Maldon Life Editorial January 2016

Well it's all over, just like that! It seemed I barely blinked whilst decorations were put up and yet the children's Xmas party has been and gone; Xmas is over, decorations taken down and the New Yearstarted.

So firstly I am going to backtrack to the Children's Party in December. Once again it was a total sell-out with some 96 tickets sold proving what a popular event this is with the local community. Naturally David and Lisa increased numbers again . (They love to increase their challenge each year). In fact so slick is their operation that on turning up to help out pre-event it was so under control that some helpers were not required. Now that's impressive!

The hall as usual looked super with tables looking beautifully festive (see photo), Santa’s grotto ready for his arrival and food being prepared freshly in the kitchen in readiness for the party. The  Xmas lights in the hall were on with the tree lights also twinkling nicely. Finally the excited children aged 4- 10 years arrived and the fun started.

Mr Happy returning for his 9th year,  once more had the children dancing, playing games, watching his magic tricks, having a great time when a certain someone popped his head in to the hall, Santa had arrived. Not on his own as in previous years but with a very special helper this year, his special hound-deer friend Bingo.  Rudolph was not available so Bingo assisted Santa as each child visited him, by selecting an appropriate gift for them.  Thank-you to Santa and Bingo,  we know how busy they are at this time of year and yet they still manage this visit to Maldon to give each child attending a wrapped gift. 

We would also like to  extend a massive “ Thank-you” to David and Lisa once more  whose tireless efforts make this event possible each year and to their small team of special helpers including Tracy who assist with the sale of tickets, preparing food and drinks and serving it during the course of the party. Then of course there are the committee members including Andy and the Care-taking team who install decorations and lights to decorate the centre, put out tables and chairs and then clear it all away afterwards, they do it all so well and it is hard work but so rewarding when you see the children have such a good time and who are so appreciative of the party.

Now you may recall last month I mentioned I  would let you have some  quiz dates for 2016to put in your for diaries. Each quiz is held on a Saturday night and starts at 8pm finishing around 10.30 pm.  The first three dates are as follows:-

February 13th,  April 2nd  and May 21st  If you'd like to find out more call 07823777201 or visit our website.

Now a New Year generally means New Resolutions or at least a determination to change things for the better. Changes can include lots of different things,  becoming more active, losing weight or just getting out more and making friends or learning a new language. The West Maldon Community Centre can help with a multitude of things. Just visit the website to see the program of offerings. There are keep fit classes with Tricia on offer on a Tuesday evening for those who want to exercise more. Weight loss programmes, language lessons with Wendy and why not try Ballroom dancing on a Sunday afternoon if you are a “Strictly” fan.  Just have a look and see what's on offer. It's a New Year let’s make the most of it.








2016 Quiz Dates announced.

Make a note in your diaries to ensure you don't miss out on any of our fabulous quiz nights.  They are being held as follows:-

1,  Saturday  February 13th 2016  8pm start.

2, Saturday April 2nd 2016  8pm start.

3. Saturday May 21st 2016  8pm start.

4, Saturday July 16th 2016 8pm start.

5, Saturday September 10th 2016  8pm start.

6, Saturday November 19th 2016  8pm start.

Bye for now.  Any queries call 07823777201


Maldon Life Editorial December 2015

Saturday November 21st saw our last quiz night of 2015 when we finally said goodbye to Sue and Mike who have now retired from running them after a great many years. Whilst we are sad to see them go, they assure me they will still be coming along to participate whenever they can. Meanwhile thank you once more to them both, for all of their efforts and lengthy commitment to the centre. It is much appreciated.


It was a busy night for quizzers with plenty of teams of teams turning up and battling throughout the 10 rounds of questions. It was close fought with a team of newcomers eventually winning the prizes. Yes “New to Maldon” did themselves proud, dropping very few points and fighting off all the competition.  Me? I was just happy our team didn't come last, we’re not called the Underachievers for nothing!


As usual it was great fun with Kevin Briggs our excellent quizmaster providing some challenging questions and pictures. It's an excellent evening and being close to Xmas, everyone took along lots of goodies to eat and drink which made it even more enjoyable than usual, if a little full up.


We have a full programme of dates for 2016 with our first quiz of the year due to be held at the beginning of  in February, we’ll give you all the dates in the January edition when you have new diaries and calendars to hand. Alternatively you can check the website for details if you prefer to get them earlier.


The next big event in our calendar is on Sunday 6th December when we have the 2015 Children's Xmas party. Tickets have been sold out since October so it's maximum numbers once again for Lisa and David who year on year put on this extravaganza for local children. Santa has once again agreed to come; despite his extremely busy schedule he will be very busy handing out presents to all of the children attending. Hopefully we'll have some good photographs to show you next month of the party.


With Xmas on its way it's easy to lose yourself in the rush of getting everything prepared for those few days, buying xmas gifts for friends and family, and making lists of food and goodies you want to have available to en joy for your families Xmas festivities.  Afterwards, when you've enjoyed yourself, eaten too much and are thinking of making resolutions for the New year. “don't forget to have a look and see what's on at your local community centre, there's something there for everyone”.  Have a lovely Christmas, see you next year!





Maldon Life Editorial October 2015

Well shutdown this year was a revelation!  We were excited and eagerly awaiting the installation of a new air conditioning and heating system but…. our caretakers couldn’t forget all about the other important bits and with people thin on the ground the “A“ team  got going, took charge and what a job they did!

