Selby Civic Society, formed as part of the celebrations marking the 900th anniversary of Selby in 1969, is looking for new members to invigorate it as it looks forward to 2017 and celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019.
Chairman Michael Dyson said at the Society AGM "We really would like to see new members swell our numbers to make sure that the Society has a bright future."
That's not to say that the Society has been reducing its activities. It’s won the prestigious Yorkshire and Humber regional “Peter Spawforth Award” for the best Civic Society project in Yorkshire and Humberside twice: once in 2010 for its work with Selby Museum Week and again in 2014 for its "Swanning Around Selby" guide to the town, This has been widely praised, with over 11 000 copies freely distributed; a new edition is shortly to be printed and the Society continues to be involved with other heritage projects around town, including that led by the Abbot’s Staith Heritage Group.
Society Secretary David Moss added "Society members get access to heritage events and venues not usually open to the public. For instance, in 2016 we were given a behind-the-scenes look at the Civil War Museum in Newark, and a bespoke guided tour of the historic core of Leeds, as well as being the first group in the county to hear in detail about the historic finds during York Theatre Royal’s renovations. In 2015 we had access to Selby's renovated rail swing-bridge with an exclusive visit into the control tower.”
The Society also takes a keen interest in developments in Selby, regularly checking through planning applications, and has met with Selby District Council officers to discuss aspects of planning for the future good of the town. Its 25 “Good Design Award” plaques recognise worthy buildings throughout the town, and “Blue Plaques” celebrate famous Selebians.
Moreover, the Society holds regular events for members and the public to hear talks on heritage topics or visit places of historic interest. Last year, as well as those noted above, there were talks on Art Deco, the tragic story of the Barnbow Lassies in 1916 and the importance of trees in towns.
This year, an equally varied programme has been planned, starting in February with a talk about local historic parks and gardens. March sees a talk on the fascinating history of York Cemetery with a follow-up guided tour in April; and in June you can hear how a small-town museum – in Goole - is run. Visits in May and July will go to Hull and Beamish respectively, and talks resume in September and November with speakers on the work of York Civic Trust and the magnificent country house of Wentworth Woodhouse. A dining evening at a local restaurant in October will complete the 2017 programme. There are more details of these events here.
David Moss said “If these activities are the kind of thing that interests you, then do come along to Portholme Church in Portholme Road, Selby at 7:30 pm on the 16th February. To encourage as many people as possible to attend, we’ve decided to waive the normal entry fees of £2 for members and £5 for visitors for this meeting. Instead, you can make a donation if you wish. Annual membership is just £10. There’s parking at the venue and there’ll be light refreshments available.”
Details of this meeting are here.
For further information, contact the society via its website or email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Secretary on 01757 268418.