End of an era for Buxton Civic Association chairman

Dr Mike Monaghan is retiring from the chairmanship of Buxton Civic Association.
Dr Mike Monaghan is retiring from the chairmanship of Buxton Civic Association.

After four years at the helm, Dr Mike Monaghan is to step down as the chairman of Buxton Civic Association (BCA).

Mike will relinquish his role at the end of the month, and is also planning to step down from the board of directors.

Explaining the decision, he says: “I’ve had my 80th birthday and felt the time was right for me to step down and let someone younger take over and bring a different perspective and vision to the group.

“BCA is entering its next phase of development and needs someone new to take over the reigns.

“I am so proud of everything which has been achieved in recent years.

“Not only are we running Poole’s Cavern and the woods, but we are building and strengthening relationships with the town’s other organisations, such as the town team and Serpentine Community Farm to name just a few, and providing exciting and different venues to festival and fringe performances.”

It was Buxton’s rural location and thriving community which first attracted Mike and his wife, Mary, to make the move from Alderley Edge almost two decades ago.

He said: “There is so much to do here and we soon became active members of the church, University of the Third Age, helping out with the festival, and of course with BCA.”

Before Mike retired, his job as an environmental officer for P&O took him all over the world, where he helped build policies and make changes to help the international company have a more green outlook on its business.

Prior to that he gained a degree and a doctorate in engineering from Sheffield University.

Mike says he has enjoyed where his life has taken him.

The father of three and grandfather of seven said: “When I moved to Buxton I got involved with BCA because it reflected my ideals and attitudes, especially everything they were doing to protect and maintain the woods, and it really complimented my interests from my career.”

Last year BCA celebrated its 50th anniversary. Mike said some of the original members are still very active in the group, a sign he said that the work being undertaken is still just as important today.

While a successor has not yet been announced, Mike believes BCA will remain in safe hands.

He said: “I am proud of my involvement with the group and I will miss being chairman.

“I have worked with some wonderful people over the years. I will still keep my membership, just not my seat on the board.

“Someone else now needs to bring their take on how things should be done.

“When I joined the woods were in desperate need of some attention. Now we have created designated walkways, added information boards and statutes to the walks to make it more interesting for visitors, and I want that ethos of looking after things for the next generation to live on.”

BCA also own Poole’s Cavern, which he says is continuing to go from strength to strength.

Mike added: “We’ve turned it into a visitor attraction to be proud of and every day we welcome school children from all over the country to our show cave, which is wonderful.”