A short history of The Easingwold Galtres Centre
There was a house on the site for many years but the present building was designed in 1897 by Demaine & Brierley, architects of York. The Galtres was owned by Francis Robinson, who died in 1929.
It was acquired by Captain Hugh Holdsworth of Halifax in 1930. He disposed of the property in 1935 to Jean Fenwick (wife of Gerald Fenwick) and Hugh Bonner of Bournemouth.
Following Bonner's death in 1950, all interest in the property passed to Mrs Fenwick. For some reason Gerald Fenwick never acquired any title to the property. During its earlier years The Galtres was a centre for a number of local social events, but in later years it fell into disrepair.
In the late 1970s a body of townspeople organised themselves into a fund-raising committee to raise moneys for a community centre when a suitable building could be found. The action motivated the town, with the result that a public meeting held on 21st April 1981 agreed that an effort should be made to establish a community centre in Galtres House. The house and grounds were eventually acquired by Hambleton District Council for £144,825.
The raising of funds to meet the anticipated cost of renovating the house now took on a more urgent tone. The greatest personal feat of fund-raising, which has still to be bettered, was performed by Colin Brett on 15th/16th May 1982.
In 1932 Colin's grandfather, Stephen Brett, had walked a 24-hour marathon around Easingwold to raise funds for St Monica's Hospital. 23-year-old Colin volunteered to emulate his grandfather's walk to raise funds for the new community centre. It was to take the same route - Long Street, York Road, Crankley, Knott Lane - and in the 24 hours Colin covered 59 miles and raised over £500 by way of sponsorship. Grandfather Stephen had walked 10 miles further in 1932, but sadly died at the age of 83 a week before Colin's fine effort.
In May 1982 the Hambleton District Council leased the house to the Easingwold Town Council for five years and the 2 two acres of ground for ninety years. In May 1983 the Easingwold Town Council executed a Deed of Trust establishing a registered charity known as "The Galtres Centre" to administer the leased property as "a Community Centre for the use of the inhabitants of the Parish of Easingwold in the County of North Yorkshire".
The Centre is managed by a Committee of Management, established by the Deed of Trust made up of representative members appointed by local clubs and organisations and thirty members elected at the Annual General Meeting. The day to day administration is undertaken by sub-committees of the Committee of Management.
The complete renovation and modification of the building cost over £100,000. The money was raised from voluntary local contributions and from grants and loans from various authorities.
The Galtres Centre opened as a community centre in December 1983 and was formally opened by the Marquess of Normanby on 22nd August 1984. It has proved a popular venue for a wide variety of functions, including wedding receptions. Since its first opening the use of the Centre has steadily increased. Due to its reliance on volunteer workers the Centre has been able to maintain itself financially, but it is always in need of more volunteers to spread the load. Anyone interested in helping, either regularly or occasionally, will be welcomed.
In 1987 the local Rifle & Pistol Club built an indoor shooting range in the grounds of the Centre. In 1988 our Tourist Information Office was established in one of the Centre's outbuildings as did our Youth Club COZIE more recently.
In 1988 the Easingwold Town Council was able to purchase the Galtres Centre building from Hambleton District Council, utilising the proceeds of the sale of the Victoria Institute Reading Room in Spring Street.
The newly constructed Leisure Hall was officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Sir Marcus Worsley, Bart. on 19th April 1991 This Hall adjoined the Galtres Centre and is administered as part of it. The Hall was built by the Hambleton District Council at a cost of about £330,000, with a grant of £25,000 from the Sports Council.
Since its opening the Sports Hall proved extremely popular. It caters for sports such as badminton, basketball, netball, five-a-side football, volleyball, carpet and short mat bowls, table tennis and short tennis. Dances, receptions, concerts and occasional sales are held there as well as drama performances on a removable stage. Although regular bookings are made by local sports clubs and for keep-fit classes, anyone may make a casual booking when the hall is free. Charges are moderate and booking at the office is simple.
In 1996 an open-air, floodlit, all-weather pitch was opened, suitable for tennis, basketball, netball and five-a-side football or hockey. This pitch may be booked as a whole or for only one court, in the same way as the Hall.
A new fitness suite has been built and has been in operation since October 2001. There is a wide range of equipment available and a fully trained staff who offer assessments and advice to people of all ages and abilities. Anyone who wishes to use the fitness suite or discuss their exercise needs should contact one of the qualified staff.
In 2008 Princess Anne officialy opened the latest £1.1m extension to our facilities. A large new multipurpose Sports Hall was built enabling our new entertainment centre to be placed in the old hall. This new facility brings to Easingwold the most up to date facilities and so residents can now enjoy a full program of events including cinema, theatre, music, comedy and famous speakers all on our own doorstep.
The current Programs for both the Sports Centre and Entertainment Centre can be viewed or downloaded from our website together with a listing of all coming Entertainment Centre events