The History of Bury Jubilee Outdoor Pursuits Centre

Pre 1977

A car raffle for a mini and various lotteries, raffles and prize draws were conducted.


The Chair, Mayor Cllr Fred Spurr raised £10,742 on a sponsored walk entitled ‘Beating the bounds of the Borough. A fund management committee was set up. Sites in the North Yorks, Peak District, Blackstone Edge and even a narrow boat for use on canals were considered. Greenside mine, Glenridding was finally settled on in 1981 to become a hostel.


Initial trust deeds were written and the management committee set up after a meeting at the Town Hall was held in September. The Chair was Mayor Cllr Spurr, the Treasurer Peter Kirkpatrick (Rotary) and the Secretary was John Dockrell (Head of Coney Green H).


The purchase completed at the turn of the year, it was bought for £30,000. Large donations were received from Ragged Schools (£47,000) and from the Queen’s Jubilee Funds (£2,500). At the AGM a new Chair was appointed, Dennis Gregory (Scouts), and also David Judson (Borough Architect) took charge of planning and the build of a new 2 storey hostel.

After surveying the whole site, it was agreed to extend and modernise the old garage/workshop. The office block was sold to Arnold School for £21,000. After competitive tenders, the contract was let to a local builder, Josh Watson of Penrith, for £36,000. The plans were passed by the Lakes Planning Board after modification to make the windows ‘traditional’ i.e. smaller. Working parties were held to collect extra local cladding stones from the derelict adjacent ruins onsite.


The building was handed over and a group of ROBOT (Rector of Bury Scouts) became the first users of the Centre. Open days for Bury users were carried out for two weekends in July. The first Caretaker, Doreen Allinson, went on to serve the Centre for 20+ years. Her husband was also the handyman for minor works!


The official opening was performed by Dr David Bellamy, TV naturalist and Professor at Durham University. Other guests included the Mayor of Bury, Chair of Eden District Council and over 20 additional guests from the Bury area, who had helped with planning, administration and building of the new Centre.

1985 – 1990

These years saw a steep learning curve on how to deal with minor problems of running the Centre and its structure from a distance. Damp was a perennial issue. Plans for a second premised nearer to Bury were considered, possibly due to avoid the maintenance problems which had arisen in the Lakes, but were not taken forward.


The stove and chimney were rebuilt, as they were still experiencing problems with damp.


Local architect, Malcolm Stewart, was commissioned to look into enabling disabled access.


Plans and costings from the architect were received. For downstairs the rebuild costs was £49,000 (£30,000 for buildings and fittings, £13,000 for furniture and £6,000 for fees). The contract was let to Ian Curry for £32,000 as it was cheaper than Josh Watson. It was agreed to cease providing sleeping bags as they were in poor state.


The refurbishment for disabled access was completed and reopened by Roger Dyer in his wheelchair.


The mines area is listed as a site of National Heritage but this only applied to the mine workings not the converted buildings. The road continues to be maintained by the National Park Authorities. Mrs Judson’s duties were taken over by David Dickson. New officers Len Jinks (Chair), Beverly Gee (Secretary) and David Dickson (Booking Secretary), Liz Dyer (Treasurer) were appointed.


Refurbishment of the kitchen was planned for 15 November until 10 December.


Kitchen refurbishment was completed.


Planning for the Golden Jubilee celebration started and funding was obtained to train groups of young people from Bury in outdoors activities with accommodation provided. A bid for £4,600 was received from Awards For All.

2002 – 2004

Groups totalling 45 young people attended the training, 3 of whom obtained national qualifications as leaders / instructors.