Professor is thanked during unveiling of plaque at Eastrea Village Centre

PUBLISHED: 17:11 26 July 2016 | UPDATED: 11:18 29 July 2016

Eastrea presentation, Ritchie Walton (chair of trustees at Eastrea Village Hall Trust)  
Brian Ford,Jan Ford, Marsha and Mac Erysthee (trustees)  
Mrs Maureen Watson ,

Eastrea presentation, Ritchie Walton (chair of trustees at Eastrea Village Hall Trust) Brian Ford,Jan Ford, Marsha and Mac Erysthee (trustees) Mrs Maureen Watson ,


A leading figure who helped drive a mission to get a village hall opened after nearly 70 years of fund raising was given a surprise when a plaque was unveiled at the Eastrea Village Centre.

The plaque is in honour of Professor Brian Ford who, for a quarter of a century, helped drive the project to fruition.

He said: “I was utterly astonished by this presentation.

“It is 25 years since I took on the project and I retired last year though I remain their honorary director.

“The committee presented Jan and me with an immensely generous gift of wine, and revealed a plaque for the wall.

“I was dumbfounded. What an honour.”

The hall was opened in 2013 with a grand royal celebration after 68 years of fund raising to make the dream a reality.

The hall was described at the time as a future-proof community focal point for generations to come.

A campaign for a village hall began during the Second World War and people struggled with rationing and nightly black-outs.

As war raged across Europe a local woman with a big dream opened a village hall savings account in January 1945 with just £1.

Years later the late Annie Tinkler’s £1 deposit became a seven decade battle of money spinning ideas and fighting with local planners which ended in the prestigious opening of the Eastrea Centre by HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

Annie Tinkler’s £1 deposit grew and shrank and by the 80s new committee members pushed the fund raising to £35,000 with events like the infamous Its a Knock-Out challenges, bingo nights, fairs, dances and cake stalls.

In 2008 the village hall campaign stepped up a gear when land was donated by a local farmer and developers, Rose Homes of Whittlesey, agreed to fund the hall to the tune of £250,000 in exchange for planning permission for 14 homes next door.

After intense legal wrangling with Fenland planners and scores of applications for grant money, the hall designs were approved.

The hall includes state of the art digital technology, gallery space, exhibition space. meeting rooms, a kitchen and bar facilities.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wisbech Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wisbech Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wisbech Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 12:09

A March GP and his wife who run a medical relief charity have been kidnapped in Nigeria.

Yesterday, 10:04

Recovery work is under way today after a 44 tonne lorry veered into a West Norfolk river.

Yesterday, 07:41

Gamblers in the four market towns in Fenland lose on average £7,000 a day to fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) says a campaign group for fairer gambling.

Fri, 19:35

The driver of a lorry that left the road and crashed into the Well Creek river at Outwell near Wisbech, had a miraculous escape.

Most read stories

Most commented stories


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter