Donation in memory of Jimmy Crackers

Donation in memory of Jimmy Crackers

A fantastic donation of £5k, including Gift Aid, has been made by local lady Helen Gough, in memory of her late husband James Thomas Michael, aka Jimmy Crackers, who helped set up the very popular and successful annual 7s tournament in Underhill Park.

Speaking about her late husband, Helen said:

“Jimmy was interested in all forms of sport, but was especially passionate about rugby and cricket, both of which were played by local clubs at Underhill until the cricket club moved to its current home in Limeslade in the late 1970s.

 

“In the early 1980s, Jimmy and his friend Mohan Pillai, together with support from Mumbles RFC, revived and expanded the old White Rose 7s which had previously run for a few years in the mid 1970s. Some of the funds raised at the tournament were used to support Longfields Centre where Jimmy’s younger brother Peter had received day care for much of his life. The revived 7s tournament was well supported and was repeated over a number of years until Jimmy’s early death in 1987.”

A few years after his death the tournament was once again revived and renamed “The Jimmy Crackers Memorial 7s” and continues to this day as “The Cracker 7s”. Since those early days the tournament has evolved into a highly organised 2 day event, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and is enjoyed by the whole community. 2022 sees the 33rd time this great local event has taken place.

Having seen the Go Underhill development shaping up at Underhill Park, Helen approached the charity to make her generous donation, which she feels Jimmy would have applauded.

Helen continued:

“The new development at Underhill will assign to history a building that used to be a bit of a local legend… for the experience it provided of showering and changing in the freezing cold, sometimes in the dark, and often with very temperamental plumbing.

 

“I think Jimmy will be looking down at the changes with a little bit of nostalgia in his eyes and a big smile on his face.”

Trustee and Vice Chairman of Mumbles RFC, Martin Rodwell, said:

“Whilst I never had the opportunity to meet Jimmy, having moved to Swansea and joined the club only after his days, I have the honour of continuing the tradition of organising the annual Cracker 7’s.

 

“From others who knew him, I understand that he was a true character and a formidable sportsman in all senses. We are enormously grateful for this generous donation by Helen, which feels like a very fitting gesture in memory of a man who left a great legacy for sport in Underhill.”

The Longfields Centre

Operated by Longfields Association, Swansea, a pioneering disability charity established in 1952, the Longfields Centre in West Cross was a day centre for people with learning and physical disabilities. The Centre sadly closed on financial grounds in 2011 following a merger of the charity with the UK learning disability charity Walsingham, after 59 years of providing services to the local community.

Swansea Building Society donates £10K to Go Underhill

Swansea Building Society donates £10K to Go Underhill

Swansea Building Society has donated £10,000 to Mumbles Community Association’s Go Underhill development.

The building society, with branch offices in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge, has made the donation to help MCA with its plan to redevelop the facilities in Underhill Park to protect and enhance the asset for the local community and visitors to the area.

MCA’s multi-phase plan aims to redevelop and refurbish the much-loved green space in Mumbles, which is regularly used by around 17,000 local residents, as well as visitors to the area, with more than 50 grass-roots sports teams regularly using the site for training and matches.

The £10,000 donated by Swansea Building Society will help fund the completion of an additional two changing rooms, which had been omitted from the original contract let at the start of the year due to cost increases.

Once the first stage of the development is completed, MCA will take on management of the park and the new facilities under a 125 year lease, and the charity will work with existing and potential users to create more opportunities for the community. MCA is currently working to secure the funding needed to build a new all-weather pitch at the site, further expanding sports and recreational use at the park.

Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to make this donation of £10,000 to the Go Underhill project. The plans Mumbles Community Association has for the park are ambitious, but much needed, and will ensure that the site can be utilised to its full potential for generations to come.

 

“Sites like Underhill Park are vital for the health and wellbeing of the local community and make a huge difference to the experience of those visiting the area. They also provide important opportunities for people of all ages to take part in outdoor activities close to their homes. Swansea Building Society has a branch in Mumbles, just down the road from the park, and we are very much looking forward to seeing how the project develops, across its phases, over the coming months and years.”

Simon Tse, Chair of Mumbles Community Association, said:

“We’d like to say a big thank you to Swansea Building Society for this fantastic donation to Go Underhill, which will make a real difference to what we are able to deliver.

 

“Underhill Park is an important and valued resource for local people and the funding from the Society will help us ensure that the new facilities are in place to enable more people to enjoy this fantastic asset.”

Swansea Building Society was established in 1923. Its head office is located at 11/12 Cradock Street. It also has branch offices in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge.

The Society is one of only three remaining mutual building societies in Wales and the only one with its headquarters in South West Wales. As of December 31, 2021, it had total assets in excess of £463.5 million.

The Society’s principal objective is the provision of mortgages secured on residential property. These mortgages are funded by savings balances deposited in a variety of traditional savings accounts.

Alterations to Mumbles RFC changing rooms

Alterations to Mumbles RFC changing rooms

To facilitate a start on the construction of Changing Rooms 5 & 6 of the new developments at Underhill Park, Mumbles RFC have agreed to allow some further partial demolition of their existing home team changing rooms.

