Rec’ opens after ‘long, hard slog’

The opening of the recreation ground at Totley Close in Bulwell.
The opening of the recreation ground at Totley Close in Bulwell.

A hard-fought six-year battle has ended in a memorable victory for the people of Bulwell Hall Estate.

The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Bulwell’s Coun Jackie Morris, cut a tape to mark the official opening of a recreation area on Totley Close.

The occasion was combined with a community fun day and, as if in support of the event, the weather could not have been kinder, consisting of the one-day heatwave last Saturday.

Coun Morris said: “This is an amazing facility but the project has been a long, hard slog and it has faced all sorts of barriers.”

Credit for the initiative coming to fruition was given to Sheila Loades, chair of Bulwell Hall Estate Tenants and Residents Association.

“It is thanks to Sheila’s vision, hard work and refusal to take no for answer that this success has ultimately been achieved,” said Jackie. “Sheila is an amazing woman! It’s Bulwell grit! That’s what does it! When the ladies of Bulwell get together to do something they are a force to be reckoned with.”

The Lord Mayor presented Sheila with a commemorative crystal-glass trophy and a bouquet. Sheila explained that delays were caused because the land was earmarked for housing and no funding was initially available. Two years before the go-ahead was given for the land to be levelled, an underground spring was found which posed drainage problems.

She said: “We are hoping to get a small play area and a multi-use games area (MUGA).”

The land, which comprises a large grassed area and a running track, is next to Bulwell Hall Boxing Club’s meeting place.

Jackie said the club’s late Barry O’Dowd, a local celebrity and a carrier of the Olympic torch, would have been ‘over the moon’ about the recreation area. A two-minute silence was observed ‘to imagine that Barry is here today’.