Join us at the seaside for our Summer Event

We’re off to the seaside for our YHACS Summer Members’ Event. It is being hosted by Grimsby, Cleethorpes and District Civic Society at the Memorial Hall in Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes, from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday 13th July. The venue has parking and is within easy walking distance of Cleethorpes railway station.

Those who fancy travelling over on the Friday can join us for fish and chips at Papa’s on Cleethorpes Pier . The restaurant also caters for those who prefer meat and for vegans. It has a bar and wonderful views along the Humber estuary – idyllic on a beautiful summer’s evening (which we’ve booked with the Met Office by the way!).

Also on Friday, the Civic Society is organising a walk around The Kasbah, the Grimsby Docks Regeneration Project, at 1pm.

On Saturday morning there will be a guided walk around Cleethorpes’ Blue Plaques starting at 10am and finishing in time for you to have lunch at one of the town’s many cafes and pubs before the meeting starts.

Guest speakers at the main meeting will include Paul Fenwick, who will recount the extraordinary story of the Butterfly Bombs dropped on Grimsby in the Second World War, and Emma Lindgard, who will tell us about some of the historical aspects of Cleethorpes. Ian Harvey, Director of Civic Voice, will also be speaking.

There will be the usual round-up of YHACS news and a chance to hear from other societies in our Just A Minute slot. I apologise that we ran out of time for this at our January meeting but we’ll definitely make time for it in July. One of the most positive aspects of our meetings is sharing ideas and good practice.

The Kingsway Hotel on the seafront at Cleethorpes has offered us a deal for the Friday night if you mention YHACS. A double room with breakfast is £115, without breakfast £90. A single with breakfast is £90, without £75. Sea view rooms are available at £140 or £115, room only. Other hotels and guest houses can be found by accessing the Visit North East Lincolnshire website .


Please respond to stating which events you’d like to attend:

  • Friday night dinner (7pm)
  • Saturday morning walk around Cleethorpes Blue Plaques (10am)
  • Main meeting (1pm)
  • Friday walk around The Kasbah, Grimsby Docks Regeneration Project (1pm)

Hope to see you there!

Thanks for a wonderful Wakefield welcome

Thank you to Wakefield Civic Society for hosting a hugely successful Spring Convention on behalf of Civic Voice and YHACS.

The event, at CAPA College and Café Create, Wakefield, on April 12th and 13th attracted more than 90 attendees from across the country and our regional societies. The theme was Regenerating of Our Towns and Cities and drew on Wakefield’s experience as a successful Heritage Action Zone partnership.

On Friday, April 12th, Kevin Trickett MBE, President of Wakefield Civic Society and YHACS, led an informative and entertaining walk around the Westgate Heritage Action Zone, where we learned how the “Merrie City” had developed over the centuries and saw how buildings dating back as far as 1590 had benefited from the regeneration initiative.

In the evening we met for an excellent meal at Café Create, where we enjoyed much conversation and conviviality. Our speaker was Helen Featherstone, Director of England, North at the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The following morning we assembled at CAPA College, a performing arts centre of excellence for students aged 16 to 18 from all over the North. We were all impressed by its state-of-the-art facilities and passion of its principal, Clare Nicholson. Several incredibly talented students sang and played for us.

A string of speakers kept up a rapid-fire pace and had us thoroughly engaged throughout the day on a variety of topics linked to the regeneration theme.

The line-up was: Simon Lightwood MP for Wakefield; Clare Elliott, Service Director, Economic Growth and Skills, Wakefield Council; Richard Butterfield, Partnerships Team Leader, North East & Yorkshire Region, Historic England; Jonathan Maud, Chairman and Managing Director, Rushbond plc; Paul Gwilliam, Westgate Heritage Action Zone project manager, Wakefield Council; Paul Cartwright, Chair, Pontefract Civic Society and YHACS Committee member; Julie Russell, Service Director, Arts, Culture and Leisure, Wakefield Council; Louise Clare, Senior Engagement Manager, National Lottery Heritage Fund; Tony Wade, Co-Director, Edgelands Arts; Margaret
Hicks-Clarke, Chair YHACS and Chair of Goole Civic Society; Kevin Trickett MBE, President, Wakefield Civic Society and Honorary President, YHACS; Martin Hamilton, Chair, Civic Voice, Director of Leeds Civic Trust and YHACS Committee member.

A full report on the Spring Convention will appear in the next issue of the YHACS newsletter, Society Insight.

Join us at the YHACS/Civic Voice Convention in Wakefield

Following on from the success of the Civic Voice Spring Convention in Halifax last May, hosted with Halifax Civic Trust, we are pleased to confirm that YHACS has once again teamed up with Civic Voice to organise a second Spring Convention in our region. This year, the event will be in Wakefield on 12th & 13th April , where Wakefield Civic Society will be our hosts.

Booking is now open at Wakefield Civic Society’s Eventbrite page here:

The theme for this year’s Convention is Heritage and Culture-led Regeneration, twin prongs of an approach being taken across Wakefield District to bring new life – and investment – into the area. And there is a lot happening in Wakefield at the moment!

One of Wakefield’s key buildings, believed to date from 1590, that has been refurbished through the Heritage Action Zone project.

A £4m four-year High Street Heritage Action Zone is drawing to a close, having led to the refurbishment of a number of key buildings as well as public realm improvements along Westgate, one of the main thoroughfares in and out of the city. Meanwhile, the district is benefiting from grants from other sources, including Town Deal and Levelling Up funding, Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund in addition to investment from private-sector businesses.