Being closest to the new development, Mumbles RFC had already allowed a portion of the existing changing rooms to be demolished at the start of the project. This reduced the changing rooms’ space but enabled the contractors, T.A.D. Builders, to commence work on the main changing room block. And with that element now well underway, T.A.D. are keen to move on to construction of the extra two changing rooms.

To enable this to happen whilst work continues on the main block, a further 5.5m of the home team changing room will be demolished. To ensure the changing rooms are still usable, T.A.D. will be providing a temporary six-person shower block and a separate unit for the physiotherapist, thereby replacing the facilities being demolished. These will be located behind the existing facility and will be connected by an enclosed link.

The away team changing facilities are not affected by the works.

MCA Trustee and Mumbles RFC representative, Clive Davies, said:

“It is essential that we work with the contractors to ensure we get the fantastic new Underhill facilities built and available for our players as soon as possible. Whilst not ideal for our home team players, allowing this extra demolition will keep the construction programme on track.

 

“And with the arrangement of the temporary shower and physio facilities, we will still have the facilities needed to enable us to play on during the rest of this year whilst the development is completed. We are sure that when the new changing rooms are built and ready for use, everyone will agree that it has been worth the short period of disruption.”

Donations bring buildings’ completion closer

Donations bring buildings’ completion closer

We are delighted to announce three new donations to Go Underhill, which together will bring the prospect of completing all of the changing rooms in Phase 1 a big step closer.

Former Mumbles RFC club member, Nick Hansard, has stepped forward to make a fantastic £5,000 donation to Go Underhill.

Nick, who started with Mumbles at U11s and finished as a 1st XV player, moved away many years ago but has many happy memories of his playing days with the club. His time with Mumbles RFC included the period when the club turned professional and current chair, Simon Evans, together with Mike Morgan, took over the team and coaching.

Speaking about his donation, Nick said:

“Mumbles RFC was a huge part of my life when I was living in the area. It was a great experience and I have many happy memories of playing for the club and going on away trips, including on tour to France.

 

“My dad, Chris Hansard, was also heavily involved in the club, and not just during my playing days. Although he has now sadly passed away, I know that he would definitely have been excited by and playing an active role in the Go Underhill development.

 

“I’ve made the donation in part as a thank you to Mumbles RFC for the fantastic memories, and in part as I know that’s what dad would have wanted. It’s brilliant to know that my donation will mean that the less good memories of the awful changing rooms will be a thing of the past for future generations!”

Mumbles RFC Chair, Simon Evans, said:

“I also have great memories of the time when Nick was playing for Mumbles, and of his dad, Chris, who was team manager for Mumbles 1st XV for several years whilst I was coach, so there are lots of stories that should probably only be shared over a pint of something cold in the clubhouse.

 

“The new facilities in Underhill Park are going to make a huge difference for all the players, coaches and volunteers who help make the experience memorable. So on behalf of everyone at the club and in the community, I would offer our grateful thanks to Nick for his donation to Go Underhill.”

In addition to donation from Nick, we are delighted to announce two more donations to Go Underhill.

Local Businessman Rob Davies

Rob Davies, a well-known local businessman who has been a major supporter of football, cricket and rugby in the Swansea area for many years, has made a £10,000 donation to the development. We are hugely grateful for his generous donation to Go Underhill and his continued support for local sports and the Mumbles community.

Surfside Cafés

Nigel Calcutt, owner of the much loved Surfside cafés at Langland, Caswell and Rotherslade, has stepped up to help Go Underhill, with a donation of £3,000 toward the development. Whilst an integral part of the local beachside scene, Nigel is keen to support Go Underhill which will provide more opportunities for young people and the community as a whole. On behalf of everyone, we would say a big ‘Thank you’ to Nigel.

MCA become members of Welsh Sports Association

MCA become members of Welsh Sports Association

Mumbles Community Association and been welcomed as a new member of the Welsh Sports Association (WSA).

WSA is the membership body for the sport and leisure industry in Wales, charged with the task of providing leadership, advocacy and a gateway to business & governance services for the sector.

As Full Members, MCA will be able to take advantage of the wide range of resources and business support offered by WSA. These include help and advice on matters such as Safeguarding, Insurance & Risk, and HR, as well as discounted training courses and DBS checks and the opportunity to join WSA live webinars and events.

Simon Tse, Chair of Mumbles Community Association, said:

“Whilst MCA is not just about sport, it is a large part of the life of Underhill Park, so joining the Welsh Sports Association and becoming a Member made complete sense to us.”

 

“Being able to access the support and opportunities available through WSA will be very helpful for us, particularly as we move beyond the planning and building stage and start to manage Underhill Park and the fantastic new facilities for our community.”

WSA Business Development Manager Tom Sharp, stated:

“The WSA is delighted to welcome Mumbles Community Association to its membership base.

 

“Our vision is to facilitate the prosperity of the sport and leisure sector in Wales – an objective clearly shared by MCA, evidenced by their work creating a welcoming and social environment in Underhill Park for the benefit and wellbeing of the surrounding community.

 

“The WSA looks forward to offering its resources and providing support to MCA and helping in their future work.”