New pavilion is officially opened in Radwinter after four years of fundraising

PUBLISHED: 17:03 09 October 2017

Cheers! The new Radwinter pavilion is open. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Cheers! The new Radwinter pavilion is open. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Photo 2017

After four-and-a-half years of hard work and fundraising, Radwinter’s new pavilion was opened on the recreation ground on Friday, October 6.

Julie Plisner Haines cuts the ribbon to open the new pavilion. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Julie Plisner Haines cuts the ribbon to open the new pavilion. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The ribbon was cut by the chairman of the Pavilion Committee Julie Plisner Haines. The crowd cheered and Saffron Walden’s new MP, Kemi Badenoch also joined the party later on in the day of celebration.

The villagers raised some £350,000 for the new pavilion and multi-use games area. The games area was opened in June, in time for the summer holidays.

The money was raised by applying for grants, including from Uttlesford District Council some section 106 money after a new housing development in Radwinter. S160 money is cash builders are required to give towards something for the community.

Community fundraising also included medieval banquets, duck races, quizzes and private donations from residents.

The old pavilion. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The old pavilion. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

In her speech Mrs Plisner Haines described how the original land for the recreation ground was bought with money raised by sixpenny hops, dances run in the village hall during the war for soldiers stationed in the area. When the war ended it was suggested that the £300 raised should be used to buy playing fields for the village.

This was agreed in April 1946 but it took three years for the land to be purchased, another four years for a committee to be set up and then five more before the rec was officially opened in 1958.

The old pavilion that the new one has just replaced is itself a second incarnation, put up 40 years ago.

Mrs Plisner Haines said: “It had long ceased to be fit for purpose and a replacement had been talked about ever since I moved to the village 20 years ago.

“I think we should all be very proud of what we have achieved in less than five years. We have expanded the playground, put in an access road, built a multi-use games area, built a pavilion, acquired an extra hectare of land, planted several hundred trees and we are well on the way to putting in a bike track.”

Thank yous included the village Google Group, set up to publicise fundraising events and calls for help to run them. She said: “Nobody could have envisaged just how many lost dogs, cats and wheelie bins would be reported as well as sightings of rogue otters and suspect vans.”

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