Downham Market Amenity Society leaves a lasting legacy as it closes with donations to the town

The Downham Market Amenity Society may have closed this week after 41 years but the memory of its excellent work will continue to impact the town for years to come.

For four decades the society has worked hard to argue for the beauty, history and character of the town to be maintained and for buildings to be preserved.

On Monday, it held its final meeting. But as a parting gesture, it gave a huge boost to three organisations in the town by handing out cheques totalling �5,000.

The cheques were presented to the Downham Sports Federation, the town's heritage society and for the refurbishment of Howdale Pax Scout and Guide hut.

The �1,000 given to the Downham Sports Federation will help the organisation in its pursuit of raising �10,000 to refurbish its clubhouse.

The organisation's chairman, Don Rowell, said: 'The refurbishment is desperately needed so we are very grateful to the amenity society for giving us this amount and it has really given us a boost.'

Mr Rowell was, however, saddened that the cheque presentation was the amenity society's last act.

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He said: 'It is a huge loss to the town and it is very sad we should be losing a body such as the amenity society which got on and done things in the town's interests.

'It is sad to see it go. They did a great service for the town - a service a lot of people didn't know they did.'

The society's chairman Sheila Parry said the decision was made to close because no one wanted to take office.

Both Mrs Parry and her husband held six posts between them including chairman, membership secretary and planning chairman and it was felt the society could not limp on.

Mrs Parry said: 'It was a very good final meeting which was well attended by 60 people including town, borough and county councillors and the town mayor.

'I paid tribute at the meeting to the people who have made the society what it is today, how we worked in teams of people and how we were able to draw on the good will and expertise of our members to do the best we could for the town.

'I also paid tribute to the many people who carried out invisible duties such as taking down the minutes of meetings.

'I thought it was a great send off and nice to see so many people come out to for the final meeting.'

Mrs Parry added the society also handed over photographic records of every listed building in the town to the town council, Downham by Design and the town's heritage society.