As spring approaches work has started to clear an area of Leylandii in readiness to plant natives trees. The work had to be done early to ensure that we did not disturb nesting birds.
A great day was had by all, a big thank you to all who took part!
Malcolm retires after many years serving the community
The Community Centre held our AGM on 1st October and discussed how things have gone the past year, and ideas for the future of the centre. We thanked Malcolm Waters for his outstanding contribution to the Community in his roles of Chair of the Institute or old " green hut " and Chair and Treasurer of Yorkley Football Club.
For the grand sum of £279 , the Yorkley Institute, was officially opened on Friday 20th January, 1911.This cost included the coal stoves, a second hand billiard table, dominoes and other small games. The money was raised through a loan of £250 donations and a concert in Yorkley School. It was built to provide much needed recreation and learning for the miners and their families although, in an extract from the opening speech , Mr. Deacon said “ he hoped that the young married fellows would not stay hour after hour in the billiard room when they ought to be at home making their wives the happier and their homes the brighter “
The Miners Welfare committee took on responsibility for the adjoining Recreation Ground and War Memorial in 1922 for the annual rent of 25 shillings ( 25p in today’s money ! ).
In 1975 , the recreation ground was formally bought by the Institute for the sum of £900, with the Constitution saying that it should be held in Trust “ for the villages of Yorkley, Oldcroft, Viney Hill and Pillowell without distinction of political, religious or other opinions including use for meetings, lectures and classes and for other forms of recreation and leisure with the object of improving the conditions of life for the inhabitants".
By this time the committee was made up of representatives of the local football , rugby and cricket clubs, the school, the Happy Circle and local churches and chapel.
Many people today remember going to parties and dances, youth club, fayres, all sorts of classes and much more.
Well before the turn of the century, the ‘ old green hut ‘ as it had been come to be known , which was always meant to be temporary, had deteriorated considerably and was no longer ‘ fit for purpose’.
History of Project
In the autumn of 2011, the management committee of the Hall and Recreation Ground , decided to make a Bid to the Big Lottery, Reaching Communities Fund, for a grant to build a new Community Centre to serve the residents of the four villages, Yorkley, Oldcroft, Viney Hill and Pillowell and beyond, and so began the long process of consultations, surveys and hundreds of meetings .
The news that they had been successful in winning the funding of £500,000 came in October 2013 and was shortly followed by the announcement of another successful bid to Gloucestershire Environmental Trust of £34,000 to install a ground source heat pump and solar panels.
The project team were Sharon Freeman, Don and June Pugh, Helen Black and Kim Spencer who found that one of the most difficult parts of the whole process was writing the tender specification documents for an Architect . They had six months to chose an architect, draw up plans in consultation with the local community, commission ground , landscaping and ecological surveys, and have plans passed by 18th July , the deadline for the final Stage 3 submission. With help and understanding from the development control department of the Forest of Dean District Council, planning permission was given on 17th July ! The chosen architect, Rob Johnson of FDH of Lydney, and building contractors, Kilbury Construction, based in Gloucester have all been great to work with.
The team from the Big Lottery have also been very supportive and even approved a further £25,000 for improvements to the building schedule prior to the demolition of the old green hut making the total grant funding of £559,000.
Thanks go to West Dean Parish Council who helped with three grants towards legal fees, help with admin and finance support and first aid and food safety training and of course, Yorkley Football Club, who have been amazing, especially when they organised and paid for the new fencing around the recreation ground and football pitch when the wild boar invaded !
The management committee would like to remember and pay tribute to three former members who have sadly died in the last year or so. Dennis Kear who, as Trustee and life president, devoted a great part of his life to Yorkley Football Club and the Recreation Centre . Among other contributions he made was the upkeep of the Recreation Ground and playground.
Pauline Gowar was an active member of the management committee who kept the Project Team going with her absolute conviction that a new Community centre would be built - she never doubted it. David Harris, former committee Treasurer, who, together with his wife, Marjorie, started the ‘ Yorkley Bookery’ and raised over oone thousand pounds to keep the old building going. The Bookery has continued to take place at Viney St. Swithins Club on the 1st Saturday of the month. All three are very sadly missed.
What we hope to do
During the last 3 years we have had a series of consultation meetings with residents and the four priorities for the new centre to provide were:
With funding from the Big Lottery for the building and the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust for the energy-efficient heating and lighting, the new Community Centre at Yorkley will be opening its’ doors on the weekend of 18th and 19th of April.
The grand opening will be at 11am with the ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by the eldest resident, and the youngest puplils at guests of honour
Visitors on Saturday 18th will be able to see what the centre has to offer; a large and light main hall which will hold 120 people for weddings and parties, more for concerts and large meetings, a room which can be used for smaller meetings and gatherings, and conferences, with the facility to open up to the well equipped kitchen to become a cafe. There are French doors leading off this meeting place on to a large paved outside space. The office has been designed to also be used for counselling or advice sessions.
