Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire



Dec 15 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
December 2011 Update


The Curlew Centre signAt long last the new Sutton Bridge Community Centre, now being called "The Curlew Centre", is now open. It was opened on Saturday 10th December, 2011 by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Tony Worth. Also present were MP John Hayes, SHDC Chairman Cllr. Nick Seymour and Peter Clery.

There is still a lot of work to be done on the upper floor to be made fit for the purpose of the Children's Day Nursery as well as the landscaping on the outside.

From the old ....
The old Sutton Bridge Village Hall
The old Village Hall demolished
The Curlew Centre in Sutton Bridge
.... to the new

Nov 21 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
November 2011 Update

A launching ceremony for the new Community Centre is being planned for 3 pm Saturday, 10th December, 2011, when it will be possible to have a look inside the new building, although it will not be ready for use until early in 2012.

Sutton Bridge Community Centre nearing completion
November 2011 - Almost complete!

Oct 31 2011


26TH OCTOBER, 2011

Once again very few members of the public attended this meeting.

At this meeting Peter Clery was elected Chairman, having held the position as Vice Chairman since the resignation of Gary Croxford, and David Bruch FCA was re-elected as Treasurer. Helen Barber has been elected Secretary as Doreen Grimwood has stepped down from the post. The election of the rest of the Executive Committee was made en bloc.

The Presentation of Accounts for the year ended 31st July 2011 was given by David Bruch, who explained it in great detail. The independent examiners of the accounts are Hull Matthewson, Chartered Certified Accountants of Holbeach.

After the formal business of the evening had been concluded, an open forum followed.

Many people were thanked for the work they had put into the setting up of various departments within the new centre. In particular Cllr. Chris Brewis for his liaison with LCC for the library facility, including the promise of 5,000 books as well as the necessary furnishing.

An evening's light entertainment is planned for the official opening of the new centre, which is anticipated to be on 10th December, 2011.

Sutton Bridge Community Centre nearing completion
October 2011 - The scaffolding now down

Interest in the new building had increased considerably as the actual building had taken shape. The list of potential users was growing. The new building will contain one of the best function rooms in the area. During the day this will be leased for the purpose of a children's nursery, and will need to be equipped with child sized facilities, therefore a further £29,000 has been requested from the S106 fund to ensure the nursery area is fit for purpose. Sophie Currell is taking on the mantle of administration and marketing.

The ground floor of the new building will house:

The upper floor will house:

It has been suggested that the present outside toilet block could be used as extra secure storage space as the actual building in relatively good condition.

It was questioned whether there would be a steward on duty while the community centre was open, ie for tourist information etc, similar to the Market House in Long Sutton.

It was stated that an application from a local resident had been made for the position of voluntary caretaker. This is a possibility.

The next fund raising activity will be a Race Night on the 26th November. Tickets cost £6 and include a fish & chip supper.

Sept 21 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
September 2011 Update

September 2011 - Building work is progressing even further. It is anticipated that the new Community Centre will be open before the end of the year.

Aug 3 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
August 2011 Update

End of July 2011 - Building work on the new Community Centre is progressing even further.

July 6 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
July 2011 Update

End of June 2011 - Building work on the new Community Centre is progressing even further.

View from Memorial Park

West side

View from Bridge Road - Roof going on

June 3 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
June 2011 Update

Building work on the new Community Centre is progressing further. 

The brickwork has been admired!

Walls going up, doors and window frames next.

May 22 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
May 2011 Update

Building work on the new Community Centre is still progressing. 

(Above & Below) Early May - continuing progress

One man and his job!

Still more steel work, the ceiling to ground floor now being put in place

Apr 25 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre
April 2011 Update

Building work on the new Community Centre is progressing.

Diary of progress:

SBCCF ground work being prepared ready to commence building
Area fenced off end January 2011

Groundwork for the community centre being prepared
Groundwork being prepared

Footings dug early March
Footings dug early March

Base laid late March
Base laid late March

Steelwork being erected early April
Steelwork being erected early April

Steelwork nearly completed
Steelwork just about completed late April
They certainly have had good weather since work began.

A recent fund raising event “Buy a Brick” and a raffle raised £1,500.

Feb 14 2011

Sutton Bridge Community Centre Fund
Registered Charity No.1072664
President: John Hayes MP

It has taken some time to replace the old village hall but the project is now under way and should be completed by mid year.

