A brief history of Winscombe Community Association
The buildings which are now home to Winscombe Community Centre were originally built in the mid 19th century to house Winscombe and Woodborough Primary School. In 1900 the school was taken over by Somerset County Council.
The building forming the south end of the Community Centre was originally the headmaster's house, the last headmaster to live there - a Mr Burrows - retired in 1969.
By the end of the 19th century the original building was becoming too small to cater for the increasing number of children in the village and in the 1920s additional buildings were constructed on the same site. However, by the 1960s these too were no longer large enough and in 1972 the present Primary School in Moorham Road was opened.
Initially the infants remained in the Sandford Road buildings and the juniors were taught at the new school. Having a split site proved to be very inconvenient and so in1979 temporary 'caravan' classrooms were built at Moorham Road so the old school was then closed completely.
In 1979, after much hard work, Winscombe & Sandford Parish Council were successful in persuading Avon Education Department to allow the Sandford Road school with the attached cottage, playground and playing field to be made available for Parish use and the Parish Council became trustees of a 28 year lease from the County of Avon.
Winscombe Community Association was thus set up and quickly organisations such as the Brownies, Nursery School, Toddler
Group, Bridge and Table Tennis clubs were using the facilities and most still do.
The Michaelmas Fair started in the summer of 1980 and is still going strong, providing a popular village event and fundraiser.
In 1983 the Centre was awarded a cup for the most improved village hall in Avon
In 1994 the County agreed to sell the Centre for £50,000, nominally to the Parish Council, as a permanent body, but in effect to the Management Committee of the Community Centre. A major fundraising effort was initiated and the purchase was completed. Since that time the village, through regular fundraising events and lettings to clubs and societies, has supported the Community Centre and enabled the Management Committee to maintain the buildings in a good state of repair.
Recent improvements have included replacement of the main building roof and re-rendering and painting the building, installing a hearing loop in the main hall and new double glazed windows throughout.
Currently the upgrading and replacement of the boiler, hot water system and heating system are in progress although the funding of this has meant limiting other potential improvements. This is all in addition to the ongoing decorating and maintenance that buildings of this age and size constantly require.
New chairs for use in the main hall are to be provided following a donation of £2000 from the Co-op.
This entire facility is funded by donations, fund-raising events and income from letting rooms but is all overseen and run by
Winscombe Community Association that consists entirely of unpaid Trustees and volunteers.
The Community Centre is a facility for the entire Parish and if you wish to contribute in any way to its running by donating time,
money or enthusiasm please contact any of the Trustees or management Committee or complete the ‘Contact Us’ form on the website.