There will be an opportunity for groups, organisations or individuals who want to hold events, courses or activities, to have a stand to publicise their events. Already booked are the 1st Yorkley Brownies, exercise classes, a short-mat bowling club , Yorkley Arts & Entertainment, the F.W. Harvey Society, etc. and Sunday 19th will be dedicated to children, with a big party
With funding from the Big Lottery for the building and the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust for the energy-efficient heating and lighting , the new Community Centre at Yorkley is almost completed. It seems to have taken a long while, and it has certainly taken lots of hard work but the building contractors have said that the building will be ready by early to mid March. The Management Committee are now working out the detail of how the centre will run and who might do what.
We are inviting anyone who can help with the running of the Centre and the grounds, help design and manage a new Children’s playground or help with events and activities to go along to the Bailey pub at 12pm this Saturday, 31st January and discuss what they are able to offer with members of the Management committee. Help is also needed with administration, marketing and social media updates.
Committee Chair, Sharon Freeman said “ To see the results of our hard work is very exciting and the building is looking even better than we had imagined. It is really spacious and with the underfloor heating from the ground source heat pump it will be warm and spacious. In order that we can provide a good range of events and activities for all ages, we need more volunteers to help. Even if volunteers can only spare a couple of hours a month, for example helping with catering for an occasional event, please come along to the Bailey and talk to us.“
Please ring Sharon on 01594 562187 or on Kim 01594 562240 to find out more, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Management Committee meet once a month. These need to be fairly formal meetings because of our charitable status, but at the moment we have lots to talk about and they can be really interesting. At our November meeting we talked about:
Our Charitable Status
Armistice Day Plans
Fencing - HUGE thanks to the football club for sorting this out - photo below
The progress of new building - photos below
Our wonderful volunteers
There has been some discussion on our Facebook Page about the name The Community Centre, Yorkley.
The name was arrived at following quite a lot of public consultation with two big events in the village hall last year. The events were well publicised and many locals attended and gave their ideas and suggestions on the plans for new building and what sort of events they would like to see going on in it.
The original name for the old building was the Institute and it was built to serve the communities of Yorkley, Pillowell, Oldcroft and Viney Hill. The majority of those who suggested a name thought that calling the new building a Community Centre would be a better description of what it will be when built and used, and that it better represents the whole community, not just Yorkley.
No doubt locals will give it their own nickname once its finished!
There have been a number of comments on our Facebook Page recently about the lack of activities for children and young people in the area. It's great that everyone is taking an interest in the new building and what's going to happen there and thanks for your comments.
On the provision of play equipment, we are desperate to have help from local families . We are in the middle of applying for funding for a new playground and will be working with Yorkley Playgroup and School over the next few months but we could do with more help! Please get in touch if you are able to help or would like to find out more either via our Facebook page or through the 'contact us' button above.
We are also making a grant application to fund a Youth Worker who will run activities for young people and host a drop in centre in the new community centre.
We will be running a further consultation day very soon so please co me along and give your comments. We will publicise the date very soon.
It was almost three years ago that the management committee of Yorkley Recreation Centre embarked on their Lottery project to apply for funding to replace the old hall or ‘ Institute’ built in 1911 with Community Centre fit for the 21st century.
After the wonderful news came from the Big Lottery in October last year that the £500,000 bid had been successful, all of the legal requirements had to be put in place and tenders sent out to building contractors for the construction of the new Community Centre. In the meantime, another grant application was made to Gloucestershire Environmental Trust to install a ground source heat pump and solar panels. The application for £34,000 was also successful which will mean that the running costs of the building will be kept low.
The company who won the contract is Kilbury Construction , based in Gloucester, and on Wednesday 2nd July the contract for the project was signed. In the photo are Sharon Freeman, chair of the committee, and from Kilbury Construction, Tony Mulvihill and MD, Colin Westbury.
Work will begin on Monday July 14th and completion is expected to be in Spring 2015. In the tender documents we asked that the successful contractor would use local labour whenever possible and Kilbury have assured us that they will do so.
The construction site will be fenced and work will take place during week days from 7.30am to 5pm. The coming months will see many changes on the site and unfortunately some of the children’s play equipment will have to be removed and stored for the duration of the construction. Pedestrian access to the Skatepark and recreation ground will be by the entrance by the Health Centre and the woodland path off Tower Road. For Yorkley Football Club, vehicular access to the pitch and changing rooms will be as normal.
During this time it is hoped that people will come forward to help us apply for grants to build a much improved and exciting playground. This can only be done with the support of the parents and carers of the children who will want to use a great new playground .
Updates will be on our website and the Facebook page of the same name. To get involved or help in any way please contact me on 01594 562187 or Don Pugh on 01594 562909.”