Refurbishing our Community Clubhouse
We did it
On 11th April 2024 we successfully raised £3,044 with 52 supporters in 42 days

We are refurbishing our Clubhouse so it can continue to serve our local community and reduce it's environmental impact.

by Jeannette Henderson in Beckenham, England, United Kingdom

About us

We are a community of allotmenteers in south east London who, on a voluntary basis, manage Dorset Road Allotments and Leisure Gardens a community green space and wildlife haven.  We have held the Green Flag Community award for 18 years with the judges commenting that it is 'a lovely site, extremely well managed and highly valued by users, members and local residents'.  As well as being the custodians of a 7.5 acre allotment site, we are fortunate to have a recycled wooden building that we use as a community Clubhouse.  

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Our Clubhouse

Our Clubhouse started life as the changing rooms for the old Crystal Palace Park Concert Bowl, which hosted the famous Crystal Palace Park Bowl Garden Parties in the 1970s and other concerts through to the mid-1990s.  The likes of Elton John, Fairport Convention, YES, Pink Floyd, The Faces, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, The Cure, Andy Williams, Henry Mancini, James Galway and many others may have prepared for their concerts in our Clubhouse!

When the new concert platform was built in 1997 the changing rooms were dismantled, moved down the hill and reassembled at Dorset Road Allotments to become our Clubhouse.  

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Our Clubhouse in front of the lake at Crystal Palace Park after the concert bowl had been removed. 

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Our Clubhouse being re-assembled in 1999.

Since 1999, when the Mayor of Bromley formally opened the building, the Clubhouse has been in constant use.  It has hosted community events, charity fundraisers, birthday parties, meetings, workshops, courses on beekeeping, biodiversty, composting, Christmas wreathmaking and allotmenting to name just a few.  Local schools visit the site to learn about biodiversity, growing food and the importance of bees.  And groups such as the Scouts, Guides and Woodcraft Folk and Bromley Mind's Young Onset Dementia Activitists regularly use our site and Clubhouse.  But mostly it is used by plotholders, local residents and visitors to Dorset Road Allotments to have a cup of tea and a chat.

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The Clubhouse during an Open Day 

Our project 

After nearly 60 years in service it is time to revamp our Clubhouse to ensure it can continue to serve the local community for many more years to come.   We are raising funds to replace the deteriorating wooden cladding, insulate the building and install new energy efficient lighting and heating as well as add solar panels to generate our own electricity. We want to replace the recycled 1980s domestic kitchen with a new kitchen as well as redecorate to make the Clubhouse lighter and brighter and more welcoming.

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Artist impression of refurbished Clubhouse

We also want to tell the story of our amazing Clubhouse, its history and importance to the local community.

Funding

So far we have raised £14,000 in grant funding and are matching that with funds we have raised from plant sales and open days.  We are aiming to raise a further £3,500 which will be match funded by the Aviva Community Fund.

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