Watling Residents’ Association was founded in 1928. In its early years, it was active – and popular among residents – in campaigning for facilities that the new Estate lacked.
The Association’s campaign for a community centre brought it in touch with some of the liberal and reforming currents of the day represented in the National Council of Social Service, the British Association of Residential Settlements and the Educational Settlements Association. In 1929 these organisations had joined to form a New Estates Community Committee.
With the lure of financial support, the Residents’ Association was persuaded to rename and reorganise itself as the more civic-minded Watling Association in 1930 and also appointed a full-time Organising Secretary whose salary was paid by the New Estates Committee.
The Association got its community centre – opened by the Prince of Wales – in 1933 after receiving a £2000 grant and £700 loan from the Pilgrim Trust. The Watling Community Centre could then enjoy some of the normal social facilities to which they were accustomed in their former environment…a hall for meetings, a room for games, a committee room and a kitchen.
Today, after major refurbishment works, our community centre offers four main halls, a small room, large car parking and two kitchens.
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