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Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society

Welcome to the website of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society. The Society is an independent organisation which campaigns for the conservation and improvement of this attractive town with its important heritage and rich cultural life.

  • see more about our objectives and background;

  • get the latest news on current issues;

  • download our latest Newsletter;

  • check out our latest Publication (use the Publications tab to buy on-line);

  • send us your comments on any of our activities or on current issues in the town.

    Press Release 10th November 2017:

    We have sent an open two page letter to every Tunbridge Wells Councillor detailing our qualified support for the proposed theatre and our unhappiness with their plans for the civic centre, the underground car park and the impact on Calverley Grounds. A summary of the points in our letter is shown below:

    * the Society calls for the future use of the present civic buildings to be decided now together with reasons as to why the Council cannot return there after rebuilding;
    * we think the Council should make every effort possible to purchase the Police Station;
    * we call for a re-think about the quantity of and access to the underground car-parking associated with the new office building and theatre;
    * we want to see the design of the new office building modified as it does not respond well to the sloping site;
    * we think there is an urgent need for a comprehensive plan for Calverley Grounds to be implemented in parallel with the civic development.

    Brian Lippard
    Chairman
    Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society

    To see the letter in full please click on this link below:

    Letter to Councillors

    Obituary:



    It is with great sadness that the Society has learnt of the death on Sunday 4th March of Michael Doyle, one of its longest-serving members. At the time of his death at the age of 83, he was still a very active member of the Society, serving on its Executive Committee, which he had done since 2006, and being a member of the Society’s Scrutineers’ Panel, which each month examines all planning applications to the Council and comments accordingly on them. He was also invaluable as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Society in relation to Council matters, being an almost daily visitor to the Town Hall and attending ‘as a member of the public’ most of the Council and Committee meetings. His attendance was such that it was widely said in the Town Hall that he attended more meetings than any Councillor. He was also a very diligent and active member of the Town Forum and the Hawkenbury Village Association, of which he had been Chairman for a number of years. He had been in- and out-of-hospital since Christmas, but his death was a surprise to his family and friends.

    Michael was born and brought up in Cheshire and at the age of 16 in 1950, went to the Merchant Navy Training School to become an officer. He worked for a number of shipping companies, but particularly Cunard, serving on the Caronia, the Mauretania and the original Queen Elizabeth, where having obtained his Master’s Certificate, he was a Deck Officer. At the age of 31 in 1966, he married Elizabeth and retired from the sea, joining the (then) Burroughs computer company (now Unisys), which included two years’ service in East Africa from 1970. Michael and Elizabeth came to live in Tunbridge Wells some 41 years ago in 1977. They had four children – one boy and three girls, one of whom sadly died in 2000. Their children now live in London, Spain and Australia. Michael was quiet and discreet, but was fully prepared to speak out clearly and cogently on issues he felt strongly about. There were an increasing number of these, particularly on the future of Tunbridge Wells, a town which he loved well. We shall miss his incisive and well-informed analysis, his determination not to give up on issues and his good company.

    The funeral was on Friday 23rd March at 3pm at the Church of King Charles the Martyr.

    We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to Elizabeth and their children. Donations in his memory should be made to his favourite charity, Médecins Sans Frontières. Please send them postage free to: FREEPOST RTSE-CLGS-UZYB, Médecins Sans Frontières, Chancery Exchange, 10 Furnival St, London EC4A 1AB

    Our next event:

    Thursday 12th April in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall at 7.30pm

    'Disgusted Ladies'
    - an illustrated talk by Anne Carwardine who tells the story of the redoubtable women of Tunbridge Wells who fought for the right to vote.




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Picture: Cupola of the Church of King Charles the Martyr. Sue Daniels

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society - Registered Charity No. 276545