Councillor backs children’s football festival

A councillor in Keynsham has provided £600 to help put on a children’s football festival in the town – more than fifty years after campaigning for the very football pitch the event is to be held on.

Local councillor Alan Hale has donated funds from his individual ward councillor’s budget to support the football festival, which will be taking place during the first week of the Easter holidays. The festival is aimed at encouraging local children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to get involved in football as a healthy sporting activity.

The event is taking place at Kelston Road park football pitch. Back in 1960 Councillor Hale, then just 13 years old, led his friends on the Park Estate in organising a petition calling on the then Keynsham Urban District Council to provide a football pitch for the local community. The petition was presented the then town clerk George Ashton, and a short time later the council agreed to erect goal posts on the playing field at Kelston Road and handed the pitch to the community.

Councillor Alan Hale (Cons, Keynsham South) recalls:

“I was clearly a bit of a community activist even all those years ago! We began he petition calling for a football pitch to be created because we were continually being chased out of the council house garage compounds for playing football and causing a too much noise. After we had collected the signatures I went with my dad to the Council offices on the Wellsway and where I met and presented the petition to the town clerk George Ashton. The park and pitch have been there ever since.”

Cllr Hale added:

“The fact I had some involvement in getting the football pitch installed all those years ago makes it all the more gratifying to be able to lend my support to this football festival. I hope it’s a really successful event, and I would encourage as many local children and families to get involved as possible.”