WERFA Park – a brief history

This area behind the odd numbered houses in Woodland Gardens was left undeveloped by the builder of the estate, Mr Warren, who had the idea that it could be used for recreational purposes and had provided two tennis courts, but the owners of the first houses were concerned about what might happen to the rest of the area and so formed an Association (WERFA) to negotiate with him. In 1932 after much hard work, fund raising and hard bargaining a provisional agreement was reached that the Association would purchase the freehold of the land for £750 to be paid to the builder over 12 1/2 years at 5 percent interest p.a. Four holding trustees were appointed to be responsible for the property. At the outbreak of war in 1939 the Association reviewed its financial situation and negotiated to close the mortgage on a payment of £150, the balance then outstanding.

The ownership continued to be held for the Association by four trustees, local residents who agreed to accept this responsibility, until the year 2008 by which time two had moved away, one had died and the other wished to “retire”.

WERFA General Committee, with guidance from the Charities Commission, discussed the future ownership and decided that the best arrangement was to vest the property in The Official Custodian of Charities who is now the Registered Proprietor. (Land Registry Title No. MX127908), this avoids the need to find people to be holding trustees.

Rights of Access: There is no public right of way over the property. Owners of houses whose gardens back on to the property have right of access to their garages (as written in their deeds), but permission should be sought from the General Committee (managing trustees) for deliveries or for traders to use the access roads.

The Pavilion: Organisations or individuals who hire the pavilion would normally be allowed to use the access roads and parking area for people attending activities there.

It should be stressed that throughout the 90 years of its existence WERFA has always depended on unpaid volunteers to manage its property, finances and affairs and this continues today.