The George Fuller Club For The Blind

The club is run for the benefit of the registered blind and partially sighted residents of Broxbourne Hoddesdon Cheshunt and surrounding area. It is a voluntary organization and is self funding. The Club meets the third Monday of each month  except January, at Bushby Hall Wharf Road Wormley, from 7pm until 9pm. We offer a range of social activities including a fun summer outing and an annual dinner. Entertainment is provided from bell ringing to singers/bands.

The George Fuller Club was formed on 12th April 1951 by Mr. Dick Norrell, who at that time was heavily involved with the Toc H organisation.   Also at that time, a good friend of Mr. Norrell’s had recently died.   So when the question of a name for the Club arose it was proposed that it be named The George Fuller Club after Dick’s friend, who was a Journalist and BBC scriptwriter and well –known local resident who had died on 27th January 1951 Mr Norrell was later awarded the MBE for his work for the visually handicapped , and was assisted by founder members Peggy Jackson and her brother George Darton.

A fellow founder of the club was Mr. Joe Saunders who was Chairman of the Club for many years. Joe realised the Club needed funds to survive and was the leading light that started the George Fuller Evening Cricket Competition, which over the years has raised many thousands of pounds. Joe was ably supported in raising money for the club by his wife Blue. In the late 1990’s Bill Crumly took over the running of the Cricket Competition until 2003.

The Competition did not take place in 2005 and 2006 due to lack of interest from some of the clubs in the area and we could not maintain 16 clubs to take part so the competition fell by the wayside, as this was the main income for the club Bill Crumly the President set up a Golf day in 2007 to replace the income from the Cricket Competition.

The Club caters for the needs of the blind or partially sighted residents in the area from Hoddesdon in the north, to Waltham Cross in the south.

At first, meetings were held in the British Legion Hall in Hoddesdon, but in the early nineteen sixties the venue was moved to its present location, Bushby Hall, Wharf Road, Wormley.

Whilst it was still at the British Legion Hall, Mr. Fred Lavarack, the President of the local Gardening Association, which had recently set up a winemaking section, suggested to the secretary of that section, Mr. George Brown, that maybe members of that section would entertain members of the George Fuller Club at their meeting the following May. This was done and was so successful that it became an annual event.

Some years after the George Fuller Club moved to Bushby Hall, the President of the Club, Mrs. Kathy Govier, decided to retire and advertised for someone to take her post.  The advert was seen by the wife of one of the Hoddesdon Winemakers (as the wine section had now become), who suggested to him (George Brown) that this was something he could do, and so he applied and was accepted.   George Brown remained Secretary until his retirement in 2004.

By now, we were in the late eighties, and Mr. Norrell, approaching 80 himself, decided that he would retire.   George Brown suggested to the Club members that, after having given the Club so many years hard work as Secretary, it would be a nice gesture to ask Mrs. Govier to be our new president.  This was agreed and Mrs. Govier remained our president until she died, 23rd December 2000.

Joe Saunders also suggested that Peter Grant from Hoddesdon Cricket Club be asked if he would take up the role of Chairman to which Peter agreed. Peter has supported the club over many years and continues to do so today through the entertainment arrangements for members and through his Chairman duties.

During the past 50 plus years the Club has benefited from various voluntary help particular the local cricket clubs who hold a competition each year, their collections helping our club survive and prosper. Through the cricket’s involvement with the Club, Bill Crumly was asked to take on the position of President which he did in 2001. In 2004 George Brown now in his 80’s decided to retire as secretary and the Club ask Bill Crumly’s wife, Doreen to take on the secretary’s role.

The Club meets on the third Monday in each month, except January, at the Bush by Hall, Wharf Road, Wormley, at 7.00pm for 7.30pm and after light refreshments and some Club business, the evening’s entertainment starts at around 7.45pm.  At 9.00pm the transport arrives to take members home.

Although we have an on-going problem with transport, we are well supported by the local Rotary Clubs and volunteer drivers.   However, if there is anyone out there, particularly in the Cheshunt area, who can spare one evening a month to bring members to the Club and then take them home again, their help would be gladly accepted.