The Riverside Centre
Please contact Trevor Brame on 01728 603428.
History of the Riverside Centre
The original “Hut”, as it was affectionately known, was built after the First World War for the use of ex-servicemen. It was situated on the A12 opposite the Stratford Service Station.
Sadly, it was reaching the end of its life and so a new committee was formed in November 1995 to commence raising funds for a new hall. The theme was “the village hall is the heart of our community” and Stratford St. Andrew and Farnham needed a “vital heart transplant”.
Various fundraising efforts were made and by September 1997 applications were submitted to various organisations for grant applications. In April 1998 confirmation was received from the National Lottery Fund that a grant of £185,000 had been awarded to the project. This, together with funding from Suffolk Coastal District Council, Waste Recycling Environmental Limited, Rural Development Council and the Carnegie Trust saw building work commence on 1st June 1998.
In February 1999 the building work was completed. This was realised with the dedication of approximately 120 volunteer helpers who carried out work such as ground work, digging trenches, carrying out electrical and plumbing works, painting, tiling, cleaning etc. Also, kitchen equipment was donated by Sizewell Power Station.
The hall was officially opened by Lord Belstead on 4th March 1999.
In July 2001 5.2 acres of land adjoining the Riverside Centre was purchased for preservation, conservation and recreational use. This purchase was assisted by a grant from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd.
Since that time there has been an additional extension built comprising store room, members lounge, games room and entranceway. Hard work has also seen the installation of a patio area with lighting, a play area with floodlighting, a basketball area and landscaping and tree planting.
Situated on the A12, with good parking facilities, the Riverside Centre is an ideal location, being equi-distance between Lowestoft and Ipswich. Consequently the Riverside Centre has been used by Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk Police, Coasts & Heaths, Environmental, Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Suffolk ACRE, Pastel, HomeStart, Women's Institute and many others.
The Riverside Centre can offer Pilates and Tango classes, Ladies and Men's Darts, Suffolk Traditional Music (The Button Bashers) as well as other regular user groups, such as the Parochial Church Council and the Parish Council.