Welcome to a new year in which the Coronovirus pandemic seems to be behind us and has become something we are all learning to live with.
However, other World issues have arisen, some with direct links to Covid and others brought about by the horrendous war currently taking place in Ukraine. These new problems which we all face, such as the ‘cost of living crisis’, high inflation rates not seen in several decades and accompanying high bank interest rates, threaten to damage the world’s economy and our future prosperity.
Throughout this upheaval the Wisbech Society remains in good health and has managed to attract new trustees, Bob Hodgson and Richard Wilcock. Bob is our new Membership Secretary, whilst Richard will act as Press Secretary to the society. I am sure you will all welcome Bob and Richard and you will come across them as they perform their roles.
During our Annual General Meeting, last October, the trustees of the society asked those members in attendance for ideas to help revitalise what we do for you, the membership. The initial outcome of this review is contained within this mailing. Instead of having winter talks and summer outings, we will become an ‘all year’ society, with a mixed offering of talks, outings and socials, with something on offer at least once per month. The card included with this mailing will detail events, beginning in April this year, through to December. I hope that you will take the opportunity to join in as many as you can.
In my last report, I stated that the UK Govt have made funds available to County Councils to identify buildings and sites of ‘local heritage interest’ which do not currently have listed status, but are considered important local heritage assets. This local list will afford some protections and the society has asked for a number of assets to be added to the list, including the Oak Brewery & Spirit Vaults, Institute Clocktower, Fridaybridge POW Camp, etc. Individual members can also propose admissions onto the ‘local list’, by visiting https://local-heritage-list.org.uk/cambridgeshire
The society continues to work with FDC Planning, reviewing planning applications that affect the town’s Conservation Areas, listed buildings and those that ‘affect the setting’ of listing buildings. Our views and suggestions are made to the Planners which help to influence their decisions.
The society has also continued its works in the General Cemetery, the latest success being the acquisition and preservation of the Octagon Church doors, which you will find protected under a lychgate opposite the entrance to our chapel headquarters (see image).
Ray Johnson, Chairman.