The whole centre has been redecorated floor to ceiling. Sports hall floor polished and resealed to a high gloss, non-slip finish. Everything that could be steam cleaned has been; including all upholstery and seating.  If you haven’t seen it already, prepare to be impressed.  Well done to the newly formed “A team” who comprise Jim, John, Bill, Andy and Peter. Thank you from all of us, so many of our users have commented on how nice it looks and we know what hard work it took.

Now to the Aircon; What a difference it makes. Especially for those playing sport who can now do so in comfort even whilst playing hard. In the sports hall there is the facility to amend the temperature to suit the use, via controls the caretakers will take you through on first use.  In the other rooms, the Linton and Jubilee Lounge, generally used for more sedate purposes,  a temperature will be agreed with you and set ready for you on your first use of the room. Don’t worry if it needs changing for your next use, just let your caretaker know. He’ll be happy to work with you to arrive at the optimum temperature for you.  Don’t forget that as it gets colder this will also allow individual room heating preferences, a fantastic upgrade and it’s all low energy and eco-friendly.

The centre has run a bi-monthly quiz-night to raise funds for many years and current managers Mike and Sue Frederick have decided to hang up their question sheets following the November quiz to retire and enjoy their growing brood of grandchildren after some eight years at the helm.  However we need to fill this important role and if this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, let us know at the AGM.  It’s only 6 evenings a year, with an established quizmaster there are no questions to sort out, that’s all done.  We also have a “How to” process ready for the next manager courtesy of Mike and Sue . The committee would like to thank them both for all their enthusiasm, hard work, and commitment at the centre over many years. Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it but you will be missed!

The AGM is on 8th October and everyone is invited to attend. We are again looking for new committee members who can offer a small amount of time and/or good ideas. It’s not unduly onerous and you will be warmly welcomed. Don’t be shy. Come along and see how we operate. That’s what I did a few years back and I now love being involved at the centre. So join us at 7.30pm on Thursday8th October in the Jubilee Lounge.   See you there!

Nexthow about learning French or improving it? Wendy Aldridge holds two classes on Tuesdays. Between 1 and 3 pm there is an intermediate level class where they discuss a range of topics, listen to recordings as well as read articles based on the French Experience 2 book.  

Tuesday between 3 - 4pm Wendy is starting a Beginners class, for students with no prior knowledge or rusty French,  the aim; to give students the confidence to speak French during their holidays in France (using Facon de Parler 1 as the text book). Wendys phone number is 01621 773023 if you’d like to book for either class or find out more.


Maldon Life Editorial August 2015

August 2015

August brings us once more to that period when the Centre shuts down for nearly two weeks (although we try to restrict it to just the one weekend) to minimise disruption to clients. Yes it’s the Summer shutdown. This year it is the 17th – 28th August with Peter Harden ably taking the strain along with our team of caretakers. Shutdown is  “MOT” time for the centre when everything is either checked, repaired, decorated, replaced or discarded but this year there’s something very exciting happening. You see two of our committee members, namely Andy Streets; and Peter Harden both local residents and passionate about improving the centre and surrounding areas, researched thoroughly the benefits of installing air conditioning throughout the centre.

Having researched several companies for quotes, visiting installations previously undertaken and enjoying air conditioning during our recent hot spell, they had clearly done a fantastic job and with information to hand approving it was almosta given. It was passed unanimously with their “Coup de Grace” being that they had insisted that the winning company was able to install it all during this year’s shutdown.  Wow! Well done Peter and Andy.

So the next time you hear from me I will be able to let you know just how it feels. Sports hall users will particularly benefit as the current ceiling fans aren’t really adequate during hot spells.  The same system will also provide heat and will update and improve on current provision during the winter months.

Next I give notice that our next AGM is due on Thursday 8th October at 7.45pm. It’s held in the Jubilee lounge at the community centre. That’s when we vote a new committee in for the next 12 months. We are always looking for people with fresh ideas, who are interested in getting involved  in the community. If you think you might be interested why not come along to our next meeting on 10th September 7.45pm. You can meet us all and see what goes on. It’s only 10 meetings a year so not unduly onerous and extremely rewarding. We’d love to welcome you.

       Finally I mustn’t forget to tell you about our next quiz-night being held on Saturday September        19th. Ithe Sports Hall. Start time is 8pm – 10.30pm approx.  This is a super night out costing            just £3.50 a head, along with prizes for the winning team and a raffle. You bring along your              own drinks and nibbles. Kevin Briggs our quizmaster sets a variety of questions that really                aren’t so hard and usually in a team offour to six people you have a good chance of                          completing quite a few.  Come along and find out for yourself. Tel Sue 840951 if you have any          queries in the meantime.  

Maldon Life Editorial July 2015

This month we are going to revisit an artist who started using the centre towards the end of last year. Lodewyk Pretor; who I finally met recently.   It was a hot sunny day and Lodewyk roared up on a fabulous blue easy rider motorbike looking every inch the artist he is.  Convincing my dear neighbour Glenda that NO, I would not, be having my photo taken on the bike, we finally got to talk.

It seems that Lodewyk has moved his slot on Thursday evenings to Monday mornings 10.30-12.30, in the Linton Room which is more suitable for his students.  Now a little more about him:

He is an Artist, Teacher, Painter and Sculptor who studied Fine arts in South Africa, who started his own art school in Cape town which flourished until he emigrated to the UK where he now lives in Mayland.

Since then he has held several successful exhibitions in London and was also commissioned to build a public sculpture in Leytonstone London for the Bus Terminus.   Having taught for many years both in S.A as well as in Epping where he taught A levels and adult education Art he is well positioned to assist in whatever area of art that interests you or needs improvement.

