SPORTS clubs that have used the South Ockendon Recreation Ground facilities in the past and have found them to be dilapidated and antiquated can now look forward to enjoying first class changing rooms, toilet facilities and kitchen and social areas thanks to the Veolia Mardyke Trust providing the funding to refurbish and extend the Sports Pavilion.
At £275,000, this is the largest grant that the Veolia Mardyke Trust has ever made to any project, and it follows projects that the Trust has supported in the park for over 13 years –including improving the children’s play area, tennis courts, bowls green, car parking, equipment for the football and cricket clubs, and even a pedestrian bridge linking the site to Brandon Groves.
The three main users of the pavilion: South Ockendon Bowls Club, Brandon Groves Football Club, and Belhus Cricket Club – have worked very closely with the Trust and with Thurrock Council and architect Roland Hobbes on an imaginative scheme that has used as much as possible of the old building, while transforming it so that it can now also be used by other community groups, and can provide a base for events and activities in the park.
The Friends of Ockendon Rec are a group of local residents and users, together with Council staff, Wendy Curtis and the South Ockendon Community Forum, who formed three years ago and have held events on the park as well as campaigning for improvements to it, all of which have helped reduce anti social behaviour and make the park more attractive for all users.
To celebrate the opening of the Sports Pavilion the Friends Group have arranged a special celebration day on Saturday 27th October 2012 from 12.30pm., including the official re-opening and naming of the pavilion by Councillor Charlie Curtis, the Chair of the Veolia Mardyke Trust.
All three sports clubs are taking part in the event, with sports coaches in attendance, as well as Novelty Races, Welly Wanging, Childrens Entertainer, Nail and Face painting, childrens crafts and many other attractions. Ockendon Scouts and Guides are also assisting with activities, and there will be a special appearance by “The ECB Cricket Factory”, in partnership with Clydesdale Bank, a free activity for children to try their hand at cricket.