Founded in 1969, the Society now has a membership of over 1,000 in a town population of 15,000. A vigorous Society, all Executive Committee Members have a job to do and monthly reports ensure they do it well. People are slow to volunteer, so post holders are selected with care and then invited to fill a vacancy. The system has worked well. Another unusual characteristic of the Society is our policy of carving out areas of responsibility and then giving it to someone to look after. In this way, sixty five different members are involved in running their Society. The responsibility increases their interest. Monthly meetings with visiting speakers are held for all members. Social events are held quarterly. There are five groups in the Society looking after particular areas such as trees, footpaths, etc., and they meet separately. Any member can join any or all of the groups. There are four subcommittees covering specialist areas such as social (fund raising) and planning. The latter checks planning applications weekly, comments to the District Council when appropriate, and takes an active part in public inquiries, sometimes against the District Council, and sometimes in support. The Executive Committee and Planning Subcommittee are supported by six village agents (from the surrounding villages) who report any unusual development in their patch. The Guide Panel (mostly retired members) conduct 2,000 visitors per annum around the town. The Society is restoring the largest ancient monument in the area (Harwich Redoubt Fort) and so far has spent £100,000 on the project. It established and maintains a Maritime Museum in a disused lighthouse. It raised £20,000 to have two other iron lighthouses fully restored. It erects commemorative plaques on Historic Buildings and Sites. It has restored and maintains the oldest posting box and the oldest drinking fountain in the town. It created and maintains a large flowerbed in the station forecourt and erected and maintains a rose screen in the shopping centre. It erected a beacon for Armada 88. It publishes postcards and local guide books, (one is available in eight languages). It produced a 180ft long, 10ft high wall mural. It maintains a nature reserve. It plants trees. The Society also operates a Lifeboat Museum in a disused Victorian Lifeboat House and a Visitor Information Centre in a disused Pier Ticket Office. The fort, the two museums and the visitor information centre are all open daily from May 1st to August 31st, all manned by volunteers. All Society activities are reported in the quarterly newsletter. The Editor is inundated with material! All members give their services free. Local Amenity Societies have been active in Community regeneration for many years. Voluntary bodies, drawing on local loyalties and resources, they are well placed to spot, and then tackle, challenges that other organisations have overlooked  or ducked. Throughout the United Kingdom, about 1,000 are registered with the Civic Trust. Their achievements add up to far more than most people realise because each operates independently in its own area, not usually in the national limelight. Imaginative and dedicated, they are highly cost effective. Their work is undertaken to high standards, and is among the best of its kind. They deserve all the support they can get from the Government, Local Authorities and the Private Sector.
The Harwich Society

The Harwich Society

Harwich, Essex, England.
The Redoubt Fort Harwich
Click for Larger View
Website by XL Web Design
01255 504924
Founded    in    1969,    the    Society    now has   a   membership   of   over   1,000   in   a town   population   of   15,000.   A   vigorous Society,      all      Executive      Committee Members     have     a     job     to     do     and monthly    reports    ensure    they    do    it well.   People   are   slow   to   volunteer,   so post   holders   are   selected   with   care and   then   invited   to   fill   a   vacancy.   The system     has     worked     well.     Another unusual   characteristic   of   the   Society is   our   policy   of   carving   out   areas   of responsibility    and    then    giving    it    to someone    to    look    after.    In    this    way, sixty     five     different     members     are involved   in   running   their   Society.   The responsibility          increases          their interest.      Monthly      meetings      with visiting     speakers     are     held     for     all members. Social     events     are     held     quarterly. There   are   five   groups   in   the   Society looking   after   particular   areas   such   as trees,   footpaths,   etc.,   and   they   meet separately.   Any   member   can   join   any or all of the groups. There       are       four       subcommittees covering    specialist    areas    such    as social    (fund    raising)    and    planning. The         latter         checks         planning applications     weekly,     comments     to the           District           Council           when appropriate,   and   takes   an   active   part in        public        inquiries,        sometimes against     the     District     Council,     and sometimes in support. The        Executive        Committee        and Planning            Subcommittee            are supported   by   six   village   agents   (from the   surrounding   villages)   who   report any    unusual    development    in    their patch. The      Guide      Panel      (mostly      retired members)   conduct   2,000   visitors   per annum around the town. The   Society   is   restoring   the   largest ancient      monument      in      the      area (Harwich   Redoubt   Fort)   and   so   far   has spent     £100,000     on     the     project.     It established   and   maintains   a   Maritime Museum    in    a    disused    lighthouse.    It raised   £20,000   to   have   two   other   iron lighthouses   fully   restored.   It   erects commemorative    plaques    on    Historic Buildings   and   Sites.   It   has   restored and   maintains   the   oldest   posting   box and    the    oldest    drinking    fountain    in the   town.   It   created   and   maintains   a large      flowerbed      in      the      station forecourt   and   erected   and   maintains a     rose     screen     in     the     shopping centre.     It     erected     a     beacon     for Armada    88.    It    publishes    postcards and      local      guide      books,      (one      is available      in      eight      languages).      It produced   a   180ft   long,   10ft   high   wall mural.   It   maintains   a   nature   reserve.   It plants      trees.      The      Society      also operates     a     Lifeboat     Museum     in     a disused   Victorian   Lifeboat   House   and a     Visitor     Information     Centre     in     a disused    Pier    Ticket    Office.    The    fort, the    two    museums    and    the    visitor information   centre   are   all   open   daily from     May     1st     to     August     31st,     all manned    by    volunteers.    All    Society activities       are       reported       in       the quarterly    newsletter.    The    Editor    is inundated with material! All   members   give   their   services   free. Local    Amenity    Societies    have    been active   in   Community   regeneration   for many       years.       Voluntary       bodies, drawing      on      local      loyalties      and resources,    they    are    well    placed    to spot,    and    then    tackle,    challenges that        other        organisations        have overlooked        or    ducked.    Throughout the   United   Kingdom,   about   1,000   are registered   with   the   Civic   Trust.   Their achievements    add    up    to    far    more than    most    people    realise    because each    operates    independently    in    its own   area,   not   usually   in   the   national limelight.   Imaginative   and   dedicated, they   are   highly   cost   effective.   Their work        is        undertaken        to        high standards,   and   is   among   the   best   of its   kind.   They   deserve   all   the   support they    can    get    from    the    Government, Local     Authorities     and     the     Private Sector.
The Harwich Society

The Harwich Society

Harwich, Essex, England.
The Redoubt Fort Harwich
Click for Larger View
The Harwich Society
Website by XL Web Design
01255 504924