His new classes are for artists of all abilities, covering watercolour acrylics and drawing.  His vast experience allows for tailored, one to one teaching within a group environment and includes theory, and the practical execution of painting and drawing with demonstrations.

So if you want to improve on your current level of skill, gain a better understanding or simply to loosen your style, contact Lodewyk on one of the following:-

Tel 07966 463156 Website:   Email:

Facebook: Lodewyk’sArt School   or simply turn up on a Monday at 10.30am. You will be made very welcome. Bring along your paints and brushes together withsomeof your previous work and let Lodewyk help you achieve your aims.

Now as you will know the main Hall is suitable for a number of sports but did you know that there is a purpose built Badminton Court?  Yes, the sports Hall was built with the height such that Badminton could be played. With the limited availability of such courts in the Maldon area perhaps you’d like to book the hall for that purpose. If so contact John our Bookings manager on 0300 0111995.  We also have greater availability during the summer for weekend bookings so if you’re thinking of organising a summer function why not see if we can help you.

Finally we have our next Quiz-night on July 11th at our usual start time of 8pm in the Hall. Get a team of between 4-6 players together and come along and challenge for the monthly prizes. £3.50a head for 10 sets of 10 questions with a joker to play on your strongest section giving double points to hopefully throw a spanner in the works.  Great fun and anyone can win with Kevin Brigg’s special brand of questions.  Bring your own drinks and food.   Contact Sue 01621 840951

See you there we hope.


Maldon Life Editorial June 2015

The latest quiz night in May was well attended with certain teams doing better than others.           Sue and Mike do a sterling job in running this bi-monthly so it’s a thank you to both of them this month. Yours truly was unfortunately absent due to family illness but “my spies” tell me I and my team were not really missed, certainly not on an intellectual level. Whatever did they mean?  All answers on an email to  No prizes, though you may be quoted on the website…

Personally I wonder if it was because of the wacky races section of the quiz in March where we scored 9/10 (and were quietly  confident of winning the section) only to be pipped at the post by the “Marsh and Unwin Families”, courtesy of Mick, “The Car mad-man” who scored 10/10 .aaah… If only.

The new caretaking team are safely installed and working well, with one of our caretakers, David retiring soon, we bid him farewell,  and thank him for all his hard workwith best wishes fora happy and healthy retirement .  Meanwhile, the never ending work and bustleat the community centre continues into the “warmer” summer months (we hope).

Justa couple of months ago I let you know what was going on at the centre on Mondays, This month it’s Tuesdays. The days seem longer now we are on summertime hours,  yes I know we have more gardening to do, but let’s be honest It’s good to get out and about meeting people; making friends; exercising or learning something new, so here’s what’s on:-

We kick off Tuesdays with Rachel of RAW Body and Fitness 9.30 – 10.30 Interested? Call her on 07793708097.  Then between 12.45 and 14.15 we have Yoga (K.E) Tel 01268 764018 or 07852213008 if you’d like to find out more.  Between 13.00 and 15.00 there is “French” with Wendy.  “ Mais Oui”.  If you are unsure what level you would be at, just call her on 01621 773023 and find out.                                                                                                                                                               Between 14.30 and 16.30 we have Table tennis for members of Maldon U3A. Tel C. Gordon on 01245223012.                                                                                                                                                  17.30 -19.00 see’s Trish from the Patricia Kirkland School of Dance taking dance classes for children aged 3 – 7 year olds and 8 -13 years respectively boys and girls.  It’s great exercise children and a wonderful skill for life, increasing confidence, improving posture and gait, whilst arming them for the future challenges in store in life.  Trish follows this at 19.00 – 20.00 with her Keep Fit class for the over 40s, but you are never too old for her class!  You can be sure to do only what you can personally manage and if you need to do your exercises seated then that’s fine. Finally the day ends with a rousing Zumba class 20.15 – 21.15 Now that’s good fun too, so why not give it a try. Call Joanion 01621743533 or 07787 512167 she’d love to hear from you.

Hopefully you’ve seen something you fancy or perhaps you have an idea for something new or an event you would like to hold at the centre. If so give John our bookings manager a call on 0300 0111995or visit the website to seewhat’s on the rest of the week.


That’s all for now, see you next month.


Maldon Life Article May 2015

At our latest Family Film show Paddington wowed the audience. Packed almost to capacity the sports hall buzzed with excitement on what was a fairly wet afternoon. It was the perfect day to watch a good film and with an audience ranging from 20 months to 80 plus years the film had to be good enough to entertain everybody. And it did! Darkest Peru had an enchantment going on that only talking bears could bring about. Sombre and sad at times in its early stages with Paddington on his own having to stowaway to get to England it was when he finally found a family to stay with that the real fun began.  Before you knew it the film developed into a breathtakingly hilarious and fast moving series of almost inconceivable events that had us all laughing non – stop irrespective of age. At the end there was a spontaneous round of applause from everybody.  Never have I seen such wide smiles on simply everyone's faces as they left, everyone feeling really high, happy and good inside. If you haven’t seen it then try to. You won’t regret it. They got everything right with this film and well done Sarah who chose and booked Paddington. Roll on the next one.

Thanks again to all our helpers on the day including our master projectionist Adrian who once again did a sterling job for us. Thank you also to our audience, not least for supporting the centre and for sharing such a wonderful afternoon with us.  Let’s do it again soon.


