Our facilities at St Peters
With the passage of time, we are aware that many of the people who now use the wonderful sports facilities we have at “St Peter’s” may not know how they came into being nor how they are being managed for the future. This document sets out to explain.
The area of St Peter’s Fields was kindly donated to the then Droitwich Borough Council in 1951 by Alderman Dr Eric Shirley Jones in order to preserve the fields as open space in the developing and expanding town.
He achieved this by putting stipulations (as legal covenants) in his bequest to prevent:
- Any structures being built on the land other than, with his permission, those that would benefit its use as open land – and particularly for sport (e.g. sports pavilions)
- Any roads being constructed on the land
- Any reduction in the number of pedestrian access points
- The cutting down of trees (unless essential)
The Tennis Club, however, is in an area where these covenants do not apply.
The Borough Council were to manage the land and its leasing to sports clubs that wished to use it (which in earlier times included others, such as the hockey and rugby clubs). In order to look after the interests of the sports clubs and make liaison with them easier, an association was set up (as a limited liability company). That company has the rather lengthy title of Droitwich (St Peter’s Fields) Sports Association Limited – so let’s just call it the Association!
Those covenants still exist and are controlled by two of the grandchildren of Dr Shirley Jones, who are extremely supportive of the Clubs who use the land.
Droitwich Borough Council ceased to exist after local government re-organisation and the maintenance, leases and rents are now handled by Wychavon District Council. Again there is a good relationship and the current rents are quite reasonable.
The Association still exists and its 6 board members comprise two directors elected from each of the 3 Clubs currently using the facility:
Droitwich Spa Lawn Tennis Club – represented by Neil Bates and Lisa Pettener Jones
Droitwich Spa Cricket Club – represented by Kevin Bryan and Mike Wallis
Droitwich Spa Boys & Girls Football Club – represented by Frank Holliday and Peter Field
Whilst each of these Clubs is self-governing, the Association meets 4 times a year to look after their interests by:
- Dealing with the covenant holders on any relevant matters (e.g. replacing or extending pavilions or storage areas)
- Dealing with Wychavon on leases, rents and maintenance
- Arranging insurance for the Clubs – which is far less costly than each Club doing its own
- Dealing with any other matters which may affect all Clubs.
Every member of the participating Clubs is automatically a member of the Association.
The Jones family intends to pass control of the covenants down to future generations. They are supportive of the need to have a larger and better Clubhouse for the Cricket and Football Clubs.
Negotiations to extend the Tennis Club’s lease will commence in the near future.
The Association has a lease for the land used by the Cricket and Football Clubs until 2027. Even at that stage the covenants would severely restrict what Wychavon could do with the land should they terminate the lease.
We hope you will agree that we are very fortunate to be able to enjoy what we have and where we have it – and that a lot of help and support goes into maintaining it for us and for future generations in Droitwich Spa.