The centre… in the beginning

In the beginning …

Brandon is full of history.  Probably most famous of all is the Brandon people’s relationship with the environment around the town, namely flints and fur.  More so in Brandon than any other town.  So it made sense to have a central location in town to display, inspire and engage with the community about the town’s Heritage – a Heritage Centre!  So how did the centre come to be?

At a meeting of the Parish Council, on 9th November 1989, the following six people put their names forward as being interested in forming a Steering Committee:

  • Mr Harvey Adam,
  • Mr David Bimson,
  • Mr John Gilbert,
  • Mrs Gwen Luker,
  • Mr David Pocock,
  • Mr Harry Rumsey.

Initially, it was proposed to utilise the former public toilets on the London Road in Brandon for the Heritage Centre.  However a building eminently more suitable to house Brandon’s heritage was secured, when in December 1989, Forest Heath District Council purchased the former Fire Station on George Street.  The Fire Station was relocated across the road in George Street, in brand new purpose-built premises, then followed a flurry of activity to turn the old Fire Station into the Heritage Centre.

Once the building was built it was then a matter of deciding what to display.  There were to be four main ‘themes’:

  • FLINT,
  • FUR,
  • FOREST,
  • LOCAL HISTORY.

The finishing touch was to design a logo for the centre.  Various artworks were considered …

… before the selecting the following design …

Mr Brentnall the first ever visitor to the centre

The centre first opened on 10th January 1991, when Sue Scott of Forest Heath District Council unlocked the front door at 10.30am.  The first visitor was Mr Bill Brentnall of the Brandon Parish Council.

There is a certain irony in laying out the history of the Heritage Centre, this building dedicated to exhibiting Brandon ‘s history, but this account is necessary to show the determination of those who understood the merit of a Heritage Centre and saw their dream come true.  we are the new custodians we cannot allow this fantastic facility to go into decline.  If only for the memory of those founding members who sadly are no longer with us.  However this is merely the briefest account and we shall add more content as we uncover it.  You can help.  If you know about the centre’s history, then please do get in contact and let us know.

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