Proposals submitted for Garth Club
Two groups have come forward interested in restoring ‘Garth Club’ in Mortimer to use. This comes after the Royal British Legion in London, the current trustee, put out an appeal for new trustees.
Miss Capron (who later founder Mortimer FC) paid for the land and a club to be built, in memory of her nephew, killed during World War I. Originally aimed at young service men, its use was widened to serve the whole community. Events from dance classes to wedding receptions were held there until it closed in about 2011, after unsuitably heavy roof tiles were fitted.
At first the parish council expressed interest in taking the facility on, getting it registered as an “asset of community value” and commissioning surveys. It later changed focus to the idea of selling it with proceeds being used for the community in some way.
Local resident and parish councillor at the time, Nick Carter comments: “After researching the legalities, it seemed vital to find out if any individuals/groups wanted to take the club on, before it could be sold. In 2019 the trustee appeared to agree. In April 2022, I ran a public consultation and face to face meeting, in a private capacity, at my own expense, (despite getting significant stick) to try to move the saga forward. To my surprise, this established not only strong community support for saving the club, but people prepared to save it. Two local groups, Men’s Shed and Royal Berkshire Boxing, and several individuals offered to take on the challenge. After stalling and threatening to sell it, with the parish council telling them why they could not sell, the Royal British Legion eventually put out its call for new trustees in October ’23. I am delighted that after over 12 years we see signs of reaching a positive outcome, that honours Miss Capron’s intent and benefits the community”.