The story of CHAIN 1977 -2012

by Ron Rowlands

Social Activities

As part of CHAIN’s initiative in promoting Community goodwill and cohesion various activities that fall under the general term ‘social’ were undertaken by or on behalf of the Management Committee. Lunches in the Croft Hall and pub lunches fall very much in this area and these have been reported on separately.  There are others such as:-

 Country Rides

These arose from Angela Kingsbury’s Survey of Hungerford’s residents over sixty. The survey established, amongst other things, that outings, particularly to the countryside, for the housebound was high on the over 60s’ wish list.

Another Angela, Angela Evans and Carol Taylor volunteered in 1985 to coordinate such outings but Carol had to withdraw and the credit for running these events goes to Angela who, with a small willing band of car drivers for a number of appreciative elderly, mainly ladies.  The outings continued for about three years until demand seemed to tail off.

Angela recalls participants having enjoyable outings but also recalls concerns on the part of the management committee of possible accidents, particularly as many participants were disabled.  She cannot recall any accidents but does remember  the moans of people going in her car as she had a large white dog and her passengers would often complain of dog hairs on their , probably best Sunday,  clothes!!.

It is interesting to note that the country rides initiative together with the introduction of regular monthly lunches by Bobbie Winser in 1985 resulted in an award to CHAIN by the Shell Oil Company under their ‘Village Initiative competition’.  In the nationwide competition CHAIN came 4th and were sent £75, a welcome addition to funds in those early days.

Trip to Theme Park

This arose from a generous offer by Alton Towers Theme Park at the time of the Hungerford shooting tragedy to give free entry for a party of Hungerford residents who may have been affected by the tragedy.  CHAIN organised and paid for two coaches to take over a hundred local people to the park.

 Canal Boat Outings

In the early days the management committee organised and paid for trips on the Hungerford Canal Boat for housebound and elderly residents.

Northview Heights Meetings

Evening get-togethers were held every month during the late 70s and early 80s for residents of Northview Heights and other retirement homes etc.   These were primarily to convey information on health and social matters but also served as an opportunity for those attending to socialise.

 Events for Volunteers

Over the years opportunities have been taken to get volunteers together at modest social events, mainly as a means of recognising their contributions but also to recruit them and others to undertake more responsibility taking on specific organiser roles.  Special mention elsewhere is made of the ‘party’ when CHAIN was presented with The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award.  There was also a party for CHAIN’s 25th birthday.