CAROL Davis has one particularly fond memory of Rose Hill Community Centre, in The Oval.
The chairman of the Rose Hill Community Centre Association, which runs the centre, held her wedding reception on Boxing Day in 1959. But her celebration is just one of a whole host of parties and community events the centre has hosted since it opened in 1956.
From Zumba and martial arts classes, to its regular bingo nights, residents of the Oxford estate can take part in different activities there or book the centre for a private function.
Mrs Davis said: “We always used to have a celebration every year on the anniversary of when it was opened. “There are many functions that have taken place here – children’s parties and weddings. “There are quite a few community groups who use the centre. There is always something going on. We are a well-used community centre.”
Bill Buckingham, 92, secretary of the association, remembers the previous community centre in Ashhurst Way. He said: “We had a big wooden building by the main road, then it got set on fire. I was chairman of it then, we are talking about 70 years ago. “We spent £10,000 to build the first part of this community centre and it was opened by the Lord mayor in 1956.”
Mrs Davis said: “When this community centre was being built, Bill Buckingham held meetings in his house and my father Norman Brown got involved then.
“He did his share as secretary and the job of president.” Today, residents are being asked to decide whether they would prefer the existing community centre to be revamped or a new one built. They can vote for their preferred option between 10am and 8pm today at Rose Hill Community Centre. There will be a host of family activities taking place at the same time, to encourage residents to get involved.
A new £1m community centre would bring several services under one roof, including the social club, advice centre, sports pavilion and youth club. It could be built by 2015 on a site in Ashhurst Way, beside the Co-operative Nursery.
The existing community centre could be used to provide housing, including affordable homes, but if it is refurbished, the pavilion and advice centre would remain where they are. Plans for refurbishing the building would improve accessibility, upgrade the toilet facilities and heating, replace some flooring and repair the roof.
Residents’ views will help inform Oxford City Council’s executive board discussions on Wednesday, December 19. Mrs Davis said: “We are well aware that the community centre needs updating. The thing is this one is in a prime place and people feel safe. “Where the new one is we feel is in the wrong place. I say pull this one down and build the new one here.”
Bert Inness, chairman of the Rose Hill Social Club at the community centre, said the existing centre is in a good location with a bus stop right outside.
He said: “I would say 100 per cent that anyone who comes to our bingo nights would want to stay here. “A lot of them are older people – the new community centre would be further for them to walk.”
- Monkey Madness Show: 11.30am
- Messy Jam: 12.15pm
- Family Entertainment: 1pm
- The Rose Hill Swingers: 2.30pm
- Monkey Madness Show: 3.15pm
- The Magdalen Swing Band: 4.15pm
- Ball pool: 10am-4pm
- Balloon Modeller: 10.30am-5pm
- Face painting: 11am-4pm
- Xbox Competition: 1pm-6pm
- Fingerprint key fobs: 11.30am-5pm
- Bouncy Castle: 10am-5pm
- Arts and Crafts: 10am-5pm