Cliftonville Residents Association marks its 26th anniversary

Funding to restore the bandstand was gained by the group in 2006

Cliftonville Residents’ Association celebrates its 26th anniversary today (January 12).

The voluntary organisation elected its first committee on January 12, 1996. The founding members were Councillor John Rowland, Keith Chadband, Ann Smith, Paul Rollins and Councillor Bill Palmer.

Keith was elected as the Chairman and served as such until his death in April 2017.

The old Victorian Oval Bandstand on Eastern Esplanade was falling into dangerous disrepair when first taken on by the group and Keith managed to access the funding in 2006 for the existing replacement. From then CRA started to hold summer concerts each year, funded with help from Thanet and Kent councillors.

Keith and June received awards

Keith’s wife June, who still runs the association, said: “Our 25 year tenure at the Oval Lawns and bandstand has ended but we are proud of all our achievements over the 26 years, accessing the funding and choosing the design of the existing bandstand in 2006, also accessing the funding for the kiosk and toilet shutters.

“We held over 300 concerts, week long festivals, classic car shows, craft markets and 230 farmers’ markets, winning 9 prestigious awards along the way.

“At the Queens ‘Golden Jubilee’ we had over 1,000 people attend the concert we organised and held. It was a fantastic day!

“We will continue with our market on its new site, on the Walpole Bay Lawns, behind the Walpole Bay Hotel, Cliftonville.

Cliftonville Farmers’ Market at Walpole  Photo Frank Leppard

“We will also continue with our trips, theatre and day trips for all the community and our monthly coffee mornings held at Smiths Court hotel, on the first Thursday of the month, from 10am.

“It has been a very challenging year for the CRA, but with the support we have received from the community it has made it bearable.

“Also thank you to The Isle of Thanet News for their support to community groups.”

The association’s first market of the year will be on January 30 with some 30 stalls currently booked. It takes place on the Walpole green from 10am to 1pm.