1966 – 2016

Chairman’s Annual Report 2016.

 I am pleased to present my annual report to our Annual General Meeting. I am pleased for several reasons.

First of all this is the fiftieth year of The Wivenhoe Society and I am sure that you will be as delighted as I am that the Society has such a praiseworthy past. News of this important Anniversary has spread far and wide and has prompted a letter from Nick Butler writing from his home in Long Compton, Warwickshire. You will know that Nick was a founder member of the Society and he sends his congratulations to the Society on achieving its fiftieth anniversary. In his typically expressive letter he mentions early encounters with the Local Planning Authority and compares this to the present day consultations that regularly follow a Planning Application. He remembers Guy Harding’s Yard and the successful campaign for it not to be demolished and how the renovated buildings are now an asset to the local scene. Similarly, he recalls a similar victory in the case of the former Falcon Hotel “probably the oldest public house in the town, which the Council was happy to see knocked down. ‘Rotten as a Pear’ said one Councillor. Happily, after we made a fuss, it was converted into houses“

Secondly, I am proud of the financial help that The Society affords to local people and organisations. In our January Newsletter I detailed how, over the last eight years, the Society has raised and disbursed more than £20,000 to local groups and charities in support of their work to enhance the lifestyle and appearance of the town.

Thirdly, we offer practical help. The Society’s name can be seen against numerous consultation submissions to regular local planning applications, and towards regional and national ventures. We are praised for our volunteer work in promoting and engaging the familiar River Bank Clean up campaign. Our most recent event at the beginning of the month formed part of the Clean for the Queen initiative. The venture drew 30 plus volunteers from Wivenhoe who teamed up with a similar number of Students from the University in a joint venture that filled up two containers, one at Wivenhoe and the other at University Quays. In addition, Society volunteers form an active part of the Parish Paths Partnership and get involved in clearing local footpaths.

Socially, we continue to promote events in a regular annual programme. These range from our popular Party, informative lectures, a wine tasting, Open Gardens week end, annual crabbing competition and walking tours. These ventures are remarkably productive, both in terms of community engagement and bringing in funds. They absolutely survive on the input from our small but dedicated band of volunteers. I praise them all for their outstanding work.

A range of events is planned to mark the Society Golden Jubilee. Look out for announcements throughout the year. Please join in with these and celebrate with us.

I note that a couple of Society stalwarts will be standing down. Our Treasurer, Jane Black, has announced her intention to take a back seat. Minutes Secretary Elisabeth Baines has tendered her resignation. Both individuals deserve our praise and thanks for their work throughout the years. If you feel that you would like to support The Wivenhoe Society by occupying one of these positions, I can assure you that you will be warmly welcomed into the organisation. You will be joining a friendly group who’s single aim is to seek and ensure all things that make Wivenhoe a better place. This prompts me to offer my sincere thanks to all of our members and supporters who have dedicated time and energy towards the aims and activities of the Society throughout the past year.


I’d like to finish with the words of Nick Butler. “Good luck to The Wivenhoe Society. May it continue to protect and enhance this unique part of our English heritage.”

                                                                                                             Robert Needham


Dedication of tree to Steve Ford

The Wivenhoe Society have purchased a Holm Oak which has been planted in the KGV field.

On Sunday 3rd May at 1pm there will be a dedication to Steve, Wivenhoe Town Councillor and executive committee member of the Wivenhoe Society.

Members of the Society are invited to attend the dedication.



Consultation on the 'Cedric's' site

The Cooperative Society have bought the site opposite the Coop.

They have asked for suggestions from residents.

The Wivenhoe Society have produced an un-costed document for discussion.

It can be viewed here: Cedric's