The Cockermouth and District Civic Society was formed in 1967 to focus the concern of many local people for the preservation of the character of the town, changing from a 'society' to a 'trust' some years later to empower the body to own property if the need should arise.
During its life, the Trust has promoted a winter series of lectures, mostly with a local interest. Other activities over the years have included bygone exhibitions, art exhibitions, coach outings, visits to neighbouring Civic Trusts, litter sweeps before Easter, coffee mornings with displays of photographs etc.
Much work is done quietly behind the scenes by the Executive Committee which meets monthly to examine planning applications, to deal with matters brought to its notice by members of the Trust and to consider a wide variety of questions affecting present-day life in the town and the preservation of the best of our inheritance. The Trust has no powers, but liases happily with the various levels of local government. The present membership is approximately 200. A modest annnual subscription entitles a member to admission to lectures and to a periodic newsletter, but also supports financially the numerous activities and concerns of the executive, environmental and members activities committees.
The Civic Trust initiated a scheme to convert the old All Saints School into a Community Centre and Museum, now taken over by a Charitable Trust known as the Kirkgate Centre. The centre is run by volunteers, and offers a range of activities and events including drama, films, dance, workshops and exhibitions.
To help visitors and locals alike, the Cockermouth and District Civic Trust have publicised a fascinating walk through the town's history. The walk mirrors some of the work done by well known local historian Bernard Bradbury, whose books are the recognised 'bibles' of Cockermouth's historic townscape. Small cast iron numbered plaques created by the children of Cockermouth School help guide you as you take the Town Trail.
In 2000 the Trust restored the Stanger Spa building in Lorton. This building was once possibly a Holy Well, and in its heyday the saline well gained a reputation as a health resort, and people would walk from Cockermouth and surrounding areas to 'take the waters'. A leaflet has been produced by the Civic Trust - 'The Stanger Walk' describing a walk to the Spa.
For contact details and more information - see www.cockermouthcivictrust.co.uk