Last week the Community Centre was given a rare chance to meet with a writer/director as they started the creative journey to produce a piece of theatre. Sponsored by the Lowry Theatre and mentored by Cheshire Rural Touring Arts, Laura Lindow met a group of rural promoters at the Action Transport Theatre in Ellesmere Port.
Scottish born Laura has worked in the North East since 1996 creating exciting theatre for both adults and children. She is a director, playwright and storyteller using words, music and puppetry to craft pieces that resonate with warmth and humanity. Her play, Heartbreak Soup, was nominated for an award at the Edinburgh Festival. Laura also takes her talents into children’s hospitals as a Clown Doctor, where she helps sick children cope with the stress of illness. (See www.clowndoctors.co.uk)
The piece that Laura brought to the group is provisionally called In Chips and tell of the emotional ties that bind families together, and that sometimes chafe. How do we talk about the important things that concern us when we can’t mention the really important issues that are like an elephant in the room? Laura read part the story as it is presently conceived, a captivating tale full of remarkable images that left all of us asking that most important question – “What Happens Next?”
In fact what happens next is that Laura and her producer, together with staff at the Lowry, will spend some weeks analysing, refining and moulding the story into a piece of theatre with a view to offering it to the Rural Touring network in the autumn. They will take the comments of the promoters on board because small rural audiences are not the same as urban ones, and Village Halls are often not proper theatres. How flexible does the set have to be? Is strong language acceptable? How long should the piece be? ( Interestingly rural promoters like a play that is long enough for an interval – raffle/bar, and long enough to give the audience a feeling that they have had a good night out!)
I would be delighted to be able to offer this play to Tarvin should it become available in the autumn menu. I would love to see how the gripping and evocative story I heard becomes a piece of theatre, so watch this space.
By the way, when I said there was an elephant in the room I wasn’t kidding – the story did contain a real elephant……………… possibly!
Start Small – Dream Big
In life people can usually be divided into two categories, the lovers of the round ball and the lovers of the oval ball! I am a round ball person myself though I expect to get drawn into the excitement of the 6 Nations Championship which has just kicked off. Both Rugby Union and Rugby League seem to have grown in their range an appeal, even to someone like me who finds the rules incomprehensible.
In Tarvin Community Centre on a Saturday morning an eager group of boys (and a few girls) gather to learn the basics of rugby with Rugby Tots. This company, a successful franchise, has been going since 2003, and provides a programme designed to use the multiple skills of rugby to create a fun and enjoyable environment while developing basic core motor skills. While playing a number of exciting games with a suitably soft oval ball, kids learn co-ordination and control, team skills, co-operation and the arts of winning and losing with grace and good humour.
If you have a little one from – well, maybe 3 or 4, with lots of energy to spare, then do consider this great class. I suspect that not many of them will go on to score the winning try at Twickenham – or even a goal in the F.A. Cup at Wembley, but they will have learnt that sport is fun and exercise a great pleasure. Hopefully this will influence them for the rest of their lives, keeping them fit and healthy.
If nothing else, it will get rid of some of that surplus energy!
(I lived in Fiji where rugby was akin to a national religion. I was there in 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson scored the winning point. I was surrounded by Aussies and Kiwis, a great patriotic moment even for a ‘round ball’ fan like me!)
For more information and contact details regarding Tarvin Rugby Tots go to www.tarvincommunitycentre.org/category/events/regular-activities
or visit www.rugbytots.co.uk
For information on all activities at the Community Centre go to www.tarvincommunity centre.org
Is Tarvin Children’s Centre to Close?
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) is holding a consultation on “de-registering” some of its Children’s Centres, including the Tarvin, Malpas, and Farndon Children’s Centre which is based at Tarvin Community Centre.
“De-registration” means that Children’s Centres would not be subject to an Ofsted inspection. It is possible the space could become available for broader community use. Some of the current activities might continue, if the organisers want to continue to run them or if a new organiser can be found. However, CWaC says that in the current economic climate it needs to concentrate more on services for children and families in greatest need, and less on buildings and other overhead costs.
In making its proposals CWaC says it has looked at information about attendance usage and registration rates at each children’s centre, as well as levels of deprivation and levels of need, and any compliments or complaints. In the case of the Tarvin, Malpas and Farndon Centre, it says that the level of need is less acute, that usage is low, that the location is not easily accessible and that services can be delivered by other organisations through different commissioning arrangements (for example NHS services commissioned with different building management). Please note that, as yet, there are no firm proposals for the use of the space at Tarvin Community Centre, although the Community Centre Committee of Management has talked to CWaC and asked to be consulted about any proposals.
The consultation lasts until 28th October 2014 and CWaC will make a final decision in March 2015. A questionnaire is available online
http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/your_council/consultations_and_petitions/council_consultations/childrens_centres_consultatio.aspx. You can also email email@example.com with your views.
Please note that up to now the response rate from Tarvin has been poor
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On Tuesday evening the Community Centre hosted a Reception to celebrate the signing of the new lease. The Committee were delighted to welcome members of the many clubs and organisation who use the Centre and whose regular contributions help pay the bills. Also present were residents who have been involved with the running of the Centre in the past. It is this continued support and commitment from so many individuals that makes such an important contribution to the Centre’s success.
Also present was Councillor Mike Jones, the Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Councillor Lyn Riley whose responsibility within the Executive is for Localities. The Council are the Centre’s landlords and their support is important in ensuring that the building and the ground are kept well. Providing local services in new and innovative ways is a key policy of the Council and the way the Community Centre is managed ticks many of their boxes.
Alan Wilkinson, Chair of the Committee said ‘It was a great pleasure to welcome our guests and say a big thank you for their support. The new lease means we can start applying for grants for improvements to the building so we can offer more opportunities for the community to get together. We are very, very ambitious for the Centre’.
After the Reception the Annual General Meeting took place and the Committee was re-elected for the following year. Thanks were given to Richard Orfanelli who stood down as Treasurer after many years of service. Richard was the sole survivor of an earlier Committee whose resignation was the catalyst for change. His contribution has been much appreciated and was marked by the presentation of a small gift. Ted Lush will take over as Treasurer and Sue Hardacre will take the role of the Parish Council representative.
The wine for the event was provided by the local Co-op