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Rowlands Castle Association

 

The Rowlands Castle Association

“The aim of the Association is to conserve the character of Rowlands Castle, to provide a channel of communication on matters of local interest and to enhance the life of the village”, as stated on the RCA website

CURRENT SITUATION & ACTIVITIES

The RCA is an association formed by the residents of Rowlands Castle to represent the interests of its population. All residents over the age of 18 of Rowlands Castle, Finchdean, Dean Lane End and Forestside shall be members of the Association. Only members of the Association shall be entitled to vote at the General Meetings.

The Association is managed by the RCA Committee of some twelve eligible residents elected annually, who may only hold office for up to three years and must then stand down. They may stand again several years later for a further term of office.  The committee always welcomes new members and appreciates  help at all its activities, for those residents who would like to help but cannot commit enough time to be on the Committee.

The Committee publishes a Magazine – “Village & Valley” – three times a year, which is distributed free of charge to all households. The Magazine contains a variety of articles and parish reports. A useful Village Directory lists the multiple organizations and contact numbers within the village.

The RCA organises and monitors ‘Grapevine’, which is an excellent and efficient means of email communication to all residents who are signed up to the registration list and enables circulation of urgent news and information of interest within the village. Any resident can post a message, but all messages are monitored by the Grapevine co-ordinator.   Signing up to, and using the Grapevine is easy. Details on the RCA website and in the magazine.

The RCA has a Website which is regularly updated and gives more details about the above RCA activities and also publishes the latest editions of the Magazine:

http://www.rowlandscastle.com/MagDirectoryDir/MagDirectory.htm.

A highlight of the RCA year is the Fireworks display on the village Recreation Ground, on the Saturday closest to November 5th. The RCA has worked with the Parish Council, who are trustees of the recreation ground, to ensure that current health and safety guidelines are met for the fireworks. This has necessitated the creation of a second exit from the recreation ground, which was made in November 2019, in time for the fireworks display.  Having this exit means that the fireworks can continue. The RCA is grateful to those local residents contributed to the additional cost of the second gate.

The RCA also organises other social events throughout the year such as an annual Quiz Nigh in the autumn, a Picnic on The Green in May to raise funds for Rowans Hospice, and a Christmas Party for children.

The RCA is a voluntary association but not a registered charity The RCA donates its surplus funds as Grants to support village clubs, groups and societies that need extra money for specific projects. The Committee always welcome funding requests.

As a relatively informal organisation but not a registered charity, RCA is free to initiate new activities. In 2013, the Committee created a Rowlands Castle branch of the ‘University of the Third Age’ (U3A) for retired residents, which has proved very successful. In addition to its monthly meetings, U3A also has a number of groups studying topics of interest to its members. It is now run independently of the RCA.

In 2014, the RCA initiated a ‘Greening Group’ to encourage residents to live and behave in more environmentally friendly ways. This group is not currently active.

A ‘Rowlands Castle Heritage Centre’ was first proposed at the end of 2015. The RCA supported the proposal for creating a ‘virtual museum’ or website, with the prospect of a ‘real’ museum in due course.

HISTORY

The Association was set up in 1972 by Eugene Billam and other local residents, after they had successfully opposed plans for a large housing development at the end of Wellsworth Lane. They felt that an organisation to represent local residents would be beneficial to the village. See our ‘aim’, above.  Eugene was the first chairman and edited the Magazine. He and Frank Philpot started the fireworks displays and the village fair.  Catherine Billam, Eugene’s daughter was chairman of the RCA when the village celebrated its 40th anniversary.

LINKS

The RCA is an independent organisation which will have similarities with other resident associations throughout the country but is also unique to Rowlands Castle. The RCA has close links with the parish council, and shares discussion with them over relevant topics such as housing development and litter control within the village. The RCA also has links to the Neighbourhood Planning team.

SUMMARY

The RCA represents everyone living locally, and is run by a small committee of volunteers, who strive to uphold the principles of the association.

New members to the committee, or volunteers for individual events are always welcome.

CONTACTS

Please contact us at:

Chair@rowlandscastle.com     Or     Secretary@rowlandscastle.com

See also the RCA Website:

http://www.rowlandscastle.com/MagDirectoryDir/MagDirectory.htm