Local Treasures

Tenby Civic Society started as the Friends of Tenby in the 1960s. It was set up to campaign for the reinstatement of the trees outside the town walls along South Parade and St. Florence Parade. Since then its activities have expanded to cover any activity which the Society feels will benefit Tenby and the lives of those who live, work and visit the town. To give a flavour of how the Society’s work has developed until recently here is a sample of our activities from our website.

WHAT WE DO
Tenby Civic Society aims to make Tenby a better place to live, work, shop and visit by promoting high standards of planning and architecture whilst preserving and protecting historical features yet allowing sustainable and thoughtful development of existing and new features ultimately resulting in prosperity, wellbeing and civic pride.
The Society discusses and makes active and direct contributions to the National Park Planning Authority and Pembrokeshire County Council on all new planning and licensing applications in Tenby.

Other business covers the design and installation of new, and refurbishment of old, Blue Heritage Plaques, highlighting new dilapidations, such as Scotsborough House, to Cadw and PCC, and ongoing fund raising and grant applications to fund new projects undertaken and managed by the Society such as the Tenby Characterisation Study which began in March 2017.

The Society was bequeathed Allen’s View some fifty years ago. Allen’s View is a hill top garden alongside the Pembrokeshire (now Wales) Coastal Path towards Saundersfoot, at the top of Northcliffe. It was gifted by Jessie Allen, the landowner, in 1965 to the Friends of Tenby (now Tenby Civic Society) and represents a significant ongoing project both in terms of responsibility as a Trustee and a major use of funds. The views are breath-taking but managing the planting and overall landscaping when vehicle access is limited can be time consuming for volunteers and expensive when specialist help is needed. Have a look at the Allen’s View BLOG to see what has been happening recently.

The Society also provides welcome advice, information and support to other local bodies such as St Catherine’s Island Trust and the Brynhir Action Group as well as attending to the usual Committee business.
We make charitable contributions to deserving local groups, societies and individuals.
For some years we have run an annual award scheme to reward building developments and improvements which make a positive addition to look of Tenby. About five such properties have received certificates to display and we are waiting for one renovation to finish so that we can congratulate the owner who has worked for many years on a difficult scheme for a visually prominent building. (Watch our website for updates).

All of this work is low key, behind the scenes work, depending on a lot of time-consuming toil by a small group of volunteers. It struck the committee some time ago that worthwhile as this work is, it concentrates on the place, the buildings, the background rather than the people. Then came an idea for an award for deserving residents arising from a post by Dave Bolton on Plastic Free Tenby’s social media.

The Civic Society took up the idea and started a scheme to recognise “Local Treasures”. These are people, Tenby residents, who contribute hugely through their charitable and other work to the life of the town, frequently unrecognised, certainly unrewarded and over a long period. We aim to present a framed certificate to those people at a public ceremony, with the press present, so that as many people as possible know how much they contribute to the town by their unselfish activities. Frequently they tend to be people who would turn down a certificate if it was suggested to them, so an element of secrecy is necessary to get the recipient, their friends and family, the press and the presenter together at one and the same time to make the presentation.

So far, we have presented two certificates. The Tenby Observer reported as follows:
On Saturday 7th July, 2018 Michelle Watkins was hoodwinked into visiting St Catherine’s Island under the
pretence of being at a photographic shoot for her son’s recent wedding. On entering the fort Michelle was
astonished to be greeted and applauded by a very large group of family and friends, representatives from
Tenby Civic Society, Plastic Free Tenby and Island staff.

In Michelle’s case the award has been made for “her continuing voluntary effort over a number of years to
keep Tenby South beach litter-free“. Mr. Tudor Thomas presenting the certificate, bouquet and small
hamper on behalf of the Tenby Civic Society stated… “For a number of years the Civic Society has made
awards for buildings which improve Tenby. But a town is much more than buildings It is those people
throughout Tenby who deserve our gratitude and thanks for their voluntary efforts for the town. We hope
that this, first of a kind award,will be one of many as we look for further nominations and proposals”.

The second presentation in 2019 was to Cllr. Trevor Hallett, long-serving Tenby Town Councillor, Mayor for
numerous terms of office and well-known to everyone in Tenby. That presentation was more low-key but
easier to arrange as Trevor is also a Tenby Civic Society committee member.

Both Michelle’ and Trevor’s surprise and delight was more than enough reward for us and confirmed the
scheme was worthwhile. We haven’t had anyone refuse to accept an award or walk away yet. We have our third worthy recipient
already lined up and we are in the process of organising a presentation. Let’s hope our sneaky scheme for
the venue and presentation doesn’t leak out and it goes well. Wish us well and watch this space!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *