Q: How did the Addlestone Community association come about?
The year 1999 marked the Golden Anniversary of the founding of the present Addlestone Community Association.
Following abortive attempts to form a 'Ratepayers' Association and a Residents Association in the post?war years of 1945 to 1948, a meeting was called towards the end of 1949 by the Addlestone Chamber of Trade in the now demolished 'Weymann's Hall' to discuss a 'Community Centre'. A 'Ways and Means' Committee was elected under the Chairmanship of Rev. L Beynon, then Vicar of Addlestone, and Frank Light was the Secretary. At their first meeting it was decided to to form the Addlestone Community Association with the objective of raising funds for the time when a building scheme or conversion of a building could be put into operation to obtain a community centre for Addlestone. A small social committee was formed and it was agreed to hold a carnival week in 1950. It is worth noting that a carnival had been held in Addlestone for a great many years before the 1939 - 45 War to raise funds for Weybridge Hospital.
Two years later the Association bought an old corrugated iron building on Weybridge Road, which had been St Augustine's Church but was then the Weybridge Sea Cadets Hall, and converted it into the first Community Centre. In May of that year they organised a trades exhibition, which was a great success, to mark 'The Festival of Britain'.
However, the old building was prohibitively costly to maintain and was really in the wrong location so it was eventually sold. The Association then embarked on a scheme to provide something much better. The result following much hard work, financial backing from the government and local authority funds and a generous bequest from the John Tulk Legacy was the present Centre, which opened on January 20, 1968. As the late President of the Association, Stanley Yeandle, wrote in 'The Addlestonian' for October 1974: 'Present and future generations should be grateful to the pioneers who not only had the vision and foresight to work hard in raising money but who have brought alive a more tangible community spirit to Addlestone'.
The above is based on 1949 - 1974 'How It All Began ...... Some reminiscences by Stan Yeandle', The Addlestonian, October 1974.