THERE were mixed emotions when staff closed the doors of the much-loved Grange Centre on Monday night (February 10) for the last time.
The final closure came after a nine-day celebration of the life of the centre which included members of the former day centre, now Rother Valley Together (RVT), as well as all the users of the sports and leisure centre.
It began last week with the opening of an exhibition showing the history of the centre.
There was a quiz night, disco, reception for sports members and the last monthly market.
And Rother Valley Together filled the hall when manager Petra Lynn and her deputy Emma West organised a tea dance to say goodbye to the centre.
“It was fantastic,” she told the Observer. “We had more than 100 people here who had come from all over the place and included members of the old day centre and former members of staff.”
Music was provided by the Mike Carey Five and there was tea, coffee and homemade cakes and scones courtesy of Emma West.
The RVT group moved to Capron House on Tuesday (Februar 11) where it will operate until the new Grange Centre opens on March 3.
There will be sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Capron House, with a roving lunch on Fridays at a pub or garden centre throughout February.
The new contact number for inquiries about joining Rother Valley Together is 07957405959.
“It’s always sad to say goodbye,” said Petra, “but now we are looking forward to our new home at the new Grange.”
She said an appeal in the Observer for homes for the massive pieces of art created at the day centre over more than 30 years had resulted in homes being found for most.
It is hoped the five floor-to-ceiling panels will go to the Midhurst Rother College and the pottery ‘Travel Through the Ages’ will hang in the new library.
Two pieces will go to the United Reformed Church at Petworth, home to Petworth Foodbank, and another piece will have a new home in Droxford Community Centre.
Manager of the sports and leisure centre Mike Boyce told the Observer: “We had lots of people here last week with memories and lots more very excited about the new building.”
The new centre is expected to open on March 3 and the old building will be handed over to developers for demolition some time after March 11.
For more pictures of the last tea dance see Midhurst and Petworth Observer Thursday, February 13.