During the pandemic the Society has produced a monthly news-sheet for members.

The previous News-Sheets can be found at the bottom of this page.

The latest one is below.


March 2021

More good news! Despite some chilly days, Spring is here, with swathes of snowdrops, and now daffodils – and, if you’ve been to Bolham Manor, you’ll have seen lovely crocuses and hellebores.  Progress is being made at the railway station, and the underpass has been made more cheerful. There has been activity on the canal, with dredgers going up and down. New brackets for hanging baskets have recently been spotted on the Trinity Hospital properties on Bridgegate. And then there’s the restoration of The Grove church ceiling. Things are definitely happening!

Canal Dredging

It’s good to see that the stretch of the Chesterfield Canal going through Retford is being dredged. The dredging boats have been spotted by Whitsunday Pie Lock on Welham Road and beside Spa Common. The canal is an important leisure asset for local people as well as a tourist attraction. The Chesterfield Canal Society has contacted RCS with plans to carry forward its Canal Walking Festival from last year to this September, and the RCS guides have offered to lead a walk as previously planned, restrictions permitting.

Railway Station Underpass

This had been considerably improved by the installation of colourful panels but unfortunately they sustained damage. Retford Civic Society contributed towards restoration using more durable materials. Here you can see ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos.


Our half yearly meeting with Council planners in February was an opportunity to get up to date with developments.  Bassetlaw have received about 800 comments on the Draft Local Plan. These are now being considered and they hope to submit a final Plan to the Planning Inspectorate in the Autumn for examination. It looks like the conversion of St Alban’s church into flats will be going ahead and the large derelict site on Bridgegate may at last get developed.

Last year the Council refused permission for about 170 houses off Bigsby Road.  The appeal into this will be heard at an inquiry in May.  We hope to be represented there and have submitted detailed objections, prepared with the help of the Council.

30 Years booklet

We have received a lot of comments and praise for the Booklet. Here are some of them:

The Civic Society ’30 Years’ is first class and a credit to all those involved.

Thank you for the 30 years celebration booklet. It is very well put together for all the wonderful projects that the committee have worked at during the years. Retford is now an interesting and delightful place to live in.

Congratulations to all concerned. A lovely commemorative magazine - so much achieved and so very attractive.

Many many congratulations to any one and everyone who was involved in the compilation of the booklet marking the 30th anniversary of the society. It is amazing how much has been achieved and how much the town has benefited. The ‘catalogue’ is a delightful memento and makes us feel proud and privileged to be members. May the Retford Civic Society go from strength to strength. Thank you.


RCS Tree in Kings’ Park

You may remember that, to celebrate our 25th anniversary and in memory of our founder, Gerry Archer, his widow, Betty, planted a tree in Kings’ Park. It’s a Davidia, more commonly known as a handkerchief tree, and a plaque was placed beside it. The tree has flourished.

Recently, Joan and Derek noticed that what had also flourished was dirt on the plaque. So they took their cleaning materials, and set to work, as you see on our front page.  


Update fromThe Grove Methodist Church & Centre

Following the funding award from Heritage England, scaffolding went into the church at the beginning of February. By the middle of February the conservation plasterer was hard at work. The good news is that the ceiling is sound and is now secure as all the bosses have been pinned with stainless steel screws. Once that was completed, a new plaster boss was made from a silicone mould and fixed in place.

Now the ceiling is being cleaned in preparation for painting.  The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-April.

Plans are now being made to install an efficient and ecological heating system, as well as to improve access to the building and to reorder the space at the front of the church. The latter will provide a flexible area for informal worship or for choirs, bands or orchestras to perform. 

Church members are excited by the new developments and the possibilities coming from re-opening the church for them and for the local community.

Chris White