January 2021

Thank you for supporting us during this past, very weird year. We hope you have been cheered by the colourful 30th Anniversary Booklet that Joan, assisted by Pam and, of course, Derek, has put together. As we have issued, and will continue to issue, News-sheets regularly, there will be no annual twelve-page Newsletter.

On your membership card will see a programme of events that we have optimistically put together. At least we can have Open Meetings, albeit on Zoom. Unfortunately, the Snowdrop Weekend at Bolham Manor in February is cancelled. We had hoped to have seen some of you then.

The Committee meets every month and is still working to further the aims of the Society. Together, we have achieved so much over the last thirty years, and we can continue to do so with your support. 

We wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

WHOOPS! Did you spot the mistake?

The membership card you received offered you Social Events – 2020. This should read 2021.

This got through several rounds of proof-reading without being corrected.


Presentation of Pam’s Portrait

 When Pam Barnsdale stood down from the Committee of Retford Civic Society at the AGM last year, we had wanted to present her with a “thank you” from the Society for all her work over the last twenty-five years.  Her vision, energy and achievements in conserving and promoting Retford have been inspirational. Andy Massey had painted a portrait of Pam, but in the dark days of Covid we had not been able to give it to her.  At last, on a bright sunny morning in January, with social distancing to the fore, we presented Pam with the painting, and she was able to bubble with it on her doorstep.  No doubt Pam will go on to other projects, but we know her support and help for the Society will always be there. “I’ll be a foot soldier,” she said.


30th Anniversary Booklet

We’ve been pleased to receive so many good comments about the Booklet, and several requests for further copies for friends or family. We have some copies available and if you would like to have one we can supply it in exchange for a £3 donation to Retford Civic Society if you can collect it or it can be delivered by hand. If you want us to post it to you, or to someone else, we request a donation of £4.50.  

Please contact:

Bruce Barnett 01777 704154 to request extra copies or email


RCS on Instagram

Retford Civic Society is further embracing Social Media by setting up an account on Instagram.  Search for Retford_Civic_Soc and you will see our first posts. We already have 73 followers!

Don’t forget that we also have a Facebook page


We are updating and improving our website at the moment. More about that next month

Have you looked at the Civic Society noticeboard on Spa Lane recently? It has been newly refreshed with information, including news about the 30th Anniversary booklet, and details of how to join us. If you know of anyone who might like to join, please encourage them to do so. Despite the current situation we are very active in working to help look after our town.

Friends of Retford Station

Stuart Thomas is hoping to form a volunteer support group for our recently listed Grade 2 Station. Historic England have designated the building, gate piers and attached wall to the north as being of architectural and historic interest with the rare survival of some of the original features.

Support could take many forms – gardening and horticulture, bringing buildings back to life, community art displays, etc.

RCS is already represented on the North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP) and is seeking a member to represent RCS on the ‘Friends of Retford Station’.

If you are interested or need more details please contact Derek Turner on tel: 01777 702929 or by email:

Bassetlaw Local Plan

Retford Civic Society has submitted to Bassetlaw DC comments on the Draft Plan published in November 2020.  The following is a summary.  The full text can be provided on request.

The Society is pleased to see progress being made towards the adoption of a new Local Plan.

It supports the proposal for a new village at Five Lanes End. However, this development must not start until there is a mechanism in place to ensure that retail and other community facilities, including public transport services, are in place at an early stage to serve residents.  

The Draft Plan proposes house-building at a rate almost double what is required using the government’s recommended method of calculation. This is justified by employment growth which is expected to result in substantially increased inwards migration. The Society has reservations about the scale of the increase in employment planned for and considers it over-ambitious.  

The Society considers that the scale of house-building proposed in the Draft Plan is excessive and that it should be reduced to around that required by the government’s ‘standard method’ of assessment. 

If the scale of house-building in the Plan as a whole were reduced in this way, perhaps there would be no need for the 800 houses proposed to be added to Ordsall. The Society has reservations about this development. It would produce additional traffic, putting local roads under stress and there is limited scope to improve these roads. Improvements for cycle traffic may be difficult to achieve without restricting much-needed kerbside parking.  

If the Ordsall development goes ahead, there must be arrangements in place to secure the funding and provision of all the additional retail and community facilities, including a school, promised in the Plan.

The Society supports further residential development on North Road but considers that this should not go ahead until the land for employment proposed on Randall Way is serviced and made available for individual employers to build on.



We were delighted to hear that the Grove Methodist Church has been awarded a grant of £25,000 towards the cost of restoring the ceiling in the church. They can now commission this work and the redecoration of the sanctuary. 

RCS was thanked for the Society’s support and advice.


For a copy of the 25th Aniversary Newsletter click the link below