Anniversary event at Portishead Youth Centre

PUBLISHED: 12:19 26 May 2016 | UPDATED: 12:19 26 May 2016

Community fair at youth centre in Harbour Road to mark youth centre’s 50th anniversary. Picture: Jeremy Long.

Community fair at youth centre in Harbour Road to mark youth centre's 50th anniversary. Picture: Jeremy Long.

Jeremy Long \ JCL Photography

One of Portishead's best, and longest-running, success stories was celebrated on Saturday as the youth centre marked its 50th anniversary.

Former and current staff were joined by the public and VIPs at the centre in Harbour Road.

A private reception kicked off proceedings with chairman of Portishead Youth Centre trustees Ros Cruse, Portishead Town Council chairman Lesley Cottrell and North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox among the speakers.

Dr Fox, who is also the centre’s patron, called Mrs Cruse a ‘superb champion’ for the service, however he reserved special praise for Alan Rowe.

Mr Rowe, the centre’s manager, has been involved with the centre for almost 25 years and Dr Fox said he was a ‘tower of strength’.

The Conservative MP added: “You will hear people say ‘I went there’. You will have helped people more than you could ever know.”

A community fair, featuring a cake stall, second-hand books and crafts, took place in the afternoon.

The weather held sufficiently for a dance routine to take place outside, but the climbing wall had to be cancelled due to the rain.

Guests included Geoff Barrow, from Portishead band, who was encouraged to pursue his talent at the centre by workers Neil Batey and Sue Langridge. The pair have since married and moved to Kent but returned to Portishead for Saturday’s celebration.

Staff at Heaven On The Hill baked a cake for the event, while a commemorative edition of Posset Pieces was also on sale.

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