Back in 2003 – an extension to the existing Epsom Town Hall was officially opened and the “New Town Hall” as we now refer to it – was populated by staff who had previously been “housed” in old buildings all over the Borough – which were not all really fit for purpose as they tended to be damp and drafty. The magnificent new extension incorporated the latest innovative ideas in 90’s architecture design – namely an open expanse in the middle known as “The Atrium”.
The top of the atrium/building can be accessed from either side – leaving the huge atrium open for all to gaze at in wonderment – and think “When on earth did Local Government have that sort of money to invest in buildings!”
Back in the “Olden Days” the top floor was fully occupied by the Borough Councils Highways Dept. Planning Dept. Building Control. Architects Dept. and Borough Engineers. One of the Highways Engineers going by the name of Alan Fenwick had a cunning plan to attempt to throw a paper plane successfully from one side to the other. This was much harder than first anticipated and following the first attempts at maiden flights – the Annual Paper Plane Competition was inaugurated.
Alan Fenwick approached UNISON and asked for a small grant to purchase some chocolates and wine for successful flights, but the categories soon grew and now includes a Toy Parachute drop.
The competition is open to everyone working at Epsom Town Hall as well as all staff, so we now have Surrey County Council and Surrey Police as well as several voluntary organisations such as Voluntary Action Mid Surrey, The Sunnybank Trust and Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, plus a good turnout from Operational Services who include The Rangers, The Countryside Team, The Recycling Teams and the Grounds Maintenance Teams.
Using a piece of A4 paper (not card) with no weights or add on’s everyone has the opportunity to pit their wits and come up with the most effective design to clear the open space and land on the opposite “landing” – how apt that! It is all done and dusted in 30 mins. But is an excellent way to kick-off Christmas at Epsom & Ewell.