Bury St Edmunds community pays tribute to man who made it possible

Southgate community centre manager Jackie Tooley, far right, with Frank's children unveiling the plaque. Photo by Andy Abbott.

Southgate community centre manager Jackie Tooley, far right, with Frank's children unveiling the plaque. Photo by Andy Abbott.

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A community stalwart whose endeavours and dedication led to a new community facility being built in Bury St Edmunds in the 1970s has been honoured with a permanent memorial.

After relocating to Bury’s Nowton estate from London, Frank Jackson founded the Southgate Community Association, Nowton Neighbourhood Residents Association who would meet at his home in Jarman Close and a branch of the Woodcraft Folk.

Frank Jackson

Frank Jackson

He campaigned, petitioned and lobbied the council to build a permanent facility and eventually funding was secured and the build agreed.

Today the Southgate Community Centre and Church Centre is used by more than 20 groups and some 300 people enjoy the facilities each week.

Frank passed away in 1975 without ever seeing the building completed, but his efforts and commitment have been recognised four decades later.

Many of his eight children attended a ceremony last week in which a plaque expressing the community’s ‘lasting gratitude and respect’ and recognising his ‘endeavours and dedication’ and ‘hard work and commitment’ was unveiled.