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Felixstowe conservationist moves on

PUBLISHED: 21:20 22 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

WHEN Barbara Reid became involved with Felixstowe's leading conservation group it had just a small number of active people and was a little lacking in ideas.

WHEN Barbara Reid became involved with Felixstowe's leading conservation group it had just a small number of active people and was a little lacking in ideas.

But 18 years on, she has driven The Felixstowe Society to become a respected thriving body, big on projects, with its views sought and taken into account in the shaping of the town.

However Barbara has decided to step down as chairman and is moving to Hampshire to be closer to her family.

She said: "I am pleased with what the society has achieved over the years and its view is now sought by councils and others on all sorts of issues.

"We now have a very good relationship with town, district and county councils.

"They don't always take notice of what we say, but sometimes they do. The main thing is that we are given the opportunity to give a view and we try to represent the community.

"The main aim is to make people aware of issues, the history of our town, and I think the society can be proud of the impact it has had."

When Barbara, a retired social worker, moved to Felixstowe it was to Brook Lane – just a few doors away from the then society chairman Cynthia Park.

Although she had not had an interest in conservation and environmental issues before, she soon got involved, making new friends and finding projects to tackle.

She became secretary and then treasurer, and then in 1990 chairman, also for six years in the 1990s editing the society newsletter, as well as other tasks.

One of her main aims was to see the society take an active role in the town and over the past 18 years it has published two well-used books, the Cotman Walk and Walking Around Felixstowe, both of which have had reprints.

Members have taken part in the Beachwatch event and were a major driving force behind the Abbey Grove woodland scheme and also give a view on all planning applications.

The society has also started putting plaques on the resort's most notable buildings – beginning with Harvest House, Felixstowe College and the seafront shelters.

Mrs Reid, who received a Mayor's Award two years ago to mark her service, said she was leaving the society in good hands.

She said: "We have a new chairman Philip Johns, treasurer, secretary and an active team and I am sure the society will go from strength to strength.

"Like all such groups, it could do with more young people – especially as it is them we are working for, planning for the future and guarding the town's history."

n. What do you think about the work the group has done over the years?

Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or have your say on the Evening Star forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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