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New Centre Opens at Black Horse Drove

PUBLISHED: 12:44 18 October 2011

Black Horse Drove Community Centre,Littleport. grand opening,saturday 15 October 2011.; Councillor Fred BROWN (image 2371)opened proceedings by cutting the ribbon.; Speaches included  Mike CARTER (Image 2374) from Fens Adventurers who helped fund the venture.; Mr Jonathan JAMES (Image 2390/2392) cut the cake to mark the opening.; Outside (image 2396) some of the 90 ? strong locals posed for an image reminiscant of one held in the archives.

Black Horse Drove Community Centre,Littleport. grand opening,saturday 15 October 2011.; Councillor Fred BROWN (image 2371)opened proceedings by cutting the ribbon.; Speaches included Mike CARTER (Image 2374) from Fens Adventurers who helped fund the venture.; Mr Jonathan JAMES (Image 2390/2392) cut the cake to mark the opening.; Outside (image 2396) some of the 90 ? strong locals posed for an image reminiscant of one held in the archives.

Copyright:Mark fairhurst

“We welcome with open arms anyone who wants to join the committee and we would love everyone to come along and see what’s on offer in our new community centre”, said Joy Tod, secretary of the committee. “I would really like to see a regular coffee morning run from here”

THE newly refurbished Black Horse Drove Community Centre was officially opened last Saturday (15) when more than 100 people viewed the 21st century facilities on offer.

The community centre originally opened in the old school in 1947 but closed three years ago because it no longer came up to modern standards. Cambridgeshire County Council decided to sell the building which was bought by Littleport Parish Council and, with the help of various grants, new life has been brought to the centre.

The roof has been repaired and insulated, it has been replastered, had new flooring, a new toilet block, a modern extension and the kitchen has been totally revamped. The Fens Adventurers donated £8,500 which helped buy new chairs, kitchen equipment including a cooker and fridge – in fact everything from teaspoons up to tables.

The centre now as a Community Access point for computers and it is hoped that computer training for older people will become a regular event.

A range of guests were invited for the grand opening ceremony and the rooms were decorated with pictures of Black Horse Drove from the 1890s to the present day, including photos from the former school and works by a local artist.

Councillor Fred Brown from Littleport parish council opened proceedings by cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Speeches were made by various people who had helped the new centre become a reality including Mike Carter from Fens Adventurers.

The community centre committee invited 102-year old former teacher Edna James to be the guest of honour, but she could not make it in person. But a Skype link to Mrs James meant that she could watch the proceedings from her home and her image appeared on the walls of the community centre, much to the delight of the crowd, many of whom were her former pupils.

Mrs James was represented in person by her grandson Jonathan James, who cut the celebratory cake baked by local baker Thelma Murfitt. He then related some tales of his grandmother who was a stalwart of the Black Horse Drove community, taking a leading role in church and school activities.

After refreshments provided by Littleport WI, everyone was entertained by a group of belly dancers who will be one of the regular groups using the community centre.

A disco was held in the evening to round off the celebrations.

The community centre is now open for hire. Children’s furniture is on site so it would make an ideal centre for a pre-school group. The committee of five people would love to hear ideas from local people about what they want to see in the centre.

“We welcome with open arms anyone who wants to join the committee and we would love everyone to come along and see what’s on offer in our new community centre”, said Joy Tod, secretary of the committee. “I would really like to see a regular coffee morning run from here”, she added.

Definite events which will take place are quiz nights in November and February, a Christmas bingo and a carol service which will be held at 3pm on December 18.

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