Catcliffe Memorial Hall Open Day - 11am to 4pm on Saturday 22nd April 2017 opened by June Macintosh.

On the face of it the group might appear to have had a quiet year.  But a check of the diary tells a different story.  An outstanding Christmas Party was held at the Memorial Hall.  Our Vice Chair, Louise, showed she had a flair for such things and even persuaded Father Christmas to spend some time with us. We once again had the services of Angels Delight face painting.  All the kids went home with a pressie.  The Red Lion surprised everyone by providing the buffet free of charge and we received generous sponsorship from Catcliffe Garage, Banks Pottery, JTF, Morrisons and a donation from the Borough Councillors Leadership Fund. Truly a community affair that was appreciated by everyone.

A new venture was to restart the Indoor Bowling facility at the hall.  This proved popular and fierce friendly rivalry during the games led to great sportsmanship and long lasting friendships.  Unfortunately the uncertainty of the hall’s closure and renovation led to an early finish but the event will be revised once the venue is available.  The lack of a suitable venue meant other events couldn’t be planned but the Red Lion again came to the rescue and we had two brilliant Beetle Drives organised by Glenys.  The first raised funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Society and the second was held in aid of Bluebell Wood Hospice.  The Beetle Drives provide a great fun evening and are recommended.  Look out for the next one.

Once again Jean demonstrated her green finger skills by organising more guerrilla bulb planting.  Her gang of friends and enthusiastic children proved their worth.  It was very welcome to receive many favourable comments about this initiative and we can promise to carry on with this.  In fact Mrs Singh, the school headmistress, has agreed that the school children can help us with this.  We are absolutely delighted as of course the children are the next generation of the community.  By the time you read this you may well have seen crocodiles of yellow jackets walking about with gardening tools.  Hopefully we can work on future projects with the school.

We have to mention a bit of negativity.  We still don’t seem to be able to convince the north side of the parish that they belong to our village.  If there’s a problem we can discuss it and we can assure everyone that volunteering is fun.  The same can be said for the Waverley estate which is largely in Catcliffe and pay their precept to the parish.  Why not join us, let’s consider projects and make us one happy community.

Back to the positive.  Once again we supported a skip day with attendant litter pick.  The skip was full after ¾ hour.  The litter pick over the same weekend had 3 groups going round the village helped out by an enthusiastic crowd of youngsters.  In fact one lad asked for a litter picker for his birthday.  We might need to contract William before the big leagues snaffle him up!  One of the groups was made up of church members.  And this lends itself to another success story.

The Coffee Pot is an initiative of St Marys Church.  Absolutely anyone can turn up and sample free beverages, toast, crumpets, cakes, buns and all things fattening.  Our group support these mornings fully and again many links and friendships have been made.  It’s not a religious affair, all you’re wanted for is conversation and a good laugh.  These mornings are ideal if you’re lonely or for getting out of the house and the numbers of men and women are about equal.  Gary can occupy you with football, Alan with his gardening, Gerry with his toasting skills, Pete with his fishing.  As for the ladies.  Well they can talk about anything!!!  Ha Ha.  Rachel, Janet and June etc, only joking.

The really big event we had was the History Day at the Kiln and Mere Brow Centre.  It was a joint effort between the Catcliffe and Brinsworth History Group, the English Heritage Society and ourselves.  The constant stream of visitors throughout the day was frankly unexpected but greatly appreciated.  The History Group provided old photographs and documents along with video footage.  The Parish Council lent old maps of the parish which proved popular.  Christine Evans from the Heritage Society opened up the kiln for everyone to access and gave talks on the history of glass making in the village.  The amount of thanks and praise we received was staggering and on behalf of all of us involved we would like to return the compliments wholeheartedly.

Our future plans include a joint venture alongside the church with input from the Heritage Society.  There will be a Nativity Scene inside the Glass Kiln and we will be providing lighting to highlight the scene.  On a date to be announced the church will be holding a carol concert.  As more plans are finalised we’ll publish them on our Facebook page or our web site at www.friendsofcatclife.org.uk.

Pete DeVeaux

Chairman.

We’ve made our committee meetings open house. So if you’d like to attend you’ll be welcome.  The 4 cairns are now full of flowers and we wait to see if the vandals will strike. If they do, it will be giant sized Venus Fly Traps next time.

The bulb/plant projectwas completed  on April 19th reviving the four cairns on the boundarys of the village.

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Easter Extravaganza 2015

The Red Lion have agreed to us holding a race night and games night at their place but no dates have been agreed to date.

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During the short time the group have been in existence they have become members of RotherFed and have forged links with other organisations such as Voluntary Action Rotherham. They have also had support from the Parish Council and the local Borough Councillors. The group is represented on the Rother Valley West Area Assembly, the Rother Valley West Housing Panel and the Brinsworth & Catcliffe Learning Community. In addition the Chairman is a RotherFed Digital Champion and member of the Rotherham Digital Inclusion Network which gives access to a vast source of technology and expertise. The Secretary is on the management committee of the Meadows Sure Start Centre.


Many people have contacted Friends of Catcliffe with suggestions of projects they could take on. The group are delighted by this and want to make a difference. However the group are also keen to recruit volunteers to help deliver projects. By example, the two Waste Skip days could have been better supported. In contrast volunteers helped make The Big Lunch event at the Memorial Hall (which they hope to repeat) a lovely day and the Graveyard clean-up a tremendous success. These achievements illustrate what can be achieved if residents work together. There are a couple of further plans in the pipeline which the group hope to deliver in partnership with other organisations in the village. However they do need the people of Catcliffe to muck in. So if you fancy running an event at the Memorial Hall, whether it be recreational or educational, organising an environmental project, a coffee morning, whatever, get in touch.


Ask yourself not what Friends of Catcliffe can do for you but what you can do for Catcliffe. Contact us below:
facebook.com/friendsofcatcliffe
www.friendsofcatcliffe.org.uk.

Our next project was a Grand Spring Bulb Planting. We intended to plant bulbs around the village in strategic positions that will enhance the environmental profile of the community.

Churchyard

Over 20 Volunteers helped to tidy the churchyard up at St Marys Church. We hacked, sawed, clipped and pruned a mountain of vegetation that was invading the churchyard and over running the graves. Part of the team cleared some of the unsightly paths and paved areas.Plans are now in place for a return visit as there is still much to be done.

 

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