Friday, 17 January 2014

Could Ford Park learn from Dalton?

The Ford Park AGM approaches. Could the trustees of Ford Park learn from Stan Walmsley of Dalton who worked (and still works) so hard to create the Dalton Swimming and Sports facility: now with the extensive playground outside. Few realise that the pool owes its continued success to the work of volunteers who worked extremely hard to get it built in the first place.

Will the people of Dalton still be enjoying the above when Ford Park was a distant dream that nearly happened?

The people of Ulverston could perhaps learn something from watching this couple of videos.

The two approaches are totally different. Dalton refused to access loans or grants so that they never had any debts whereas with Ford Park the accessing of grants is an essential part of their survival. A strong fee paying membership is not seen as essential and can be managed without. This fosters a completely different approach to survival.

Everyone in Furness should know about Stan - but sadly they don't because he keeps a low profile and just gets the job done without much talk.

The story is that he was attending a communal meeting with Dowdales School when the head mentioned that Dalton could really do with a swimming pool of its own. On hearing this Stan's wife kicked him under the table, saying "this is a job for you" or the equivalent. The project was born and happened. You can imagine why when you listen to the way Stan speaks. His voice is full of quiet determination. Having a mountain that needed a tunnel digging through and ten years later and he'd have reached the other side.

He's the guy who has worked every week over the last forty years to make the Dalton Recreation Leisure Centre and New Park, the attractive place it is now.

Not only are the Baths and Leisure Centre financially successful but even Barrow Council, far from supporting it,  have in the past tried to siphon off £10,000 in rates from their funds

Even Dalton Town Council refuse to support it out of the rates.

This centre only survives and does well because of the unstinting work of their voluntary supporters.

Learn a bit more about this truly amazing organisation:

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