A select group gathered in the Lord Combermere on Saturday to say a big thankyou to Ben Clark, who has been forced by ill-health to step down from his role in developing and running the Community Gym in the Public Hall Annexe.
As Roland Hall related, the Gym had not formed part of the original plans for the Annexe, and the question of whose idea it was first is now buried in the mists of history.
But once suggested, it quickly became clear that a Gym could form a valuable addition to the facilities in the village, as well as an important part of the application to the Big Lottery Fund.
We were then very lucky to find Ben, newly arrived from Adderley where he had been involved in running the Village Hall for many years, as the person to manage the enterprise. He was (and still is) ably supported from the start by Adriana Roscoe and more recently by John and Rebecca Latham as Ben has been forced to take a more passive role.
When the first plans and costings were drawn up it was tentatively suggested that we might get as many as fifty members for the Gym (although there were doubters of course) – in the event we have reached a membership of 200 or so without apparently overloading the Gym facilities, and this has allowed us to spend more on the equipment offered in the Gym as well as installing air-conditioning.
The Audlem Community Gym is now a thriving operation, and we all thank Ben for his pioneering efforts.
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