Celebrations at Wallace House to mark another step in centre's refurb - The Evesham Observer

Celebrations at Wallace House to mark another step in centre's refurb

Evesham Editorial 9th Dec, 2016   0

LOCAL dignitaries, residents and the grandson of the man who gave Wallace House to the people of Evesham gathered to celebrate the refurbishment of the community centre.

The Oat Street venue recently had new windows installed to improve the front of the building as part of a wider project to refurbish the centre.

Last Saturday (December 3) the Mayor of Evesham Coun Fred Kaler, Mayoress Coun Sue Amor and councillors, as well Michael Smedley, the grandson of Samuel Wallace Smedley who gave the building to the town in 1946, marked the completion of the new frontage.

Also at the event, Michael Smedley unveiled a memorial plaque for his grandfather in recognition of the gift he gave to the town.

Speaking at the opening, Michael Smedley said: “I’m delighted to be here in Evesham again and to see so many here today for the unveiling of the new window which I think gives a lot more light here and really makes a terrific difference to the room.”

During his speech, Michael also talked about when his grandfather decided to give the building to the town.

“During the Second World War, my grandparents came and stayed in Evesham on the High Street, near the chief constable’s house and later on, on Cheltenham Road,” he added.

“After the war, the police, and their station was here where we’re standing today, decided they needed a bigger station and wanted it out-of-town, so this site was put up for sale. My grandfather bought it and he gave it to the people of Evesham to provide a community centre. But, he not only gave them the site, he gave them enough money to pull it down and build a purpose made building, this one which we’re in today.

“Not only that and very sensibly as well, very few people who leave money for something, he left money to run it as well.”

Lynda Huggan, centre manager, said: “We’ve been trying to raise money for the new frontage to re-launch Wallace House, mainly because it was starting to get a bit run down and a lot of people didn’t know we were here.

“Now we’ve got the new frontage it has made a massive difference and it’s also encouraged a lot more people to come in.

“There’s still quite a lot of money to raise. The next project is the sports hall floor. We do have a plan which also includes a community café with computers.

“So far we’ve raised £190,000 and next year we’ve got a whole programme planned full of various fundraising events to try and keep the momentum going.”


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