April’s edition saw me introduce Monday's programme of groups/classes being held at the centre. Just prior to it being published I had occasion to speak with Marie Bevis the artist who runs classes in the Linton Room. Marie has recently introduced within the usual Monday Art Group an element named “START ART”. This is particularly for those who are new to painting and drawing and require more tuition to help  build their skills and confidence.  Within this Marie teaches the basics: perspective, line, composition and colour. There is always a friendly chat and discussion, the sharing of tips and advice all to the background of relaxing music with tea, coffee and biscuits provided.  

The class starts at 10.30 finishing at 12.30 lunch time.

Fees are £22 pounds for four sessions, with some materials provided.

Call 01621 858636 to speak with Marie and see if this is for you.

A recent class photo accompanies this article.


Now as I may have mentioned in a previous article Gordon our Facilities Manager is retiring later this month.  He will be greatly missed not only for his energy and enthusiasm in directing us lesser mortals to greater things but also for his expertise, professionalism and endless ideas, many of which I filch without embarrassment to claim as my own.

In addition you may have noticed I regularly use him within my articles as he doesn’t seem to mind being used and abused hence I’m personally bereft. I feel I am losing not only a good friend and ally but a good story maker too!


The committee decided they would like to take Gordon and his wife to dinner to thank him for everything he has done for the centre  during his time with us and hence we all met up at the Queen Victoria Public House one evening last week. With 17 of us present we had a wonderful evening. Thank you to Kelvin and Nicola who ensured we all had a wonderful time. The food was excellent, with an extensive menu to cater for all, enhanced by good service. (So if you want to try somewhere different to eat, why not try the Queen Vic. You won't regret it, I know we didn't).  Most importantly our guest of honour was in fine form, talking shop with John and Jim, and mingling with all. Mary was delightful company as ever keeping us ladies entertained and during the course of the evening many manner of things were discussed. Some stranger than others. However all too soon the evening was over with a sad tinge to the close of the celebrations. 


“Don’t worry Gordon, you don't get away that easily. I will be in touch soon!“


Along with I suspect, many others of us.  In the meantime Gordon is spending his last few days with us, organising us all, and getting everything shipshape as only he can do!  So thanks Gordon from all of us at The West Maldon Community Centre. Enjoy your retirement and know that you’ll be a hard act to follow!



Maldon Life Article April 2015

The 29th March saw the film Paddington showing at the centre and a capacity crowd attended. It was simply brilliant.  Clearly this was a popular film with some attending having already seen it before.  A great choice made by Sarah. Thanks must go to Adrian Stockton who once again did a magnificent job as our volunteer projectionist, what would we do without him?  Additionally Lindsey Young and her volunteers from the Charity “Help for Lone Parents” once again made those attending happy by offering for sale a good range of confectionary and drinks at reasonable prices before the film started. Not to forget all the other volunteers they are all important if we are to hold cinema events.  Now we’ve just got one last job for the time being and that’s to decide when and what the next film will be.

 Well it’s April now and I for one have been enjoying the sunnier weather we have had recently and the lighter evenings. I love to see all the spring flowers although the rest of the garden definitely needs some hard work so I’m not looking too closely.   There are plenty of things to do at the West Maldon Community Centre, every day of the week when you have free time, with a wide variety of different sports, interests and hobbies catered for there. This month I thought I’d run through the variety of offerings we have on offer on Mondays.  So if this is a free day for you, have a browse to see if something grabs you.

The Blackwater U3A start things off at 9.30am with Table Tennis from 9.30am until 12.00 noon in the Sports hall run by John. This is a great way to keep fit but as with all the U3A interest groups, will require U3A membership.  Then the 2nd Monday every other month sees Alan run a Science and Technology group for 2 hours 9.30-11.30am.  The first Monday of the month 2pm - 4pm sees the Maritime group get together lead by C Pugh.

Brian of Limebrook U3A runs a highly successful bridge group 2pm - 4pm on the second and fourth Monday each month and the Maldon U3A run a photography interest group on the second Monday each month 2-4pm.

10.15 -12.45 see’s Jenny run the “Action for Family Carers” help group.  10.30-12.30 is the “Breathe Easy” group for those suffering with breathing disorders such as, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

10.30-1pm is the weekly Art Class run by Marie in the Jubilee Lounge with everyone welcome irrespective of ability. 2.00 - 3.0pm is Noha and her Belly Dancing group in the Hall.  This is a fun way to get fit and keep active and Noha is a joy to watch she’s so graceful and a great teacher.

4-6.30pm sees the Patricia Kirkland School of Dance offering dancing lessons for younger children. You may recall Trish recently put on a spectacular show “Sleeping Beauty with her dancers on at the Town Hall. It was excellent, the dancers from these classes doing her proud on the two days the show ran.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to illness so was unable to take photos but I have it on good authority that standing ovations followed the dancing on both occasions.

6.30-7.30pm. in the Linton room is the diet and nutrition weight loss programme by Arriba especially for those looking to lose weight and re-educate themselves as to the best eating habits for a healthy life.

Then back in the sports hall we have Table-tennis for 9 – 16 year olds 6.45pm -7.45pm. With the older players aged 17 + from 7.45pm –late with Glen and Tim.

Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about and if you want to find out more visit our website for contacts and telephone numbers.

Now finally I have some rather sad news, Gordon has decided to retire from his role as Facilities Manager at the centre. He will be missed by everyone on the committee and at the centre.

