Tarvin Civic Trust was set up in the early 1970’s by residents of Tarvin, so that local views on the Village Centre could be expressed effectively to the Local Planning Authority.
The new group’s initial objective was to have Tarvin Village Centre with its many historic buildings designated as a Conservation Area. Tarvin Civic Trust lobbied the local Council to have this done and succeeded when Conservation Area** status was granted on 8th February 1973.
**The idea of Conservation Areas originated in the Civic Amenities Act 1967 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 which imposed the duty on the Local Planning Authority to decide what areas as a whole [rather than individual buildings] have a special architectural or historic character which should be preserved or enhanced and protected from deterioration due to decay, neglect or the potential threats of unsympathetic redevelopment and alterations.
See a 2018 update to the Conservation Area story.
Tarvin Civic Trust’s next project was to do something about the unsightly cat’s cradle of overhead cabling which supplied electricity to the properties in Tarvin Village Centre. In 1973, Tarvin Parish Council and Tarvin Civic Trust approached MANWEB, the local electricity supply company, and asked for the cables to be buried underground. MANWEB was unsympathetic to these local pleas and did nothing until 1991 when, ignoring local views, they renewed the original wiring, using a thick bundled cable which was far more noticeable and obtrusive as it passed across the faces of the buildings in High Street, suspended from replacement poles which were crudely sited and not vertical. Objections to the disfigurement of the Conservation Area made through “official” channels were disregarded. Tarvin Civic Trust was able to adopt a less conventional approach and eventually made contact with one of MANWEB’s senior managers. In June 1992 they met with him in the George and Dragon, explained the problem and went on to show him the ugly wiring in the village. This certainly did the trick, because the undergrounding was started in September 1992 and completed before the end of 1993.
Tarvin Civic Trust then pressed British Telecom to follow suit by re-routing the telephone wires and reducing the number of telegraph poles. By the end of 1996, BT had completed this operation and removed all the superfluous poles from High Street.
After the wiring issue was resolved, Tarvin Civic Trust felt that the village “townscape” would be vastly improved if there were a decent post box.
When Tarvin’s Post Office was moved from the
Manor House to the premises at 46 High Street, Royal Mail had installed a post box set in an ugly brick construction on the pavement outside.
Tarvin Civic Trust felt that a proper red pillar-box would be far more appropriate.
After protracted negotiations, Royal Mail was persuaded to donate the far more attractive pillar-box we see there today. At a “dedication ceremony” for the new post box, on 13th October 1999, the Lord Mayor of Chester, our own local Councillor, Eric Plenderleath posted the first letters, with “first day covers” provided by Royal Mail. There is a plaque in the pavement that says “Tarvin Civic Trust with Royal Mail”