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Pontefract Years in Focus 1946

YEARS IN FOCUS

LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS FROM THE 1940s

PONTEFRACT IN 1946

17th APRIL 1946
REALISING A HIGH AMBITION

One more section has now been added to the new Community Centre at Carleton, Pontefract, as was reported in ''The Express'' on Friday. It marks another step in the consolidation of a big project which arises from some enterprising action within the village, coupled with help from outside; and sets a notable example in the area.

The need for facilities in Carleton for social, cultural, recreational and educational activities has been felt for a long time, and investigations and discussions led to the only conclusion that only a Community Centre would meet the need. But it was both inspiration and high ambition that prompted the purchase of ''The Grange,'' a country house of spacious dimensions, with equally spacious grounds. Formerly the home of Mr. T.W. Tew, the Pontefract banker, it was built by the late Mrs S.A. Driver, who built the Alexandra Theatre, Tanshelf, (now the Alexandra Cinema). It was notable for a greenhouse and conservatory which was an exact replica of the Crystal Palace, London. Like many other country houses it had not been tenanted for many years. Anonymous residents associated with the move at Carleton bought the house privately, and it was placed at the disposal of the village committee, formed to pursue the project for a Community Centre. With its indoor accommodation and its grounds, it provides all that is needed to cater for the community as a whole. In a very short time, a Ladies' Section of the Community Centre was formed, which in the first week of its existence enrolled over 60 members; and a committee of 12 was elected to administer the Section, under the chairmanship of Mrs G. Barker, M.B.E. Then, youth activities were undertaken, and a second section for them was organised which has more than 150 members. That section is now busily arranging its own affairs, including provision of equipment of various kinds. In addition, the Carleton Cricket Club and Cycle Club have joined forces with the Centre.

During last winter, an Entertainments sub-Committee raised over 200 to meet the cost of repairs to, and maintenance of, the house and grounds, and the cost of equipment. Other committees set to work to devise a constitution for the Centre, to make temporary renovations, and to prepare a final plan for the adaptation of the house and grounds to indoor and outdoor events. Architects plans propose a large hall on the ground floor for dances, concerts, and big gatherings, with a stage, artists rooms, adaptable to many purposes such as study circles; as well as cloak rooms.

The owners of the house have given the Committee the option to buy it at the price originally paid and if enough interest is shown, it is intended to apply for an official grant of up to 50%, of the capital expenditure, equipment and maintenance costs. Such a grant will not be forthcoming, however, unless it can be shown that the community is prepared to take its share of the responsibility.

The Centre is intended to meet the needs of all classes of the community, of both sexes, and all ages, Nor is it confined to the village of Carleton. Anyone interested is eligible for membership, and it is hoped to organise the undertaking in such a way that a modest subscription only will be necessary.

The complete scheme, covering purchase of the property, renovations, alterations, and the provision of equipment, is estimated to cost about 4,000, so that at least 2,000 is needed from local sources. Pursuing the methodical progress of registered organisation, the committee is organising a house to house canvas to ascertain the response to the project. That response will play a large part in securing the grant mentioned or failing to secure it. Inevitably, therefore, it will play a large part in the future of the Centre.

[ 1946 Index ]


Years in Focus is researched by Maurice Haigh and reproduced
with the kind permission of the Pontefract and Castleford Express.


Pontefract news from the 1930's


 

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