I personally will really miss our Monday morning meetings, where his raft of ideas and enthusiasm for everything at the centre made them a joy, if a little crazy at times. However of course we understand that retirement is due and I am sure Mary, his wife, will appreciate Gordon being at home keeping the garden under control once more which I understand is one of his first jobs.  The second one, being when he comes around and does my garden……mmmmmmm. 

Maldon Life Article March 2015

Firstly this month I must apologise to those of you who were expecting a film afternoon at the Centre in February. Unfortunately due to a lack of volunteers, for various reasons, we were on that occasion unable to hold it. I do hope you weren’t too disappointed.

 However for March it was clearly important to get ourselves up and running with our first film of the season and I am delighted to announce that not only do we have enough volunteers, the film is booked too.  Yes; we have “Paddington” on its release weekend to DVD and will be showing it on Sunday 29th March at 3PM.

With excellent reviews, I know I am personally looking forward to seeing it and I expect we are going to be pretty busy on the day what with it being a fairly new release and a film that seems to appeal to children and adults alike. Bears get us like that! With that in mind, if you want to be certain of a seat then prior ticket purchase will ensure you get in on the day.  Alternatively take your chances and just turn up but remember you may be disappointed if we sell out as we expect to.

On the day itself “Help for Lone Parents” the charity run by Lindsay Young, will once again kindly be providing refreshments and confectionary, for sale to our younger guests, with “Teas and Coffees” available for our older clientele courtesy of myself and others for a mere 50p each.

Adrian Stockton from Blackwater U3A has once again kindly volunteered to be our projectionist for the afternoon so we are in safe and experienced hands and are extremely grateful to him and the U3A for the loan of their equipment.  I am hoping he’ll be putting together one of his special introductory films for viewing, prior to commencement of the film at 3pm, so you may be lucky!

So for tickets, call Debbie on 07823 777201. As previous sales through the Tourist Information Centre were limited, we are handling sales, in house only, on this occasion. If I’m not available leave your name and telephone number and I’ll call you back as soon as possible.  Pricing is yet to be confirmed at time of going to press but as a non-profit enterprise for the community, it won’t be too expensive. Previously it was £5 for 2 adults and 2 children, I don’t envisage there being a vast increase but we do need to ensure we don’t run at a loss.  As soon as the cost has been finalised, details will be posted on the website along with the film posters, located around the community centre .and at various locations around Maldon so keep your eyes open for them.

Don’t forget, put the date in your diaries, organise the children and grandchildren for a great Sunday afternoon treat on the 29th.   See you there we hope.

Saturday 14th March sees our second Quiz night of the year. Another entertaining evening at the centre, which will see plenty of questions to test the grey matter and plenty of laughs when you play your joker on the wrong set of questions.  I always do that!  At £3.50 a head, take your own food and drinks have a cheap night out and maybe prizes……..  It all kicks off at8pm. Teams of up to 6 people.

Now last month I introduced you to an exceptional artist at the centre “Lodewyk Pretor”. This is just to remind you that his lessons are held on Thursday evenings 7pm – 9pm in the Jubilee Lounge.        If you are looking to improve your artistic skills then Lodewyk has extensive experience in this field. Don’t forget he is offering a free first lesson for you to see firsthand how he is able to help, with subsequent classes from £10, less if paid in advance. Spaces are limited so get in touch now to book your place.

Maldon Life Article Feb 2015

With the weather getting colder it’s probably a good time to get any jobs done indoors making the most of keeping yourself in the warm.  Unless of course you’ve got somewhere else warm and interesting to go to;  Where parking your car is simple, free and close to the building you need. Where you are joined by people you know, doing something you are all interested in.  Yes I’m talking about the West Maldon Community centre.  Where else?

John our Bookings Manager informed me recently about not one, but three new user groups at the centre. The first two are part of The Maldon and District U3A group so to join either of these groups you would firstly need membership of the U3A and of course each group does have a member limit.  However if conditions are met and you are interested in “Geology” then you will be pleased to note that Enid Hill has started a new group specifically so that this subject can be explored.  Clearly it’s a vast undertaking, currently the group has around 11 members, all enthusiastic amateurs, so there are at least a couple of spaces available. Meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 2pm in the Jubilee Lounge they have to date watched BBC videos on the subject, looked at the chronological history of rocks and the Earth. They have visited the Sedgewick Museum in Cambridge to investigate fossils and will shortly be having a talk by a speaker on the Geology of Essex amongst other things. Wow and they only started up recently. 

Enid would particularly like to hear from you if you are an expert on, or have some experience in Geology, which you are willing to share and to help direct the group forwards. Please contact Enid on 01621 891618 for any queries or to discuss joining the group. She will be delighted to hear from you.

Our next group is run by Judith Johnston and is the study of “British Architecture”. Meeting on the 2nd Friday each month in the Jubilee Lounge at 2.30pm for 2 hours this group look at all the various styles of “British” architecture through the ages.  It’s another vast subject but one that allows for trips out in warmer weather to see firsthand, all the various building styles. They are shortly to have a talk on Saxon Architecture. There are approximately two member spaces left, so if you are interested in joining the group or just need information, kindly contact Judith on 01245 223662.

Our final new client today is Lodewyk pronounced “ lerdervik” Pretor. A South African artist having taught Art in the UK for over 25 years. As a full time artist and sculptor, experienced in all Mediums,  Lodewyk’s  classes on Thursday evenings 7 – 9pm in the Jubilee Lounge are for those looking to improve their skills in drawing, using pencil, pastel, pen and ink and charcoal; or  painting using Acrylics ,Watercolour and Mixed Media.  Learn about Composition Perspective and Colour, try a fresh approach to art.  All abilities welcome and Lodewyk gives demos in all media.  Lodewyk is currently offering a free first class to experience what he teaches, with further classes from £10, less if paid in advance. He will be delighted to see you .

