The last article in ECN told how the land at the Owen Harris Memorial Ground, then known as the ‘Pies and Packers’ field, was bequeathed to the people of Eastington by Shirley Harris, Owen’s widow. It explained the purpose of the bequest, and how the Pavilion was obtained.
However, if we go back a little further, to around 1980, a Committee called the Eastington Sports and Playing Field Association had already been formed.
Their objective had been to buy some farmland for this purpose. The Village school and other organisations supported the venture, and with donations and fundraising quite a sum of money had accrued. No land was ever purchased, however, and some members of the original Committee had run out of energy. As is often the case, general interest was rather lack lustre.
At that time the ‘Pies and Packers’ field residents were large, long (about 2m, a perfect social distancing measure) black and white with a leg in each corner, yep, dairy cows! And there was no notion that they would be moo-ving out any time soon.
When the land was bequeathed to Eastington in 1989, this was recorded:
The Playing Field, known as Pies and Packers and comprising of some 8 acres of land, or thereabouts is owned by the Parish Council of Eastington.
The Village Hall is owned by a charitable trust for which the Parish Council are the Custodial Trustees under a scheme which is in the process of being formally constituted.
At this time a small number of people in Eastington were either on the Village Hall Committee and/or the Eastington Playing Field Association and/or the Parish Council. As there weren’t enough willing folks to form individual Committees for all three it made sense to set up a joint charitable scheme for the two facilities i.e. the Playing Field and the Village Hall. And that’s what happened, eventually….
After a lot of letter writing (3 years), on the 27th February 1992, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC*) sent a letter confirming the sealed scheme for both charities. This was formalised at a meeting in April 1992. So the Owen Harris Memorial Ground Charity (OHMGC**) and the Eastington Village Hall Charity (EVH) had individual charity identities but were part of the same scheme. Joint meetings were held to manage both charities and the Parish Council became the Custodial Trustees of both assets – and this remains the case today.
This is just a summary of the paperwork that was involved then and there would be plenty more of that to come, not to mention that dreaded word – fundraising!!! More on that subject next time…..
Contact: Gill Glover: Centre Manager: 01453 828782,
Mark Cousins: 01453 828557,
Martin Elliott: 01453 838712
*GRCC is a working organisation today and do amazing work in Gloucestershire for rural Communities. Have a look at the website: grcc.org.uk. Lots of interesting information on it.
**OHMGC is still the governing body of the Owen Harris field and manages the Community Centre. Five of the people mentioned in the early documents are commendably still on the Committee today.