BIGGIN HILL & DISTRICT RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1934
Read more about the Village Sign at the bottom of this page or click for a larger
THE ASSOCIATION’S HISTORY
Our formation date was recorded in an early Biggin Hill Community Magazine produced by the late Gilbert Smith (one time Councillor for the Biggin Hill Ward and Chairman of The old Orpington Urban District Council to which we belonged prior to 1964). Gilbert Smith, together with his friend the Earl of Ilchester were also the founding Editor and President of the Biggin Hill News, The original 1934 association was known as the Biggin Hill & District Ratepayers Association – later changed to ‘Biggin Hill & District Residents Association.
The Biggin Hill of 1934 must have been very different from today; it would have had a population of between 1,000 and 1,200, whilst we now have a population of 12,800 rising to 16,000 when the outlying areas are included
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
Our principle objective is to secure the improvement of Biggin Hill and the surrounding area by encouraging a greater sense of community.
To ensure this objective we have a number of aims:
- To play as full a part in the Local Community as possible, we achieve this aim by having representatives on the following bodies: (i) Biggin Hill Airport Consultative Committee (ii) Bromley Federation of Resident Associations (iii) Biggin Hill Safer Neighbourhood Panel (iv) Bromley Road Safety Committee and (v) The Biggin Hill Business Association.
- We offer a standing invitation to our Local Ward Councillors to become ex-officio members of our committee, thus providing a direct link with the work of our local Council.
- We aim to offer our members such assistance in matters which directly affect them as possible; this may take the form of direct one to one help and advice, or taking direct action by supporting a resident or groups of residents by writing on their behalf. eg Planning Matters, Transport and/or Environmental issues.
- By administering the Community Fund, we aim to provide support for projects which can directly improve Biggin Hill and its surrounding District.
THE ASSOCIATION’S COMMITTEE
The Association is managed by a Committee of (up to) 12 members, which meets monthly at the Valley Hall.
We aim to hold up to 6 ‘Open Meetings’ for members and non members alike, usually taking place in April, May, June, July, (not August) September and October (AGM). The Open Meetings are held at St Mark’s Church Hall, in Church Road.
BIGGIN HILL COMMUNITY FUND
In 2007, Biggin Hill Airport Limited asked our Association to take over the administration of its Community Fund (currently £5,000.00 per year). They requested that we should continue to honour certain historical grants, including £1,000.00 towards the cost of Christmas Lights along Main Road and a contribution towards the hire of the Recreation Ground for the Biggin Hill Festival. This currently leaves approximately £3,500.00 per year to allocate towards Community Projects.
Community Grants awarded to date: –
1. The completion of the five ‘Welcome to Biggin Hill’ signs for the town.
2. Providing funding to improve the main path on Biggin Hill Allotments.
3. Grants to provide a football strip for Biggin Hill Junior Football Club.
4. Grant to provide a computer, table and chair for older residents living in sheltered accommodation at Kingsmead.
5. Grant to the Local Youth Council at the Spitfire Centre; to cover the cost of the Planning Application for a Skate Board Bowl in the Park.
6. Grant to the local ‘Friends of the Parks’, to pay for the plants in the Sensory Garden at Church Road Recreation Ground.
The criterion for those wishing to obtain a grant from the Community Fund is that requests must be for projects that can demonstrate a benefit to the wider community. All grants are considered by the Committee of the Association and grants made from the funds available at the time.
Membership of our association costs £5.00 per household per year, reduced to £3.00 for any household containing one or more pensioners.
We encourage members to use a bank standing order (provided by us) to pay their annual subscription. Payment may also be made by cheque or cash.
COMMUNICATION WITH MEMBERS
Where possible we request email addresses as this enables us to have more direct contact.
The Residents Association have organised the design and manufacture of a village sign, as depicted here. It has been erected on Biggin Hill Green at the corner of Jail Lane and Main Road and was unveiled by the Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Peter Ayres, together with the Mayoress on Saturday 31st October 1998. Despite torrential rain a hardy group of residents turned out for the ceremony.
The original suggestion came from Ken Addis, a local resident and Chairman of Community Care, at the Association’s AGM in 1994. Ideas were developed by the pupils of Charles Darwin School, then through local questionnaires, via a Sub-Committee to the final design. The sign manufactured in mild steel, depicts the Spitfire and Hurricane, representing the important part Biggin Hill played in the Battle of Britain, St. Marks the moving church, the Cedar tree of Aperfield Road (which has subsequently become one of the Great Trees of London) and lastly the wildlife element namely the badger and fox.
Bromley Borough Council’s Urban Designer, Stewart Clark, was responsible for preparing working drawings and obtaining tender estimates and T. J. Systems & Solutions, in conjunction with Claymead Signs, were the manufacturers of the sign. The Association was responsible for half the cost of manufacture.