For more information visit his website: www.  with his gallery of really interesting work   or Facebook:  Lodewyk’s Art School  Contact by phone on 07966 463156


One of our other regular clients “ The Patricia Kirkland school of Dance” will be holding a show for her dancersaged from 3 upwards on Friday 13th and 14th March 2015 at the Maldon Town Hall.

The first half of the performance will see “The Sleeping Beauty” ballet performed by the dance troop and  will be followed byDivertissements (a mixture of other style dances) in the second half.  With enchanting music and beautiful dancing this is one, not to be missed. Tickets at only £7 represent an unbeatable price for ballet so any ballet fans make sure you put this in your diary. Tickets go on sale on 14th February 201.5 Contact Trish on 01621 857648 to reserve, don’t miss out.

Staff at the centre are now wearing staff identitybadges so that they are easily recognisable. Here are some of the caretaking team including Gordon, Facilities Manager who was key in their introduction.

Last but certainly not least, we will shortly be holding another family film afternoon. The film and exact date are yet to be confirmed but it should be in February. Keep an eye on the website. for details and to ensure you don’t miss out.

Maldon Life Article Jan 2015

The end of November saw the Children’s Christmas Party arrive once more and yet again it was a resounding success with over 100 fed, happy and slightly less energetic children exiting the hall at the end.

Following the clear up afterwards it was a slightly different exit for the grown-ups many of whom staggered exhausted from the building.  Irrespective I am happy to report that Santa left in a somewhat better state and was able to continue with his annual duties undaunted.

So a big Thank you to David and Lisa (our Children’s Christmas Party Planners extraordinaire) and their many helpers.  Santa; thank you once again for coming along to speak with and give each child a present; especially as we know you are so busy at this time of year.  Thank you also to Gordon and his caretaking team, along with all the Committee Members who gave both their time and energy to help make this a resounding success yet again.

Late December saw many of the groups using the centre finish for xmas with many taking the opportunity to have their own small xmas party to celebrate with old friends and new, some having joined groups throughout the year.  .  Many of us find the idea of walking into a large group of people they don’t know daunting but what I’ve found during my quest to investigate what goes on at the centre is that most groups are actually quite small.  So if you don’t know what to do with yourself and you want to get out and about, have a look at the website to see what’s on offer. You’ll be surprised and we would love to meet you…


Maldon Life Article December 2014

Well Sunday the 16th arrived and it was the first film showing of the season; Maleficent.  It was a great film with an All Star cast but not as well attended as we had hoped.  Possibly it was a little too close to Christmas and of course many children would have gone to see it during the recent half term. However those who attended enjoyed it immensely. Once again our thanks go to Lindsay and her team from “Help for Lone Parents” who provided drinks, confectionary and refreshments for sale to those who wanted them.   Sarah and husband Jeremy, along with Dorreen valiantly carried the day in lieu of other committee members who were unable to make it, so a very big thank you to them for all their hard work in volunteering to hold this event not forgetting Jim who got the hall ready to go.

In next month’s edition we hope to have the date of the next film showing along with details of the film to be shown.  In the meantime don’t forget to email me on “” if you know of a film you think would be popular showing to a family audience.  

Next we would like to welcome John Edwards to the team of caretakers who look after us all at the centre. John will be working on Fridays generally.  Following staff changes we wil,l as a way of increasing security for users, be posting photographs of all staff in the Facilities Dept on the Foyer walls shortly, so make sure you have a look. In addition staff  will also  be issued with ID tags carrying photos and name details, in the near future again for everyone’s security and this should help you recognise the caretaker in charge.

By the time you read this the “Annual Children’s Christmas Party” will once more have been and gone. With a record number of children it will be interesting to see how we all manage. We should have photos ready for the next edition together with an account of the highlights to entertain you.

Finally we need to bring to everyone’s attention the problem of speeding cars, while approaching the centre.  Remember there are many people including children and the elderly using the centre and the last thing we want, is for an accident to occur.  It is far better to arrive late to pick-up your child/friend/wife/husband rather than have an accident just as you get there or worse.  The speed limit in Sunbury Way is 5 MPH and there are CCTV speed cameras located on the roof of the building covering the approach road, so you will be” on camera”.  We are currently putting up further notices in the area in an effort to bring this to everyone’s attention but we do need your assistance to help us avoid a tragedy, by keeping your speed down.   Thank you.

Finally to all of our clients, members and readers, “Have a great Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us on the committee.  We hope to see you soon!


Maldon Life Article November 2014

Following on from the very busy September we had, we were hoping for a relatively peaceful October but of course we still had an AGM to go on the 9th.   However we were being smiled on and all went well.  We were delighted to welcome both Andy Streets and Mark Heard to the committee and hope their time with us is a pleasant one and not unduly onerous.

One of the challenges set for us in this year’s AGM by our Chair Sarah is that she is keen to try out new ideas and events for people in the local community.  So our task is to find out what people would like to see on at the centre.

We would reassure you at this point that the Autumn/Winter Cinema will be continuing and starts again in November, although the film has still yet to be decided on.  Maleficent seems to be quite a popular choice but if you have a view on this let me know by emailingmeon I need to know by the 10th November if you want your vote to be included.  

