Story submitted by Kath Petty, Town Clerk at Madeley Town Council
The Anstice Community Trust has received Pride in Your High Street funding for a series of community events at the Anstice Memorial Hall. The purpose of these events is to raise the profile of the Anstice, recruit volunteers and members of the trust and to keep the support of the public whilst the project is being developed.
The first of these events took place on March 19th and exceeded expectations. It brought the whole community together and provided a fabulous evening of entertainment.
The idea was the brainchild of one of the Anstice Trustees, Lyndy Boden who through her contacts with the John Fletcher School established that they would like to do a concert at the Anstice. At the same time the Jackfield Band, who have very fond memories of the Anstice, having performed there many times, offered to do a fundraising concert. The two groups were brought together and an evening of music was organised with the children singing and the band playing.
Added to the mix, local businesses also got on board. Another ACT trustee, Terri Edwards, had negotiated with Merrythought of Ironbridge to produce a limited edition Anstice Bear with all the profits from the sale going to the Trust. The music evening presented an ideal opportunity to launch the bear.
Additionally Magna Foods donated a giant egg for a raffle; the winner very generously offered it back for auction which raised even more money for the cause.
Volunteers turned out in force to prepare the room, take the tickets and donations, fill in gift aid forms, serve drinks and refreshments, sell ACT merchandise, provide raffle prizes and tidy up at the end. Mr Gould, the headmaster of John Fletcher compered the evening brilliantly.
The children sang a variety of songs and entertained a packed house with their excellent ukulele playing and the Jackfield Band played some wonderful numbers that had the audience singing along. A highlight of the evening was when the children and the band played together.
Public support was overwhelming and the generosity of those who attended was staggering. Nearly £1,800 was raised from donations, the raffle, teddy bear sales, merchandising, membership and refreshments.
As important as the money raised was the response from the audience which was overwhelmingly positive a great night was had by all and the atmosphere was wonderful, showing how important the Anstice is to local people and how, once restored and fully reopened it will take its rightful place back in the heart of the community.
The next event is a Comedy Night on 30th April. Tickets are £7.50 in advance or £10.00 on the door. Buy in advance from Jubilee House at 74 High Street, Flares Hairdressing Salon at 38 High Street and Madeley Laundry at 29A Park Street. Telephone (01952) 567280 for further information.