On Saturday 10th April SARIC (Syston Arts and Recreation in the Community) arranged an informal get together to celebrate the purchase of the Old Chapel, Chapel Street, Syston and to thank everyone who had helped or supported them to achieve this objective. The Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood, Councillor Roy Brown and Gill Brown, attended with the Mayor carrying out the honour of traditionally cutting a red ribbon to pronounce the purchase well and truly completed. The Mayor said this was a particularly pleasant duty as they are both associated with SARIC through membership of SADOS (Syston and District Operatic Society) and indeed felt it was a dream come true. Sally Portsmouth, Chair of SARIC then welcomed everyone present and gave a brief resume’ as follows: Syston Theatre Club was originally formed to look after the administrative interest of both the QT’s Drama Society and SADOS, and the Old Chapel had been rented from the Boys Club, now LCYP (Leicestershire Clubs for Young People) for some 20 years, but who now indicated they wanted to sell the property. Rather than lose this facility the Theatre Club applied for charitable status under the name of SARIC and asked for the opportunity to buy. LCYP agreed and the task was taken on to raise £50,000. Three years later this has been achieved with the help of a grant from FLAG (Forward with Leicestershire Aggregates Grant) and now the next phase is to be tackled, albeit very ambitious but what would result in a fine asset for Syston and benefits for the local Community. These plans are on display to illustrate the way we wish to proceed and further grants particularly from the National Lottery would be of great importance. Additionally we would like to involve local businesses, and a great deal of hard work lies ahead.
Councillor Dave Houseman, a long time supporter of SARIC said how pleased he was to have been asked to say a few words. He outlined the benefits to the Community noting that Rainbows, Brownies, Thai Kick Boxing, SKYDS, and Singing for Fun as well as a monthly film screening were users alongside the Drama group, and various evenings are already well established, with further enquiries being made. His continuing support was unquestioned and a belief that we would reach our objectives. He also had been looking into the history of the building and had found out that the chapel had been built for £700 in 1797. In the 1960’s Frankie Vaughan had visited the boys club based at the chapel, as he supported the National Association of Boys Clubs, presumably assigning some of his record royalties to them. Did any one attend the Boys club at that time and remember meeting Frankie Vaughan? If so, let the Syston Town News know and we can share your memories with the community.
The Mayor then asked to say a few words and said this occasion was the ‘icing on the cake’ and that his year of office had been helped by his involvement with SADOS. He was delighted at the progress made and particularly the future ambitions.
Everyone then enjoyed an excellent array of food created by the Trustee ladies and no one seemed to be in a great hurry to leave what was agreed to have been a very successful evening.
Artist’s impression of the New SARIC Theatre by NSW architects of Derby.