Tributes pour in for well-loved Portishead historian Sandy Tebbutt

Heartfelt tributes have poured in for Portishead historian Sandy Tebbutt this month.

Heartfelt tributes have poured in for Portishead historian Sandy Tebbutt this month. - Credit: Owen Tebbutt

Heartfelt tributes have poured in for historian and Portishead in Bloom stalwart Sandy Tebbutt, who died on May 9 after a battle with cancer. 

The 78-year-old mother and grandmother had been a member of the Gordano Civic Society since she moved to Portishead in 1968. She was also a keen bird watcher, a member of the local footpath group, a tree warden and for decades was an influential member of Portishead in Bloom. 

Portishead local historian Sandy Tebbutt passed away this month.

Portishead local historian Sandy Tebbutt passed away this month. - Credit: Tracey Fowler

Peter Hills, from the Gordano Civic Society, said everyone from the group was very sorry to hear of Sandy’s death. He said: “Sandy had been a key member of the society for many, many years and had been involved in numerous projects.

"With more than 20 Posset Pieces, local history books, on various subjects published by Sandy, this must surely be a wonderful legacy.” 

The society is involved in history, conservation, environment, planning and wildlife issues in the Gordano area of North Somerset, and Sandy was instrumental in organising an Adelaide Terrace plaque in Woodhill Road to remind people of the terrace’s history.

Sandy Tebbutt unveiling the Adelaide Terrance plaque.

Sandy Tebbutt unveiling the Adelaide Terrance plaque. - Credit: Tony Tween


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She also spearheaded the restoration of the CEGB power station gates in Station Road and was involved in Portishead Town Council’s neighbourhood plan. 

Peter added: “One project Sandy was keen to complete was the reinstating of railings at Lorymer’s Park, in Nore Road, at the top of Beach Hill. It would be a fitting tribute if we can complete this in the near future. 

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“The Environmental Award was another project Sandy was involved in, not to mention her invaluable help with the society’s programme of talks and outings. 

Heartfelt tributes have poured in for Portishead historian Sandy Tebbutt this month.

Heartfelt tributes have poured in for Portishead historian Sandy Tebbutt this month. - Credit: Owen Tebbutt

“Sandy will be very sadly missed and the society sends their condolences to her family.” 

Some of the society archives are now at the heritage centre in Portishead’s Folk Hall where Sandy worked recently with Cllr Janet Davey to create a Portishead historical timeline around the main hall. 

Portishead Town Council held a minute silence for Sandy at its May meeting. Cllr Paul Gardner said the historian and Portishead in Bloom stalwart would be sorely missed. He acknowledged her dedication to the town and commended her knowledge and documentation of its history and the legacy that she has provided for future generations.

Paul said: “We will be asking for ideas of how best the local community feels Portishead can pay tribute and remember such a wonderful person.” 

Sandy with a former chairman of Portishead Town Council and member of Portishead in Bloom.

Sandy with a former chairman of Portishead Town Council and member of Portishead in Bloom organising Remembrance concert and tea. - Credit: Tracey Fowler

Members of Portishead in Bloom, which is the largest and most prestigious horticultural campaign in Europe, Britain In Bloom, also paid tribute Sandy, their former chair of eight years.

A spokesman for the group said: “Sandy led the group to gold awards both regionally and nationally and had lots of ideas and initiatives which helped us to achieve such high standards. She will be sadly missed by so many people in Portishead.” 

Sandy’s daughter, Cathy Salisbury, said she and her brother Owen had been deeply touched by all the kind messages they had received.

She said: "Obviously, the loss of mum will leave a huge hole in our family; we already miss her so much. We are, however, comforted by the kind words of so many and are planning a memorial service at St Peter’s Church in Portishead on September 17 at 2pm.” 

Posset Pieces No. 21.

Posset Pieces No. 21. - Credit: Gordano Civic Society

“The family has come across a great deal of information and documentation Sandy had collected and collated and are hoping, that with the help of other local historians, the book she was working on can still be completed.” 

People who are interested in helping to complete the book, and those wanting further information about the memorial service, can contact Sandy's daughter Cathy at cathy@salisburyfamily.com 

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