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A brief history

When you visit the modernised Uppertown Social Centre you could be forgiven for not appreciating its rich community history. As the Ashover Upperend Endowed Church of England School from 1881 to 1948 all the children in the parish of Ashover to the west of the main road got their primary education there. The school of around 40 to 50 children at a time, took their lessons in two classrooms, one of whom was a little girl called Emma (Marriott). The origins of the use of the building as a social centre might be traced to the parents of that time, organising whist drives and dances. A popular dance in those days was 'The Lancers', bouncing up and down on springy floorboards with wide gaps between them where the dust could be swept.


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Without adequate insurance Eddie and his dedicated team set about raising funds to restore the Centre, not just to its former glory, but to a modern all-purpose facility with a carefully matched extension. It included a dance floor, bar, modern furnishings and, most importantly, new flush toilets fed from a bore hole. Against the odds,  funded by grants and individual donations, the new improved Uppertown Social Centre opened in April 1996. Then in 1997 the first act was booked - the Ripley Wayfarers.

In August 2010, nearly 130 years after the school was originally opened, Emma Marriott was back, as guest of honour, to declare open the latest additions and improvements to a vibrant Uppertown Social Centre.
This project had provided extra seating and a new kitchen as well as storage facilities upstairs. It had been made possible thanks to the financial support provided by the Parish Council, the Ashover Primary Care Trust and Derbyshire County Council.

Now the thriving Centre can hold up to 150 people attending the calendar of entertainment or private functions and up to 600 people for outside events such as the Hog Roast or Bonfire Night.

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Ashover Upperend School

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In 1971 a new group of trustees was appointed, headed by Eddie Marriott and ably assisted by his mother, Emma. They put on dances and discos with a portable gramophone and whist drives. There was no bar, just liquid refreshments from a local pub.

Then, disaster in the form of fire stuck on 28th April 1994. The building could only be reached by narrow single track roads unsuitable for normal fire engines. All that could be done was to stop the fire spreading to other buildings. The Social Centre was gutted with just the four outer walls still standing.

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The class of 1904

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