A Community Hero

    Grenville 2   When Grenville Phillips announced that he would not be standing again for the Community Centre Committee he was of course, subjected to severe questioning. Was his request to have a little more time for himself seen as reasonable? With his characteristic twinkle in his eye he said “Well, I am nearly 87!”

Welsh born Grenville came to live in Tarvin in 1970 and was one of the founder members of the Community Centre Committee before the building was actually commissioned in 1979. He was the first Treasurer. His connection with the Centre has been almost unbroken since then.

The early years of the Community Centre were dominated by the drive and enthusiasm of the Tarvin Theatre Group, whose leading member, Edna Rose, is commemorated in the Community Centre. As well as the annual Pantomime, the group also produced summer musical events and one-off plays. Grenville was an enthusiastic performer in nearly all the productions and has played most of the key Panto characters. As was the tradition, his wife and daughters were also active members. The last Theatre Club performance was in 2002 when Grenville was part of the production team. The Theatre Club was the main source of funds for the running of the Centre, a fact that must have made ‘Treasurer’ Grenville very happy!

Of course, the Community Centre has had its ups and downs, with the early years of this century being particularly stressful. At one time, Grenville, together with all the Committee, resigned, but his affection for and commitment to the place saw him back in harness some years later. His willingness to help whenever he could has been much appreciated and he will be much missed.

Needless to say, the Community Centre hasn’t been the only area of interest and commitment in Grenville’s life. He was a founder member and first Secretary of the Tarvin Civic Trust and a Magistrate for 27 years. His commitment to St Andrews Church is deep and long-standing and he will continue with this into the future. How he managed all this and be the Headteacher of Bishop’s C of E Secondary School, is a mystery!

Communities need people like Grenville and Tarvin has been fortunate to have him. It is common these days to mourn the passing of such people and to agonise on where they will come from next. But heroes often emerge when they are needed and the next Grenville is no doubt working quietly away at the moment to make Tarvin a great place to live………..you know who you are.

The current Community Centre Committee wish Grenville a very happy retirement and would like to remind him that they will always welcome him back again should he get a bit bored!

(Thanks also to Bill Williams, whose 6 year stint on the Committee also deserves a mention)

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In at the beginning

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!

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Start Small

Start Small – Dream Big

Rugby Tots
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

 

 

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Children’s Centre to Close?

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 childrenstrustwest@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk with your views.
Please note that up to now the response rate from Tarvin has been poor
Confused?

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