New Alresford Town Trust

Who are the Trustees?

Some have likened the Town Trust to the House of Lords of Alresford - when people were too old and didn't want to be town councillors any more, they were co-opted onto the trust, but not now. The current trustees are from all age groups and this disparate voluntary group with one interest in common - they are all deeply imbedded in the town and want to give something back.

The Trust's Responsibilities.

THE AVENUE: The Trust is responsible for the upkeep of this area of the town. The area is defined as the land on each side of the road from Pound Hill to Drove Lane. Regular checks and maintenance works are made on the trees, bulb planting is organised, and the grass cut.

BROAD STREET: The collection of all dues and revenues from Broad Street, including its annual fair, the weekly Thursday and monthly Sunday markets; in addition, the Continental markets will be making at least three appearances in 2014. To be finalised. They are also responsible for the upkeep of the trees along the Street, and permission is given for road closures during the annual Watercress Festival and the October fair which this year is on Thursday 17 October.

THE OLD FIRE STATION: As landlord of the 1881 building, its upkeep is the responsibility of the trustees. It currently houses Andrew Lawes'gallery and picture framing business.

THE EEL HOUSE: As part of the team working to save the partially collapsed building which sits astride the River Alre, the Trust has recently agreed to act as the umbrella under which various bodies will agree a scheme to save the ailing Eel House. A 99-year lease (from 2006) has been drawn up with the landlord and there will be open days During 2014 the Eel House will be open on 8 days
Easter Bank Holiday Sunday & Monday20 & 21 April,
Sunday 6 July,
August Bank Holiday - Monday 25 August
Heritage Weekend, 13 & 14 September
Put these dates in your diary and come along to see a piece of history in action.
each year where the public can see first-hand the restoration of this historic building.

THE MINIBUS: The service was first started about 25 years ago to take the elderly and disabled shopping, to appointments, sometimes on day trips. A new minibus was purchased in October 2008 for 55,000; funded by Trust reserves, grants and donations from local groups. The service itself is paid for by donations. The voluntary drivers, duties, vehicle maintenance and donations are co-ordinated by the Trustees. The Trust would like to encourage other community groups to make use of the minibus, and enquiries should be directed to Pam Stevens (01962 734861) in the first instance.

THE ALRESFORD MUSEUM operates under the umbrella of the Town Trust with the objective to provide a museum for the town as soon as possible. It has some funds and a small income but will need much more to acquire suitable accommodation. Meanwhile the intention is to collect and catalogue documents and artifacts which will illustrate the story of Alresford. In the absence of a group dedicated to this goal valuable material tends to be lost forever. So if you have material which you think might be of interest please let us know and at least enable, us to record it.

COMMUNITY GRANTS : The current Trustees believe that as a registered Charity we should not only receive grants but make charitable payments to deserving cases and is aiming to give help to those in immediate need in the Community. All cases are dealt with in strict confidence. More information or contact Pam Stevens

The Trust Today

In general, the Trust has a good relationship with the town and other local bodies. Nobody, not even Broad Street residents, seem to mind the occasional road closures, or when the fair moves into town, the fact that the big wheel does its stuff immediately outside bedroom windows! It seems to be regarded as living history and people live with it. With the Trusts involvement with Broad Street it will be involved in many of the issues facing Alresford, including controversial ones such as parking charges in the town.

The Future

The work of the Trust lends a subtle layer of civic pride to the town, but many feel that it could and should be doing more and involving a greater mix of people. It could be doing more by acting as an umbrella organisation for charitable work as is being proposed for the restoration of the Eel House. The Trusts objectives are still valid today, and they welcome suggestions and comments as to where they can perhaps undertake additional charitable activities to the benefit of the town residents.

Eel House Update

With the building now secure and with exterior structure repaired, detailed plans are being drawn up for the third step of restoring the building to working use. The aim is to make The Eel House, as far as possible, exactly as it was in past. Please note that this is not a restoration with a commercial objective, any eels caught in the traps will not feature on restaurant menus, they will be returned to the waters of the Alre.

The Eel House is intended to stand not only as a reminder of the way some of our ancestors made a living but also to be available for present day educational and research uses. This third restoration step will involve the installation of a sluice system and eel traps plus the restoration and equipping of the interior of the building. It is estimated that an additional £10,000 is needed to complete this work.

During 2014 the Eel House will be open on 8 days.During 2012 the Eel House will be open on 8 days
Easter Bank Holiday Sunday & Monday 20 & 21 April,
Watercress Festival, Sunday 18 May
Whitsun Holiday Monday 26 May,
Sunday 6 July,
August Bank Holiday - Monday 25 August
Heritage Weekend, 13 & 14 September
Put these dates in your diary and come along to see a piece of history in action.
Put these dates in your diary and come along to see a piece of history in action!