|Achievements 1995 to 2010
In 1994 member and local historian, Bernard Bradbury, recorded some of the aims, activities and achievements of the Cockermouth and District Civic Trust from its foundation in 1967 until 1994 in a short book appropriately titled “Cockermouth Civic Trust – Its Aims and Achievements”. The following record outlines the activities and achievements from that date to 2010. This should therefore be read in conjunction with Bernard Bradbury’s book.
The Fallows Society
In 1997 the Trust set up a Society to celebrate the life of Fearon Fallows who was born in 1745 in Cockermouth and went on to become Astronomer Royal. This Society survived for a number of years but was eventually disbanded.
Members of the Trust have conducted walks round the town from as far back as 1981 and in 1993 a short heritage trial was planned to start at the Kirkgate Centre. A pamphlet was produced to enable interested people to follow this Trail. In 1999 the Trust erected numbered plaques around the route the pamphlet has recently been updated to reflect the changes since the original Trail was planned. Members of the Trust conduct parties around the Trial on request.
Confluence of the Derwent and Cocker Rivers
In the late 1990’s the area around the confluence of our two major rivers was considered to be an eyesore. Members of the Trust tidied up the area, rebuilt walls and painted seat to make it presentable.
Stanger Spa is an ancient spa well situated just south of Cockermouth. It had fallen into disrepair and was derelict. Over the period 1998 to 2002 the Trust arranged for the Spa to be fully renovated and put back in working order.
The Town Trial passes by an area known as “The Bleaching Green” at Kirkbank. A panoramic view of Cockermouth can be seen from this viewpoint. In 2000 the Trust erected an interpretive panel here to enable viewers to identify many buildings and features of the town.
As part of the Market Towns Initiative an organization named the Cockermouth Partnership was created with the support of the Trust. This brought together the many bodies interested or responsible for the development of the town and a member of the Trust’s Executive Committee sits on the steering group of the Partnership. The major aim at the present time is to regenerate the Market Square area.
The Old Grammar School
The old Grammar School at Strawberry How had been used as a business centre. However, in 2003 planning permission was sought by a developer to build houses and convert building on the site. Fearing that the development would destroy an important part of the town’s heritage, the Trust was successful in an application to have the building “listed” which meant that the important features of the building would be preserved for the future.
The Trust had been concerned about the deterioration of the town shop’s fronts for some years. It appreciated that many traders were finding it difficult to survive financially and that the condition of their shopfront was not at the top of their priorities. With this in mind, the Trust canvassed for and was successful in the setting up of a scheme of grants to assist in the refurbishment of the shopfronts. It is pleasing to note that many of the traders have taken up the grant offer and the look of the town streets have benefited from this.
Bernard Bradbury’s Books
In 1981 Bernard Bradbury wrote and published the definitive book on the town called “The History of Cockermouth”. A new third updated edition was published in 2006.
In addition Bernard wrote and published a number of booklets on the town.
In 2002, the Trust took on the responsibility of managing the sale of these books and booklets, and of updating them as reprints became necessary.
In 2006 a website, www.cockermouthcivictrust.co.uk was posted on the internet to provide interested parties with information on the Trust.
RECORD OF COCKERMOUTH CIVIC TRUST ACTIVITIES:
Restoration of the Town post flood 2009
The Trust through its architectural adviser member, Darren Ward has played a significant role in promoting a better townscape with the Shop Fronts Regeneration Group and a Public Realm Improvement Group