Tenby Civic Society - celebrating 65 years of service - is on the look out for new members.

On a bitterly cold night (Saturday 31 January 1959), over 150 people left their firesides to attend a public meeting in the Scouts Hall in Warren Street to discuss the formation of ‘an association for the protection of the amenities of the town and the welfare of its people’.

The result was the formation of ‘The Friends of Tenby’ now known as Tenby Civic Society.

Tenby Civic Society planting
The two Richards and Darron pointing at the Welsh apple tree at Allen’s View - the last they have just planted of a batch of eight native Welsh apple trees, in two clearings newly prepared by Richard Read and his volunteers. (Pic supplied)

The catalyst for the meeting was the plan by Tenby Borough Council to remove seven trees from the South Parade to enable the installation of bus bays. The majority of people in Tenby were strongly opposed to the removal of these trees.

It was agreed the objective of the new association was ‘to protect and improve the unique character of the town of Tenby’.

A constitution was drawn up that stated the aim of the friends was ‘the stimulation of public consciousness and appreciation of the beauty, history and character of the town of Tenby and surroundings. The encouragement of the preservation, development and improvement of the features which go to make pleasing and convenient conditions in which to live, work and enjoy holidays’.

Allen's View
The two Richards having replaced the old weathered Jessie Allen notice on the south entrance finger post to Allen's View with a new notice prepared by Harry Gardiner of Tenby Civic Society (Pic supplied)

Lord Merthyr was appointed President and 17 people were appointed as officers and committee members.

An appeal for members stated that ‘The Friends of Tenby can speak and act for the town only if they have the backing of townspeople and all who love Tenby…your membership will show your support’.

65 years later the society, renamed Tenby Civic Society, is still serving the people of Tenby and endeavouring to protect and enhance the beauty of the town, with aims and objectives basically the same as those in 1959.

Blue Plaque on the town's Five Arches
Blue Plaque on the town's Five Arches (Observer pic)

The society has an executive committee of volunteers who meet every two months and a planning committee that considers all local planning applications.

The society has published a Tenby Town Trail leaflet along with leaflets on the town walls and the various blue plaques in Tenby.

Blue plaque at Tenby's old lifeboat station
Blue plaque at Tenby's old lifeboat station (Observer pic)

Indeed the society is responsible for the erection of most of the blue plaques in Tenby celebrating our cultural history.

The woodland garden on the North Cliff known as Allen’s View is also maintained by the society for the benefit of townspeople and visitors.

Blue plaque at Tenby's old lifeboat station
Wonderful wood carvings at Allen's View (Observer pic)

The annual subscription rates now stand at £12.50 per individual with an email address (to receive newsletters by email) or £15 without an email address (to receive newsletters by post).

Life membership is also available at £100. Please speak to Albie at Cofion Books (opposite the Tudor Merchants House) for full details.

Neil Westerman, Chair of the society, explained: “The society has an elderly membership base and our committee is mostly made up of retired or semi retired individuals.

Allen's View Tenby
The view in summer at Allen's View with Richard and Christian carefully planting hardy begonias. (Pic supplied)

“To continue our work we need new and younger people to come along and join us and take the society forward ensuring its survival for another 65 years.

“Your town needs you so please show your support by joining the society.”