Can you solve centre’s mystery?

Dorset Road Community Centre in Hag Fold
Dorset Road Community Centre in Hag Fold

Leaders at a popular community centre hope to clear up a mystery around how it was built when they celebrate four decades of helping people.

Dorset Road Community Centre in Atherton will mark its 40th anniversary this summer and the group in charge want to find out about one curious aspect of its construction.

“We know quite a bit of the history from when it opened but it’s prior to that we need the information for. It’s not really that long ago and we would love to know what really happened and who was involved. There must be somebody in the community who knows.”

Norman Bradbury

The committee, chaired by Norman Bradbury, says residents who wanted the centre built toured the area door-to-door asking for donations, saying giving £1 would buy a single brick for the new centre.

However, the full story of how this campaign was run and its end results are not fully known and the committee at the centre, which is in the process of being renamed The Bridge, would like to clear the matter up as part of the milestone birthday celebrations.

Community centre chair Mr Bradbury said: “A group of people who wanted a centre on the Hag Fold estate went around collecting £1 for a brick.

“I remember giving £1 and our secretary Joyce Holmes remembers them coming round. It’s not a figment of the imagination, but we can’t find out who organised it.

“We know quite a bit of the history from when it opened but it’s prior to that we need the information for. It’s not really that long ago and we would love to know what really happened and who was involved. There must be somebody in the community who knows.”

Mr Bradbury says the 40th anniversary celebrations will take place over the next couple of months and the event will also coincide with the Queen’s 90th birthday and involve youngsters from Atherton Pre-School Day Care.

As well as celebrating its past the event will be an opportunity to mark the start of a new chapter in the centre’s history when it is relaunched as The Bridge.

Local politicians from both parliament and the council are expected to be invited to the anniversary celebrations to recognise the huge role the venue has played in Hag Fold life over the past four decades and look forward to future developments.

Mr Bradbury said: “I remember in the 1970s when the youth club on Dorset Road was the place to be for teenagers. It was very vibrant.”

Anyone with information about the brick fund-raising campaign should email dorsetroadcc@yahoo.co.uk or ring 01942 884184.