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The relaunched OIR Maybole and North Carrick has joined in partnership with the new Carrick Community Leisure Group (CCLG) as have other groups in the town.
The CCLG operates the revamped Speakers which has worked wonders to create another venue in the town for community events to be held in and is open Monday to Friday as a café for all ages.
Peter Mason, chair of the OIR, said afterwards, “The official re-launch of the OIR was marked by Bill McCubbin who cut a ribbon to mark the event. Bill was a long-term member of the old Speakers Club and I believe was one of the founder members of the club and is a well-known figure in Maybole.
“Flowers were presented to Pearl Barton for all her past work with the OIR over the years.
“I would like to thank everyone who turned out for the relaunch of the OIR in Maybole and North Carrick today in The Speakers; 135 people turned up to have a look and see what we are going to be offering on a daily basis.
“It was a complete success as far as I am concerned; we have contact details for everyone who wants to take part in some of our new events, and we now have 35 new members and we will be in touch with them all shortly after we have got them into some sort of order. So bear with us, and please contact me if you have any concerns or queries.
To all of the people who were there today and are going to be taking on classes a big thank you, and to the new people who came forward to offer to put on new classes a big thanks to you also. Thanks, too, to all of the organisations who took stands upstairs; to the OIR committee who put in so much hard work to make the event the success that it was; to VASA and all of their staff for all the assistance you gave us; to Willie, your sandwiches were great and to all the staff of The Speakers well done and thank you.
Bill McCubbin commented, “As one of the last of the original custodians of the building at 6/10 Whitehall, today was special. I was reminded of 1975 when the property was taken over from what was the Co-op hardware shop to become the Carrick Speakers Social Club. The amount of voluntary work put in to renovate the premises, led by Mark Fletcher, reminded me of the efforts of everyone 41 years ago who created this asset for the Carrick area. I was particularly pleased that it was decided to name the building The Speakers as this maintains a historic link to what was the only Speakers Social Club in the world!”
The Club served the purpose it was designed for during these past forty years but social habits have changed so changes in the use of the premises to suit the requirements of the town was considered necessary under the Chairmanship of Brian Connolly and the other Members of the Trust.
He added, “The improvements achieved in these past few weeks to the ground floor layout, decor and furniture has been amazing and well worth a visit. It is good that the OIR. will be using the facilities as a hub for their many activities during the daytime hours.
“The excellent turnout for the opening today reflects on the work of Peter Mason and the others involved in the organisation of the OIR. The people of Maybole have demonstrated in recent times that they are prepared to involve themselves in the community for the benefit of all. Let Maybole and district be an example to other communities who feel neglected by authority to become community conscious and become involved.
“It is my hope that by cutting this tape today a new era is ahead for The Speakers and all the people who participate in the wellbeing of our town.”
Mark Fletcher, chairman of Carrick Community Leisure Group, extended a warm welcome to the OIR and all the friends and colleagues associated with this new joint venture being based at The Speakers.
He said, “Working together, the OIR, VASA, health professionals and many other organisations will be hosting a range of activities here at The Speakers for many people to take part in.
“As you will see looking around and talking to people today, it is our hope that you will find something, be it indoors or out that you can become a part of.
“We have created, thanks to the generous support of the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, the NCCBC and SAWET, a new and comfortable coffee shop environment, so if you simply want to relax with a paper, or join in an activity we hope you will enjoy the homely atmosphere of The Speakers.
“Our sincere thanks go out to the funders and also to the volunteers; Willie and Jim, for all their help in decorating etc; Linda, Kate, Senga, Marion and Norma for all their efforts with cleaning and setting up and David Murray for cleaning the windows for us.
“This is just the beginning and with the support of the community we envisage regenerating this entire building into something we can all be proud of.”
The Carrick Community Leisure Group (CCLG) is a charity and a not-for-profit organisation which is run by members of the community voluntarily, so any and all profits and funding is put back into enhancing and making the facility better.
Mr Fletcher added, “Anyone can join the CCLG and membership is free. If you would like to know more about the charity, please ask.
“If you would like to volunteer for the OIR or the CCLG we would welcome your support in any form, so please ask for more details on this.
“Please enjoy your visit today and in the future.”
Cllr Brian Connolly commented, “The partnership between The Speakers and the local retirees looks to have great potential and we would encourage all to come in and use the facilities that are on offer. Come in and meet your friends for a chat.”
Cllr William Grant said, “The facility is an excellent addition to the needs of the organisations in the Maybole area and will surely give a boost to the groups involved.”