Great turnout at Buxton Civic Association’s 50th bash

Olive Middleton and Mike Monaghan cut the special  anniversary cake to mark 50 years of the Buxton Civic Assocaition
Olive Middleton and Mike Monaghan cut the special anniversary cake to mark 50 years of the Buxton Civic Assocaition

To mark 50 years of protests and changing the town for the better more than 140 people celebrated the Buxton Civic Association’s golden anniversary in the Devonshire Dome.

Members old and new gathered to reflect on the civic movement and how Buxton has benefitted from the good work of the association.

The founding chairman’s wife, Olive Middleton, said: “Nothing starts without a protest and when I waded into the River Wye in my wellies all those years ago to collect rubbish it was done as a protest because no one was caring for our river.

“Never did I think the group would grow and become what it has today and great credit must go to the chairmans both past and present for their wonderful leadership through the years.”
Since the first meeting in May 1967 Buxton Civic Association’s aims are to preserve the fine architecture of the town and its landscapes.

During the celebrations Professor Kevin Bonnett, from the University of Derby, gave a speech. He said: “What is our heritage today that we want to protect for future years?

“Well that is what the civic association is doing they are engaging in the physical world - which in this digital age is valued now more than ever - and are working to protect the town.”

Daivd Evans from the national Civic Voice attended the occasion.

He said: “People here in this room are the future of the movement and will go on to shape the town by looking after the prestigious heritage and landmarks.”

Over the fifty years the group has grown and the 435 members either help maintain the two hundred acres of woodland or welcome 45,000 visitors a year to Poole’s Cavern.

Former chairman Clive Beattie, who was at the helm of the association for 13 years between 1996 and 2009 and invited Go Ape to open up on the site, was at the event last week.

He said: “I set my sights on making us financially stable and worked hard to increase revenue to ensure the good work of the volunteers can continue for future years.”
BCA member Jonathan Davey said: “I have only been a member for nearly seven years but the endless work done by the group has created a real and tangible benefit to all who live, work and visit here.”
Looking to the groups’ future Dr Mike Monaghan said: “We live in challenging times.

“Never has there been a greater need for community organisations such as ours .

“Thanks to the inspiration and hard work of the board, of members and of our staff over the last 50 years we are in a wonderful position to continue to make a major contribution to this wonderful town.”