The Committee hope that Anyone and Everyone who can see a way to make use of the facility will get in touch with Gary Croxford (Chair) or Doreen Grimwood (Secretary) or any member of the Committee. Meeting(s) will be arranged so that needs, wants, availability and cost can be discussed and planned for.

Gary Croxford:
3 Two Sisters Close Sutton Bridge PE12 9XP - Tel.No.: 351768

Doreen Grimwood: 70 Bridge Road Sutton Bridge. PE12 9UA

Simon Booth, David Bruch, Peter Clery, John Cooper, Jacqui Ewers, Michael Gent,
Trazy Howe, Frieda Minns, Stafford Proctor, Frances Thompson, Richard Toll.

SBCCF Office, Curlew Court, Guys Head, Sutton Bridge, PE12 9QQ
Tel. No.: 350 848

Jan 25 2011

The start of the new building of the Sutton Bridge Community Centre has been delayed because of the recent bad weather, but as these photos show, work has now commenced.

Site of the old Village Hall and new community Centre
Site of the old Village Hall and new community Centre

SBCCF Site has been fenced off and tree cut down
Site has been fenced off and tree cut down

SBCCF ground work being prepared ready to commence building
Ground work being prepared ready to commence building

Dec 4 2010


Inaugural Ceremony for the new Community Centre

John Hayes MP, Cllr. C. Brandon-King SBPC Vice Chairman, G. Croxford, Chair SBCCF and P. Clery
John Hayes MP, Cllr. C. Brandon-King SBPC Vice Chairman,
G. Croxford, Chair SBCCF and P. Clery

Nov 30 2010


(Registered Charity No. 1072664)


to mark the beginning of the construction of the new Community Centre.

10.30am on Saturday December 4th 2010

on site, by the Memorial Park, Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge

when The President of the Charity

John Hayes MP
John Hayes MP

will initiate the project on the ground.

DO COME and give the Community Centre a good start.

Nov 5 2010


It was disappointing to see so few members of the public at this meeting.

Peter Clery announced that he was stepping down as chairman of the SBCCF, but would still be on the committee, if re-elected, in an administrative capacity. He nominated his successor to be Gary Croxford, David Bruch FCA would remain as Treasurer, and Doreen Grimwood had volunteered to take the position of Secretary as Jacqui Ewers was not standing for re-election. All three were duly nominated and voted in to the Executive Committee. John Cooper was voted in as a new member to the Committee. All other members of the Committee were voted in en bloc.

Peter Clery was very pleased to announce that he had achieved the aim of getting the S106 money, (which had been secured by Sophie Currell some years ago), released to the SBCCF and that the lease had been signed by the Parish Council. During the past year other contributions to the fund had come from the auction held back in March, a Farmers Shoot, membership subscriptions and a very generous bequest.

The approval of the planning application for the new Community Centre is expected before the end of this month. When that has been received and the lease has been thoroughly checked by the SBCCF’s solicitors, then building work can begin. It is anticipated that commencement of building the new Community Centre will be before the end of the year with completion, hopefully, by June 2011, or earlier. Langwith Builders Ltd of Holbeach have been contracted to build the new centre and it is said they will be using 80% local labour to do so.

Since the fund raising auction in March, many residents had been looking forward to other such successful events. At the meeting it was suggested that perhaps the new committee would arrange for another auction as the first was so popular, and a further suggestion was to revive the Spring Fair as this had always been a popular event in the village in years gone by.

Due to the shortfall of funds, the new building will not be as multi-functional as had been envisaged in the original plans. However, Sutton Bridge will have a new centre, with provision for the Library.

A provisional booking for a birthday party has already been made for when the new centre is up and running. It is hoped there will be many more bookings to come when the new centre is completed thus making it a really viable asset to the town.

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Aug 22 2010


In 1997 the first committee of the Sutton Bridge Community Centre Fund (SBCCF) was born. A multifunctional building was envisaged, one that would be a prestigious asset and the pride of the community as a whole. In those early days it was hoped that the largest part of the funding would be obtained through a National Lottery Grant, with matched funding from Lincolnshire County Council, South Holland District Council, and Sutton Bridge Parish Council. Such National Lottery funding is no longer available, but even then so many criteria had to be met to achieve even a small grant. It became increasingly obvious that a new building would be required to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding community. The Falkland’s estate was being completed and other smaller estates were in the early planning stages.

The old Village Hall was erected in 1953 and consisted of a metal frame and in-filled with bricks. It was built from the best materials available at the time and it must be borne in mind that even then, many things were still rationed. Building materials were also at a premium. It must have been just as difficult to raise the funds for the Village Hall in those days as it has been to raise the funds today for the new community centre. The Village Hall closed late in 2005 and the Village Hall Committee was disbanded and the Hall itself was demolished in October 2006.