The proposed date for the first viewing this season is Sunday 16th November at 3PM but keep an eye on the website in case of changes or to see the final choice of film. Cost will be as previously just £2 a child with just 50p for each accompanying adult.  Refreshments and confectionary will also be available on the day.

Next; it is with regret that I have to inform you that we are already full up for the ChildrensXmas party on 30th November. Clearly last year’s attendees were keen to get booked up again because we never got round to announcing it outside of the website.

Finally, if you missed the AGM. but would still like to join the committee or perhaps volunteer to help run one of the film showsfor a couple of hours, let me know. It’s never too late and you will be surprised at what you learn whilst thoroughly enjoying yourself.



20th Anniversary Celebrations - Maldon Life Article Oct 2014

The morning of the 20th arrived finally and despite the forecast, it definitely wasn’t sunny and threatened rain. That was not according to plan, and definitely not encouraging, in fact as the anniversary cake was loaded into the car, the first spots fell.  Expecting a deluge I was more than relieved when, as I arrived at the centre, it stopped. Inside I found a flurry of activity, lots of last minute polishing, chairs and tables being arranged in readiness for the food and cake.

Now I must tell you about “The Cake” which had only been ordered the week previously. In spite of all the organisation that had gone into this event , we hadn’t even thought of having one.  Thank goodness for Gordon’s wife Mary who suggested it might be nice to have one, plus she had heard, that Lottie and Jakes in Maldon did lovely cakes.  Fortunately being local it was easily ordered, even though time was short, they were so accommodating. We just had to work out how large it needed to be, as there would be about 100 people attending. Lottie and Jakes were brilliant.  When they heard what the cake was for, they very kindly donated the icing, marzipan and decorations, which included a plaque on the cake itself. Rather apt really.  On opening the box, everybody was impressed. The cake was truly stunning in eggshell blue with white highlights and plaque, as you’ll see in one of the attached photographs, but more about that later.

Next, the buffet food arrived, on time, and again beautifully presented. What a feast!  The Figtree Restaurant and Bar in the high street at the top of the town, had done us proud. The spread and mix of food was exceptional and looked it. Finally the guests arrived including Councillor Peter Elliot Vice Chairman of Maldon District Council who made an excellent speech and had everybody laughing from early on. It was that Fitzpatrick man that did it for me personally.  The granite commemorative plaque, donated by Co-Operative Funeral Services of Maldon was unveiled by Peter, for all to see.  Tina and Sarah, Directors at the Co-Op were present and we managed to get them together in a photograph with Peter Elliot, the Mayor, Stephen Nunn, splendid in his chains and Sarah our chair.  On arranging for local builder Tony Baker to inset the plaque, flush with the building, we were once more taken aback when on concluding a superb job he quietly announced he was doing the work gratis.   Thank you Tony, what a lovely gesture.

Following a short toast, we were ready for the cutting of the cake which Sarah performed beautifully and following a couple of photos it was time to eat. Now I mentioned the food earlier in this article and the tables were brimming with it. Everything looked delicious as we all tucked in. Many people asked who supplied the food, being really impressed with both the quality and quantity.  Abi, Hayley and Dave who run the family business at The Figtree, Thank you; what a great job you did. We would definitely use your services again and I think you can expect that order book to get even busier judging by the response of everyone.

Fed and watered we were finally ready for the entertainment to start and quite frankly it was the true highlight of the day.

First on was “The Blackwater Judo Club”.  Having trained all morning at the centre, a selection of the group stayed to entertain our guests and boy did they. Introduced by John Pegram, Trustee and leader of the Judo club, they put on one spectacular display, after another. You could tell that all the children, teenagers and adults alike were really enjoying themselves and the focus and dedication with which they carried out their tasks on the mats was the same irrespective of the colour of their belts or the years/months they had spent training. 

John had devised an interesting mix of everyday situations giving a running commentary as to what was happening. My personal favourite was the one where a slight young lady (albeit in a Judo suit) was walking down the street, when a large yob approached and tried to take her handbag.  Our young lady did no more than grab the youth who was considerably larger and throw him over her head. Result!  He was lucky the mats cushioned his fall . Let’s be honest we would all like to be able to do that, wouldn’t we.  Self defence is an extremely useful art to learn and many would benefit from this. John’s club members really showed just how useful and easy this can be. Their display culminated with them all counting in Japanese and reciting the mantra that club members live by.  Respect and discipline is key and it showed.

 Next up were dancers from the Patricia Kirkland School of Dance. Kicking off with a cowgirl dance, pink boots and clothing to match, the younger dancers did a sterling job. It was charming and very well executed. This was followed seamlessly by a dance involving three gypsy girls, lively music and great dancing made this another resounding success. It was very enjoyable.  The final dance of the set was a solo, set to beautifully haunting Egyptian music. Exotic, graceful and elegant, dressed in beautiful attire, this dancer was again foot perfect using the extension of arms and hands in perfectly elegant alignment as only dancers can do.  A virtuoso performance. We were entranced.

Last and certainly not least the Wentworth School Choir performed three songs for their audience. They were superb. Having only had two weeks to rehearse, due to school holidays, they were word perfect. Let’s be honest hearing children sing makes your own heart sing and it was simply delightful, there’s nothing quite like it. They gave the songs their all and were an absolute credit to their school, teachers and parents.

Having exceeded all our expectations in providing the entertainment, our star performers were now free to get themselves some cake. Remember I said I’d get back to it “What A Cake”.  There was no-one who didn’t like it, adults and children alike. Based on a Victoria sponge it was very deep with several layers of jam and butter-cream making it moist and yummy.  Many returned for a second slice as long as it lasted. It was DELICIOUS!  Again many of our guests wanted to know where we got it from so just in case you forgot, its Lottie and Jakes in the Kings Head Centre, Maldon.