But the investment isn’t just targeted at bricks and mortar – there is also a vibrant cultural programme being delivered and 2024 is Wakefield District’s ‘year of culture’, branded Our Year 2024.

Importantly, local civic societies across the district work closely with the Council and other stakeholders to help deliver the vision for the Wakefield District as a great place in which to live, work – and visit.

Through an exciting line-up of guest speakers, the Convention will highlight how public investment and private-sector enterprise can not only shape places but can also transform them. Although what is happening in Wakefield will be used as a case study, there are lessons that can be applied elsewhere and some of the guest speakers will open up the subject matter to what is happening across the region and beyond.

Wakefield Civic Society will share their experiences of working with the Council and developers to show how partnership working can be a productive way of not only boosting the reputation of civic societies, but also recruiting new members.

There are a number of elements to the Convention programme, which starts on Friday afternoon at 2pm. Details are as follows:

Friday, 12th April, 2pm to 4pm: Guided walks

Explore the Westgate High Street Heritage Action Zone with a free guided walk led by Wakefield Civic Society.

Friday, 12th April 7pm to 10.30pm: Convention Dinner

To be held at Create Café in the city centre, where Convention delegates will have exclusive use of the facilities. There will be a drinks reception, pre-dinner talk (to be confirmed), a three-course dinner with wine, followed by coffee and mints. Cost per person is just £45.

Saturday, 13th April, 10am to 4pm, Civic Voice Spring Convention

The venue for the Convention is CAPA College (directly opposite Westgate Railway Station), a new, purpose-built college building for the performing arts (and a Wakefield Civic Society Design Award winner). Doors open at 9.30am for tea/coffee and pastries and the Convention then starts at 10am.

The morning session will look at Heritage-led Regeneration and will feature presentations from Wakefield Council, developers Rushbond and Historic England among others.

The afternoon session will look at Culture-led Regeneration and guest speakers will include representatives from Wakefield Council, a local artist, and Wakefield Civic Society among others. There will also be news from YHACS and Civic Voice. The line-up of speakers is still being confirmed but keep an eye on the Eventbrite page for all the latest news. The event will close at 4pm.

The cost to attend the Convention only is just £40 but there is an option to book for both the Dinner and Convention together for £80, saving £5 on the cost of booking separately. The event is open to all – civic society members, representatives from other amenity societies and individuals interested in the items covered by the agenda.

For anyone looking to stay overnight, the Holiday Inn Express is a hotel to consider. It is close to the venues and a short walk from Westgate Railway Station. Although it has a small car park, there is 24-hour overnight parking available in the adjacent Ridings Shopping Centre car park.

If you have any questions, please email Kevin Trickett at

2024 AGM: Changes at the top

New Chair Margaret Hicks-Clarke handing a certificate of thanks to retiring Chair Kevin Trickett, who also received a gift and card from the YHACS committee and members.

The trustees and member societies would like to give a huge vote of thanks to Kevin Trickett, who stepped down as Chair and trustee of YHACS after 13 years at the helm and 21 years on the committee.

Margaret Hicks-Clarke was elected as the new Chair for a term of three years. Margaret has been a YHACS trustee since 2013 and Vice Chair since 2021. She is Chair of Goole Civic Society and a member of Scarborough and District Civic Society.

Kevin was elected into the honorary role of President, reflecting his outstanding contribution to YHACS over the past 21 years.

Margaret paid tribute to him: “Kevin has always led from the front, guiding societies in so many ways. We are delighted that he has agreed to become our President. We look forward to seeing plenty of him in the future and will always value his experience and wise counsel.”

Alan Goodrum, Chair of Halifax Civic Trust, was elected Vice Chair and Jane Lee, founder of the newly established Keighley Civic Society, takes over his role as Treasurer. Helen Kidman, Chair of Ilkley Civic Society, was re-elected as Secretary.

Two other trustees – Malcolm Sharman and Tony Leonard – stepped down from the committee. Kevin thanked them both for their hard work and support over many years.

Simon Green, of Hull Civic Society, was elected as a new trustee. Other trustees are:

  • David Moss, Secretary of Selby Civic Society and Editor of the YHACS newsletter, Society Insight.
  • Paul Cartwright, Chair of Pontefract Civic Society.
  • Martin Hamilton, Director of Leeds Civic Trust and Chair of Civic Voice.
  • John Clarke, trustee of Goole Civic Society.
  • Alan Nicholson,  Chair of Grimsby, Cleethorpes & District Civic Society.
  • George Eglese, Knaresborough and Harrogate Civic Societies.
  • Ben Cowell, Secretary of Wakefield Civic Society.

Margaret said: “We have a very strong committee, our 40-plus member societies, from big cities to towns and villages, country and coast. They each have their own skills and experience that we can draw on.

“I look forward to working with them to help YHACS support, sustain and grow the civic movement in the region.”

YHACS responds to Planning for the Future White Paper

In August 2020, the Government published a white paper Planning for the Future in which it set out proposals to overhaul the planning system.

The proposals included arrangements for more community engagement in the creation of local plans but removed some of the existing opportunities for community scrutiny and comment on planning applications as they are brought forward.

Needless to say, the proposals caused a huge amount of debate, and not just within the civic movement. YHACS discussed the proposals with our members and also other civic societies across the country via Civic Voice before submitting our own response to the Government.

You can read what we said here.