Metheringham Area Community Leisure
Annual General Meeting, 11th May 2004
This year, MACLA has been able to build on the strong foundation laid during
its first 3 years of existence. It continues to enhance the vibrant and
active community life by raising awareness and strengthening partnerships.
The MACLA Newsletter continues to go from strength to strength. With over
2500 copies delivered free to every household in the local area, it is an
enduring and popular method of keeping local people informed about their
community. We are in the enviable position of having a waiting list for
advertising. The newsletter team together with Angela and her distributors
do an excellent job on behalf of our community and deserve our thanks. I’d
especially like to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of MACLA and
our community, Geoff Brown, who is retiring after four years and 15 editions
as editor. He has done a remarkable job. It was his drive and enthusiasm
that has ensured that the newsletter is the success that it is. Well done
Once again, MACLA was represented at this year’s Fayre & Feast. Building on
last year’s success, we expanded the exhibition of old photographs and ran a
second stall serving mulled wine. Both proved to be exceedingly popular and
were a resounding success.
The MACLA Website (www.macla.co.uk) also continues to grow and to spread the
word about our vibrant community. It has expanded and is now over 500 pages
in size. Much of the content comes from local contributors. Please keep
providing the articles and photographs that make the site the success it is.
I’d like to single out Pete Ford, whose valuable contributions, ranging from
Blankney Golf Club, Meg Football Club through to photos of old Meg &
Tanvats, have proved invaluable. In addition, his transcription of the
minutes after every meeting has lifted a heavy administrative burden from
Of particular note this year, two locals ran a successful campaign to
persuade BT that Metheringham should become the first village in
Lincolnshire to have its telephone exchange enabled for Broadband. No mean
feat. Their (and our) success meant that Metheringham led the way for the
rest of Lincolnshire. Well done Steve and Aaron.
On the leisure activity front, Metheringham continues to thrive: the
Starlight Twirlers continue to succeed, achieving many trophies at National
Level and has qualified for the International Championships in Florida early
next year. We wish them every success. The Village Hall has been modernised
and expanded with its new extension being formally opened last week. The
Swimming Pool has been industrious in raising substantial funds to ensure
that it remains in operation. Metheringham Parish Council has acquired
additional land adjacent to the Playing Fields ensuring that Metheringham
Football Club can continue to expand.
Behind the scenes, MACLA continues to strive towards improving the leisure
facilities for the Metheringham area. Our largest project, phase one of the
Playing Fields Development is progressing though not as rapidly as we would
wish. In conjunction with the Parish Council, we have obtained outline
planning permission and once development plans have been completed, we will
be in a position to have plans drawn up and approach agencies for funding.
On the funding side, MACLA has had a good year. The tone was set by a
Massive Plant Sale, superbly organised and executed by Gwyneth Holland,
which was a resounding success. One which we intend to repeat again in a few
weeks time. Substantial donations from Blankney Golf Club, Metheringham
Football Club, Women’s Institute and Walking Group have placed MACLA in a
secure financial position with which to move our plans forward.
But it has not all been roses. Along the way, we sadly said goodbye to Mike
Reep, one of our founder members and. He was a pivotal member of MACLA and
when he lost his battle with cancer, he proved difficult to replace. That we
manage to replace him is testament to the spirit that exists within our
community. Thanks to John & Jenny for stepping forward.
Others, whose personal circumstances have changed, have also moved on and
one of the challenges we face this year will be to find new blood to carry
MACLA forward. The planned mid-summer gala did not come to fruition but it
is hoped to stage it next year. It is also to be hoped that a way forward
can be found for the replacement Metheringham Cross.
Regrettably, this is my last year as Chairman of MACLA as I am officially
standing down from the post today. It has been an exhilarating ride and I
feel especially privileged to have been invited to undertake this role. I
have learned much about myself, felt great pride in our community and made
many good friends along the way. I’d like to thank all of you who have
helped me experience this journey. This is an excellent community that
deserves better leisure facilities than it currently has and you, all of
you, are the people to help make it happen.
Just one thing remains: In welcoming the new MACLA chairman, I’d like to
wish him every success in the challenging days ahead and hope that you will
all offer him the levels of support that you have shown me.
Jeff Bird, the outgoing MACLA Chairman