All too soon it was over, time to clear up and to get ready for the barn dance in the evening. Whilst this was happening, the Marie Bevis art group showed a wonderful display of work undertaken by the group in the Linton room for centre visitors. This room was shared with Val Deal of Arriba who offered free fat testing to visitors .  Talking Tots with Amanda, fresh from winning 5 awards  at the Essex Mums Awards, earlier this year, put up a particularly attractive display in the Jubilee Lounge foryounger visitors. Amanda was joined there by Limebrook U3A with John, Paul and Brian on hand while presentingan attractive compilation on screen of photos taken by various interest groups, available to retired and semi retired people along with various other information available for interested parties.    

All too soon the day was over, the Barn dance having also been a resounding success andat this juncture I would like to thank on behalf of thecommittee all of our guests for coming along and making it the resounding success it was. It couldn’t have gone better and that’s because of you all.

Now back to business; When I just mentioned the committee it reminded me that we really need to recruit more members to the committee.  We meet once a month, second Thursday of the month at 7.45pm for a couple of hours max. You do as little or as much as you like but inevitably the more you give, the more you get back and why not get involved with your local community?  Perhaps you no longer work but would like to be valued again and to be involved in something worthwhile.  Or you could be a stay at home mum who wants to keep her hand in, ready for a return to work later on.  Whatever reason you have, we need you.  It’s our AGM on Thursday 9th October so come along and meet us and find out what’s involved. If you want to find out more beforehand, call me on 01621857301.  We’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy.

Limebrook U3A are holding an “Open” meeting on Friday 10th October 2 pm. in the Hall at the Community Centre. Open to members and visitors alike there will be a guest speaker, displays from many of the interest groups with free tea and biscuits. If you have finished with full time employment and are looking for something different to get you out and about, the U3A could be just what you’re looking for. Come along and find out. They would love to welcome you.

Finally Dodgeball is back on following the holiday break at the centre on Friday evenings 16:30 – 17:30 for children ages 7-14 years with free first lesson.  Call : Peter 07772 351770 or Mike 07912 879927


2ND Family Cinema Afternoon on Sunday 9th Feb 2014 at 3pm

This time we are showing the family film "Despicable Me Two". Doors will open at  2.30 pm . The sale of sweets and drinks will be offered by H.E.L.P on entry to the hall whilst teas and coffees, offered by the committee, will also be available for adults throughout the viewing at a cost of 50p. We do not intend to have an interval this time which I believe is what most of you suggested following our first screening.  So hurry up and get your tickets. Priced £2.00 for children and 50p only for accompanying adults.

Wishing all of our clients and members past and present a Happy and Healthy New Year

Well that's seen xmas out of the way, finally, Dec's are down and put away till next December. Firstly please accept my apologies for this late update.Unfortunately 2014 has already started with me having more of the IT troubles that have dogged me since October. Some things now work; others don't, so I'm not having much fun and wasting lots of time going over things I have already done but forgotten about,  know what I mean?

Anyway let me now pause for thought and reverse back  to December and the Children's Xmas party. Very well attended by 85 local children who behaved absolutely brilliantly receiving  a well deserved  " thank you" from all the team, who probably enjoyed it just as much as the children. Isn 't it nice to hear that? By the way well done to the parents too as  I witnessed many children saying their thank you's nicely on the way out.

Not forgetting Santa in his grotto created a new record for WMCC by seeing 85 children,speaking with each child so he could arrange his last minute shopping and presenting them all with a small gift. One hour he had to work his magic and he did it.  Well Done Santa, you can come again next year! Seriously though we have to book him years in advance as it's such a busy period for him, but where would we be with no Santa?

No xmas party at WMCC can pass without the mention of Mr Happy, who once more demonstrated just how to keep 80 plus children happy; he does it so well! I must take notes this year.

Lisa and David now have this party down to a fine art and approach it each year together with their regular helpers and single minded dedication.  Only the numbers limit what they can achieve each year  so a big thank you to them all. If you want to hear more about the event see the January edition of Maldon Life where we have an article with photos taken by David during the party.

And don't forget get in quickly for tickets  usually on sale in  early October as2014's party is already booked for Sunday 30th November.

News about the Centre

Well firstly I would like to give a very warm welcome to all of our clients at the Centre and of course visitors to the new website.  With our 20th Anniversary beckoning in 2014  we are keen to promote the many improvements made to the centre since its inception to ensure it's continued success in the next 20 years.

It is for this purpose that we have a monthly feature in "Maldon Life" ( the Free Local Magazine issued to homes in the Maldon area with copies available for those outside of the delivery postcodes at "The Emporium", "Tourist Information Centre" and the "Library"), containing interviews and client features plus pictures of the clubs in action and general monthly news and events information. 

We are also hosted on Stella Bradbrooks "About my Area CM9" website both as a charity and on the events page as they fall due. We also have a Facebook Page. Naturally our own website is updated regularly, courtesy of David our Webmaster, so that there are plenty of ways to keep up with all that's going on here.

 We do hope you find something here that interests you but in the meantime if you have any good ideas or suggestions as to how we may improve the centre and /or its communications then don't be shy; let us know.  

This new Blog is being launched for that very purpose , however if you have a relevant contribution and prefer not to include it on the blog then please email me on and I will try to include it.  The blog will be regularly updated so why not bookmark this page and save to favourites.