The principal objective of the Society since its foundation has been to encourage high quality renovation and development of the town after the devastation of World War II. In 1974 the Borough Trophy, later renamed the Civic Society Award, was presented to the Society by the then Mayor, Cllr. Chris Capon, to be awarded to buildings and amenities considered to merit public acknowledgement.
In 2000 the committee recognized that there should be an award to citizens who have rendered exceptional voluntary service to the community and instituted the Society’s Outstanding Service Award. Later, in 2006, the committee decided to give new or improved amenities of merit a certificate rather than the shield, which would be reserved for buildings and renovations.
Candidates for these awards are nominated by any member for consideration and decision by the committee. In any one year there may be more than one nomination approved for any award: alternatively there may be no nominations. Awards are usually made at the AGM.
CIVIC SOCIETY AWARD also known as the CAPON SHIELD
This award is given to recently completed building developments which “display an overall excellence of design and enhance the visual quality of the neighbourhood”. The award is held (nominally) by the owner, the architect or builder for a period of one year. It consists of a large oak shield carrying small silver shields around the central embellishments, each engraved with the recipient’s name. The embellishments include the Borough emblem and record the origin of the shield.
A ceramic HCS plaque is also given for fixture at the site. Sadly, one of the recipient buildings, Kent Cottage, renovated in 1998, has recently been demolished.
In 2019 the committee acted on the recommendation of one of its members, Annette Armour, who suggested that the redevelopment of the Cannon Newman Hall in Dental Street should be considered for the Civic Society Award. This building is almost totally hidden from Dental Street itself by a beautiful Kentish ragstone wall.
The Dental Street frontage
The owners wanted the project itself and the home they were building to have as little environmental impact as possible so they have retained or repurposed as much of the original fabric of the building as possible. The old maple floor, that so many Hythe people remember from their karate classes or mother and toddler groups, was lifted up, cleaned, sanded, and installed on the first floor mezzanine.
A truly unique house with wonderful environmental credentials.
But the real gem as far as the Society is concerned is the treatment of the roof. There is an array of solar panels along the south side while the flat roof on the eastern side, which covers the access to the top roof terrace, is a bee and butterfly meadow, planted with native wildflowers and herbs including thyme and chives. It has exceeded expectations and, every year since it was laid, has been teeming with bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects. The northern side of the main roof, facing uphill, has been laid with a sedum green roof, kindly funded by neighbours who now have a view of greenery, almost as though the building isn’t there.
Crispin Davies presented the Capon Shield to
Jules and Lore Boyd at the 2019 AGM.
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
This is a framed certificate given to an individual “who has rendered outstanding service to the community of Hythe commensurate with the objectives of the Society”. Such service is normally unpaid and outside the individual’s normal profession, occupation or elected office. The recipient need not be a member of the Society. The certificate contains the words “In appreciation of your outstanding service to the community of Hythe” and is decorated with small pictures representing the activities undertaken by the recipient.
Rev. Desmond Sampson’s certificate.
Artist and calligrapher: Frances Liddiard
Crispin Davies, with Sally Chesters who read the citation,
presents HCS Outstanding Service award to Alan Joyce.
A framed certificate given to an organisation or a facility that provides a “new or significantly improved amenity for the community”.
Amenity Award presented to Oaklands Health Centre represented by Dr Robert Malcolm in 2007
The Society has also mounted blue ceramic plaques on locations associated with individuals whose achievements are of national or historic interest. These and other similar plaques can be seen around the town.
Martello Tower’ West Parade
28, North Road