Wivenhoe Society - Early Newsletters
Newsletters published by The Wivenhoe Society in its very early days: 1967 - 1970
Page created by Peter Hill
These newsletters recount the story of The Wivenhoe Society from its very beginning and the important role it had in Wivenhoe at what, looking back, was a momentous time.
The first year – 1966 / 67
In 1967, just after the Society was formed, an exceptionally high tide broke through the river wall causing an end to pleasant riverside walks. Due to the prohibitive cost of professional help, the Society was active in recruiting volunteers to help repair the breach.
Margery Dean led the Society’s initative to get more buildings listed as there were only two with preservation orders on them in 1967 – the Old Siege House and the old bakery. Also in that year, the Society was ‘greatly exercised about the future of the old shipyard site and the saltings’ on the Colchester side of it. A planning application had been submitted for the storage of timber on 35 acres of it. The Society was not just concerned about this action but the increase in heavy traffic through the town as a result.
See The Wivenhoe Society’s Newsletter of Spring 1967 at the end of this page.
Wivenhoe expands with new estates
By 1969 Wivenhoe was expanding. In the newsletter of 1969, there was mention of building by Wivenhoe Woods which the Society fought hard to protect, new housing was planned at Vine Farm and the Broomfields estate was exapnding.
Glikstens, who were reputedly the largest importers of timber into the country, had got their way with the storage of timber on the marshes and wanted to close the road over the marshes, Rowhedge Ferry Road.
The Chairman of the Society at that time was Dr E. Palmer and the Secretary Mrs Dorothy Gibson. It is also fun to remember that at time telephone numbers were just 4 digits as Wivenhoe 1264.
Margery Dean was vigourously pursuing the idea of a Wivenhoe Conservation area.
See The Wivenhoe Society’s Newsletter of Spring 1969 at the end of this page.
A very busy 1969
A Public Inquiry was held into the potential closure of Rowhedge Ferry Road for which the Society employed the services of a barrister to advise on rights of way, and the services of Mr Ralph Dreschfield of CPRE to help keep the road open for vehicles as well as walkers.
A Public Inquiry was also started into the future of Wivenhoe Wood. This one of the Society’s biggest achievments in leading the campaign and the arguments to save the Woods for the benefit of all Wivenhovians.
During this year, Mr Nicholas Butler had become Meetings Secretary and publisher of the Society’s newsletter. These detailed newsletters make for fascinating reading for anyone interested in Wivenhoe, as does the book which he went on to publish in 1989 (click here for details of this book).
See The Wivenhoe Society’s Newsletter of November 1969 at the end of this page.
Four newsletters in 1970
The Wivenhoe Society was clearly feeling more confident and assertive in wanting to make a difference to Wivenhoe by 1970. During this year it began a major recruitment drive for a lot more members; to the 8 candidates standing in the 1970 Wivenhoe Urban District Council elections that year, it sent a questionnaire and published the repies from 6 of them, and the Public Inquiry was re-opened into the future of Rowhedge Ferry Road which was important as it was the principal route to the riverside footpath through to Colchester, although with a 25 foot gap in it which occurred in 1967 and had not been satisfactorily repaired.
By this time, the Society were forecasting that the University would have 8,000 students in 1982 whilst the residential population of Wivenhoe would grow to 5,000 people. (Note: In 2011, the Wivenhoe residential population had become 7,629 persons).
Regarding Wivenhoe Wood, the Society received a letter from solicitors acting for the owner of Wivenhoe Wood, Mr Leslie Kemble, to remind the Society and its members that the Wood was private property and that ‘every person who enters the Wood without our Client’s permission commits an act of trespass’. The Society responded by saying that there were many worn footpaths which constituted rights of way through it. The fight to bring Wivenhoe Woods into public ownership was still in full swing.
See these 1970 newsletters at the end of this page.
The Wivenhoe Society – First 25 years
To read more about The Wivenhoe Society and the first 25 years of its history, see this page: click here
To find out more about The Wivenhoe Society – click here