THE “guardians” of Bolton’s architecture and heritage have celebrated a milestone anniversary.

Bolton and District Civic Trust commemorated its 50 years in the town with a cake cutting by the Mayor at its annual meeting.

The occasion was tinged with sadness as chairman Brian Tetlow died in March — and was working on the anniversary celebrations up until his death.

There were many tributes to Mr Tetlow who was instrumental in the creation of the Fred Dibnah statue in Bolton town centre.

John Kershaw, chairman of the North West Association of Civic Societies said Mr Tetlow fought for the heritage of the town.

He said: “He was a realist with a noble purpose. It is a pity there are not more people like him.”

Mayor Cllr Colin Shaw also praised Mr Tetlow’s contributions to the town. He also thanked the trust for its “monitoring of planning affairs” in Bolton.

The trust was set up in 1964 and in its heyday had 450 members and 10 committees to deal with a variety of issues from town planning, to trees and rivers, to the cleaning of buildings.

Some of its achievements over the last half-century include a campaign to keep Bolton’s libraries open, the Fred Dibnah statue, bulb planting and the placing of blue plaques on buildings of famous Boltonians. It has also taken up many planning issues in the town.

Mr Kershaw said Civic Societies were not just about protecting crumbling buildings, but about looking at town planning for the future. And Richard Shirres, acting chairman of the trust gave a presentation about the history and the future of the organisation, telling the audience that people needed to challenge apathy and complacency about the stewardship of Bolton.