of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Civic Society are to promote and encourage the following:
a) public interest in and concern and respect for the Borough’s beauty, history and character;
b) the development, preservation, conservation, and improvement of features of historic and community interest;
c) high standards of planning, architecture and landscaping.
We meet on the second Friday of each month (excluding August) at 2.00pm in the Orme Centre, Pooldam.
New members are very welcome.
We are very sad to announce the death on Monday 2nd August of Kathleen Billington. Kathleen and her husband Bernard have been very active members of the Civic Society since its early days and have over the years contributed a great deal to our various projects.
Recent months have seen both Kathleen and Bernard suffering from various medical problems which have prevented them from attending our meetings, but they have retained their interest in the Society’s activities.
Kathleen will be greatly missed, and our sincere sympathy goes to Bernard, who will be much in our thoughts.
Contributed by Miss Joan Howe
I take on this role of Chairman with some trepidation, hoping I can live up to the standard set by previous holders of this position.
The Society continues to involve itself in a variety of projects within the Borough. We maintain a watching brief on planning matters and have members involved on the Conservation Advisory Working Party.
Our last four meetings have been held in the evening in an attempt to give those working during the day the opportunity to join us. Perhaps the rather early start time of 6.30 pm may have been difficult for some but for whatever reason we have gained no new members as a result of this trial.
As a small society we shall have to continue to address the task of attracting new members.
I hope you have seen the display in the library, produced by Diana Bevan. This display publicises the Society and is another attempt to interest others in our activities and to join us. There will be displays in the library and museum later in the year with particular reference to the Heritage Open Days.
CivicVoice – the national organisation of which we are a founder member, is hoping to organise a “Civic Day” in 2011 and we hope to be involved along with many other Civic Societies.
We do not meet in August but will return in September, hopefully refreshed and ready for an active year ahead.
Finally. Thanks must go to everyone for all their work which keeps the Society going.