TASTY treats were aplenty as a community centre in Slindon celebrated its first birthday.
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited Slindon Forge to celebrate the community shop and café’s first anniversary,
The MP was shown a new information point in the café which has been installed by the National Trust, and a special cake was made for the celebration by former Junior Bake-Off contestant and Slindon boy, Joe Hughes-Cornick.
Slindon Forge opened last year as a community project, reversing a trend which had seen the village lose its pub, post office and shop.
The Forge, which relies on volunteers to man it, has rapidly become a popular centre for village life.
Mr Herbert said: “Every time I visit Slindon Forge it is full of people using the shop and meeting at the café.
“It’s a wonderful example of how the trend of losing services from villages can be reversed.
“Following the successful community shops at Amberley and Kirdford, Slindon Forge shows what can be achieved when local people take control and are determined to run a fantastic community service.
“It’s all thanks to the volunteers who give their time so generously, and especially Mike Imms who really was the godfather of the whole project and deserves a special mention.”
The National Trust has now installed a new touchscreen information point in the shop, which gives visitors information on the surrounding area, including local walks that can be downloaded onto a smartphone.
The displays were paid for by the trust and developed by TRS, an Arundel-based company.
Bob Epsom, estate warden for the National Trust’s Slindon Estate, said: “It is fantastic to see the display finally in place.
“It is a collaboration of efforts from the National Trust, TRS and Slindon Forge and also the Slindon History Group and archeological group.
“It has taken a lot of work to pull the photographs and information together.
“As soon as we knew that the Slindon Forge was going to open last year, we started planning this. It is great to have it finally in place for the first birthday.”
Mike Imms, secretary of Slindon Forge, said: “I am so pleased that Nick Herbert and so many of our customers could join us for the celebration.
“It is also great that the new display is finally installed. I hope lots of people come to the Forge to see it and to learn more about Slindon and the park.”