King’s Lynn community centre set to close

North Lynn Community Centre closing'LtoR, Jackie Nurse and Helen Mace ANL-150319-151621009
North Lynn Community Centre closing'LtoR, Jackie Nurse and Helen Mace ANL-150319-151621009

The future is unclear for North Lynn Community Centre when it closes its doors at the end of this month.

When the centre opened in 1962, it was the first building of its kind in the country and became a hub for the North Lynn community.

But it will be closing on Tuesday, March 31, as centre co-ordinators Helen Mace and Jackie Nurse are retiring and do not want to take another a 10-year lease.

The Lawrence Road building is being handed back to Norfolk County Council. But there is hope as the council says it is “reviewing its options” and considering a community use with other groups.

Mrs Nurse said: “Just about everyone you meet on the estate has had something to do with the community centre.”

“You meet old people who came here as children and went onto enjoy dances and bingo as adults. There are very few people who have not been here.”

Miss Mace, who lives in Lynn, said: “We have had a good time and it has been quite an experience watching people leave happier than when they arrived.

“They would go to the luncheon club and then to the Over 60s club. As they were leaving they would tell us ‘What a lovely day we’ve had’.

“It will be a sad day for us but the community is not using the building very much. There is not much money about these days.

“There used to be a bingo on the estate every night of the week except for one.”

The building has been home to a variety of clubs and organisations since it opened in 1962.

The late Les Thorn and Eileen Page had been involved with the centre for many years and organised a variety of events.

Recently, the University of the 3rd Age, a quilting group and a Scottish Dancing Club had met at the centre.

These groups have now moved on.

A popular event was the weekly Luncheon Club run by Miss Mace and Mrs Nurse. The final session was held on Wednesday.

Miss Mace said: “It was like a family. They would come in and sit in the same seat and they would notice if anyone was not there.

“If there were special occasions, we would do something in the afternoon.”

Two people who are sorry to see the end of the Luncheon Club are Alan and Ivy Wiley, of Sidney Street, who have been members for five years.

Mr Wiley said: “It was a really nice club. It was really friendly. It is going to be greatly missed. They did a fantastic job.”

Miss Mace and Mrs Nurse are now cleaning out the building before it is handed over to the county council.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We are reviewing our options with a view to consider a community use with other parties.”