Sutton Bridge Village Hall in 2000
Sutton Bridge Village Hall in 2000

So why was the old village hall demolished anyway? Not because it wasn’t used or because of some conspiracy. It had simply come to the end of its working life. People no longer wanted to hold events there, partly due to the awful damp smell and the existence of rodents (there were squirrels nesting in the roof space), and partly because of the lack of proper conveniences. Groups that had previously used the Village Hall began to find other venues, among them, the two sets of pre school groups, the Ladybirds, the Scrabble Club and the ballet dancing classes. The County Library was finally closed too.

The old Village Hall eventually closed down when it could not meet the new regulations for public buildings, which came into force in 2002. There were no toilet facilities for the disabled and the kitchen would have had to be updated to meet the required standard. Even before these regulations came into force, much was needed to be done to keep the old hall open.

The valiant efforts of Mrs. Frieda Minns were all in vain: she painted much of the inside of the hall herself to make it a more attractive meeting place, selling her plants outside to raise funds to pay for the paint. Mr. Kevin Whitworth also maintained the out-dated boiler at minimum cost to the Village Hall Committee. A grant of £2000 was obtained from the Power Station Fund for renovations to the Hall, and included paying a local craftsman to repair and make good the large hall with a damp proofing compound. Unfortunately this did not work and very soon large damp patches reappeared. The room that housed the Library had weeds growing through the window. There were continual problems with the water pipes and of course, much vandalism. The caretaker, Mr. Reg Warner, did the best he could with the limited funds available and was constantly patching up the guttering and attending to the damage caused by vandals. The necessary permits required to keep the Hall open were getting more difficult to obtain and without proper kitchen facilities, it was impossible to hire the Hall out. The Parish Council Office was situated in an even worse place than at present, in wet weather a large puddle had to be negotiated to get into it!

Eventually, it became impossible to hire the Hall out and impossible to get the necessary certificates required to keep it open for public use. With very little money left in the account and no hope of raising enough funding for a complete refurbishment, it was with regret that the old Hall had to be closed.

Prior to becoming the secretary to the Village Hall committee, Eileen Faires was a member of the very first Community Centre Fund Committee and in fact soon found herself in the role of secretary. It was Cynthia Tilley and Eileen who, in 1998, liaised at length with the Charity Commission and wrote the Constitution, which was needed to meet their requirements in order to be granted registered charity status.

The first Committee worked hard holding various fund raising events - Race Nights were very popular. The first successful application for £5,000 to the East Midlands Lottery Awards Scheme enabled the Committee to produce a brochure showing the plans of the proposed new build, to promote a series of concerts in St. Matthew’s Church, and other afternoon entertainments in the Village Hall.

Since those early days, there have been many changes to the Committee of the Community Centre Fund and each one has moved it a step further along the way towards raising the capital for a new building.

For example, Sophie Currell negotiated for the £400,000 S106 award. This was ring fenced and had to be match-funded. Sutton Bridge Parish Council promised a further £50,000, which was allocated to them by South Holland District Council. Over the years more than £30,000 has been raised from events carried out at local level, with eight successful golf days, two dog shows, numerous galas and fetes, plus Gillian Smith’s very popular monthly Bingo sessions, as well as efforts by many other individuals. Donations and sponsorships have always been generously given by local businesses.

While the amount of £30,000 does not seem a great amount for the years the SBCCF has been ongoing, it must be borne in mind that much money has already been spent on such things as Feasibility Studies and architect fees.

The new plans were drawn for a two storey multifunctional centre. It was incorporating, among other things, a sports pavilion with showers and changing facilities plus a viewing balcony. As yet funds do not permit such a grand building, therefore although the outside of the building will give the impression it is a two storey building, the upper floor will be just a shell and for the present, the sports pavilion part will not be built.

Proposed building plan
PDF copy of Plan

Acrobat/PDF File (492 Kb)

It is sincerely hoped the latest Committee, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Peter Clery, is able to prove that the new build will be a valuable and viable asset to the community. It is easy to get people to hold up their hands and say, "Yes, we need it and yes, we will use it," but getting them and other organisations to commit themselves in writing to say so is a very difficult thing to do. To prove that the new build will generate an income sufficient for its future upkeep is an even more difficult task.

It is understood that the building of the Sutton Bridge Community Centre is expected to commence later this year.

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