Kegworth Heritage Centre

2023 Christmas Message

Kegworth Heritage Centre

Christmas Message - 2023

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2023 has been an extraordinary year for KHC, and we are finally back on track and heading in the right direction. We had been struggling to see the tunnel, let alone a light at the end of it. Now, we can make out the 'Reopening' platform on the other side of the exit.

The volunteering day we held in March was the catalyst for all that has happened since. The community survey we did in the Spring indicated that we were on the right path. By May, KHC was a safe place for volunteers to work in. The first working party started shortly after, with Pat, Marietta, Sandra, Maria and Diane trying to get some semblance of order from the chaos. The acquisition of the Robert Williams collection has been a focal point and allowed us to highlight some of the fantastic creative abilities we have in the team.

We'd hoped that if we could create the right environment here at KHC, then word would spread, and the volunteers would bring in their friends and families to join in. And we weren't wrong. First, Val came on board, and then our gentlemen helpers, Geoff, Steve and John, started to attend the sessions occasionally - making it even more of a family team. And to emphasise that, Mel joined us as secretary, having sworn to me that she'd never get involved with KHC. More recently, Vanessa and Jo have joined us, and we have some more people we hope will start in the New Year.

On Wednesday, for the first time, I witnessed firsthand what has happened here. I was fully aware of the commitment and the graft that was taking place. But what I hadn't experienced was the sense of fun and spirit of togetherness that has been missing for a long time. There really isn't a better time to come and join us, and we'll hold another Volunteering day in the next couple of months.

On Friday evening, many of the volunteers and trustees gathered at KHC for a well-deserved Christmas Gathering. Everyone brought something to the party, and we invited a few of our long-term supporters to join us - the first time anyone not directly involved in the reopening project has crossed the threshold. Their reactions were fantastic, a huge boost and testimony to hard work and perseverance.

We shall be heading into 2024 with a new zest to reopen in the Spring. And more ambitious plans for the rest of 2024 and beyond are already being drawn up.

KHC is a bit like a woolly mammoth - it's big and hairy. So far, we've shaved off the fur, revealed the elephant behind it, and made an amazing start in chopping it up into smaller pieces. The big difference between us and the woolly mammoth - we are not extinct!

On behalf of everyone at Kegworth Heritage Centre, have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Ally, KHC Chairman.
Kegworth, Christmas Eve, 2023.