Prior to 2007 the idea of marking the Bicentenary of the extension of the harbour at Aberaeron took hold in the imagination of the late Gareth Owen and several of the residents of the town. A committee was established by Gareth in 2002 and led from 2004 by Elinor Ingham. The ideas and work instigated led to a highly successful year of celebration in 2007, and the town saw an influx of visitors to attend the concerts, parties and shows that proliferated. Success was also due to the generosity of patrons and residents who supported the Bicentenary Committee voluntarily and financially.
A major financial boost came from the award of a grant from the Heritage Lottery fund, thanks to the bid led by Clare Thomas. Subsequently the hard work of the project officer Mair Harrison and numerous Aberaeron residents, with the assistance of Ceredigion Museum, created a Quilting Exhibition, a summer Exhibition marking Aberaeron’s diverse history, a Town Trail with unique markers on Historical buildings and a plaque to commemorate the ships built in the town. In 2008 the project received the Welsh Award from the Heritage Lottery group in Wales.
When the Bicentenary committee disbanded, the enthusiasm remained and a group led by Elinor Ingham, Clare Thomas and Mair Harrison and other enthusiasts, set up Cymdeithas Aberaeron Society. We are now a limited company and a registered charity.