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An inaugural Committee meeting was held in Priddy on February 28th 1965 in order to set up a Steering Committee for the proposed Mendip Preservation Society. The Inaugural General Meeting was held on May 15th 1965 at the Wells Museum Lecture Room when Mr A R Thomas was elected Chairman and Mr S N Hobbs, Secretary/Treasurer. Two main issues were discussed : Crook Peak Quarry and a proposed cable railway in Cheddar Gorge. A constitution was drafted in which the aim was ?to keep itself informed of anything affecting the rural amenities of the Mendip area and act in any way possible to conserve these amenities?. The sub was fixed at 2/6d.

By January 1966 there were over 200 members and at the AGM that year a resolution was passed calling for closer co-operation with the West Mendip Rural Preservation Society.  (This came into being to fight the extension of the quarry at Bleadon. Date of the founding of this Society unknown)

At the AGM in 1967 voting membership was 466 and amalgamation with West Mendip Rural Preservation Society was agreed bringing in 120 more members.  The first issue of the Newsletter appeared in July 1967. The 100th issue coincided with Christmas and we printed our first colour edition in December 2000.

The Society was the first to suggest that the Mendip Hills should become an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and together with the Somerset Trust for Nature Conservation, produced a draft proposal for the County Council.

At the AGM in 1970 the name was changed to the Mendip Society.

In 1971 a big exhibition was held in the Bishop?s Palace Wells lasting for 3 weeks which attracted 23,000 visitors. A number of books have been published. Man & the Mendips to coincide with the Exhibition, Some Buildings of Mendip, a booklet on St Hugh?s Church, Charterhouse, the Salter Collection and Some Walks Around Wells.

In 1999 our Small Grants Scheme was launched and to date we have helped a number of village projects.



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