Milestone for local hub

The 40th anniversary celebration at Dorset Road Community Centre
The 40th anniversary celebration at Dorset Road Community Centre

Residents celebrated a community centre’s four decades of helping local people with an afternoon tea to mark the milestone anniversary.

Dorset Road Community Centre celebrated its 40th birthday with an event for 100 guests including Leigh MP Andy Burnham and local councillors.

Norman Bradbury and Leigh MP Andy Burnham at the Dorset Road Community Centre 40th anniversary celebration

Norman Bradbury and Leigh MP Andy Burnham at the Dorset Road Community Centre 40th anniversary celebration

Those attending the event were transported back in time to the era when the centre was built, with tea and cake being served on formal crockery and stands and entertainment courtesy of swing vocalist Garry Alexander.

The team now running the community centre, which will soon be rebranded The Bridge, also remembered the history of the facility and paid tribute to those who had done most to make it a reality, including Hag Fold resident Susan Pimblett who helped organise a petition and fund-raising campaign.

It was also a double celebration as Atherton Pre-School Day Care, which is now St Richard’s Atherton Pre-School, marked 50 years since it opened.

Community centre chairman Norman Bradbury said: “Both organisations are now in a better position than they have been for years and are poised to go from strength to strength.

“Both organisations are now in a better position than they have been for years and are poised to go from strength to strength.”

Norman Bradbury

“None of this would have been possible without the efforts of Susan Pimblett, who asked a group of youths who congregated outside the sub-station with nothing to do what they wanted on the estate.

“They said they needed a youth club and community centre and she organised them to get out into the community with a petition asking the council to provide one.

“She also asked residents to help fund the project by contributing a pound to buy a brick.

“The pre-school has an even longer history. It has become an invaluable community asset, steeped in a 50-year history and formed out of a complete drive to care for and love children.”

Mr Bradbury said Ms Pimblett’s work will be marked with a plaque on the entrance wall later this year.

Coun Mark Aldred spoke of his own happy memories of attending the pre-school centre during the event.