Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page
Kettering Evening Telegraph, January 1990 -- May 1991
Burton Latimer Community Centre

Jan 1990: A new association has been formed to take over Burton Latimer Community Centre. This new association will be casting off council shackles and going it alone. Kettering Borough Council currently run the centre, but have agreed to relinquish control in April and hand over the reins to a steering committee headed by David Davies and Marion York. Marion said: "The association will be run by the people of Burton Latimer and respond to their needs. We will be refurbishing the existing hall and aim to get more people using the centre." Improvements include extending the main hall so larger events can be held, revamping and extending the kitchens to allow more in-house catering, refitting a social room to improve atmosphere and encourage greater use and plans for a new bar and a stage. Marion said that by including a stage, "We hope to encourage local theatre and drama groups to use the centre. Also carpet bowls and tea dances would find a place here". The project will be funded by grants from Kettering Council and Northants County Council.

This was approved in late January, with Marion York heading a 15 strong community association. She said: "The council approached us to make enquires about whether the people wanted the centre being run by the town. The centre has been very poorly used over the years, but the response from the public regarding community involvement was fantastic. We are urging people to attend a public meeting on February 1st when the future of the centre will be discussed". Joan Griffiths, chairman of the town council, said: "The centre had never been well used and hopefully with this new money and the improvements that will be made, it will become more popular."

Over 60 people attended the public meeting to discuss the future of the centre, with the new management committee due to take charge in April. Work to extend and decorate the centre was due to commence in the next few weeks. Cllr York, committee head said: " There was a cross section of the population at the meeting and the majority were very enthusiastic." The first new activity to be introduced will be indoor carpet bowling, with a free trial session at the end of the month.

Dancers at the Community Centre Serving tea at the Community Centre
Evening Telegraph reporter Kevin McEderry (above, left-hand photo) reports on the success of the tea dances held at the community centre

Other activities included martial arts and fitness classes, holiday activities for youngsters, tennis coaching, a remote control car club, dog training classes, mother & toddler group and junior disco. One of the most successful events was the afternoon tea dance, held every Monday from 2:00 until 4:30. Evening Telegraph reporter Kevin McElderry attended one event for the Evening Telegraph in May 1991, and follwing article appeared in the newspaper soon after.

"About 80 people flock the community centre every Monday for a chat, a cuppa and quickstep, paying 75p (including tea and biscuits). The tea dances started in February and are so popular that folk from as far away as Thrapston and Irthlingborough are attending. Organisers are now arranging monthly supper dances to cope with demand. The tea dances are run by Wellingborough couple Ray and Mary Spencer, and offer a variety of dances, from quicksteps and foxtrots to barn dances and tangos. Lil Richardson, 77, of Burton Latimer said:" I like the dances because I get out and meet people. I came the first week and I have been coming ever since." Bert Link, 74, said: "Quite a number of us are people on our own and it's a chance for us to get out. I like the informality - nobody finds fault with you if you get something wrong." Brave Edna Chapman, fresh from her dance routine with yours truly said: " My social life has really improved since I started coming here. Its better than bingo - I would reccommend it to anybody!""

Over time, Cllr York and Mr Davies handed over responsibility to other committee members, but Burton Latimer Community Centre still retains its independence as a facility run by local people.

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Sport & Leisure Index