A RESIDENTS’ association has closed - due to lack of interest.

The Belmont Estate Residents Association has shut down following 40 years of service in Grays.

It was formed in 1978 after plans were drawn up to build a traveller site at the top of Parker Road and residents were angry about the idea.

An action group was created and this later became the residents association.

The traveller site was never built.

Brian Taylor MBE, 77, from Grays, became the chairman of the community group.

He said: “We kept it going over the years.

“We used to give Christmas treats to the original residents who set up the group.

“But people are just not interested any more, it was a real team effort.

“I am sad to see it go and so is everyone else.

“Over the years there have been so many people involved.

“In the end we only had five people on the association and it was becoming more and more difficult.

“I took over as chairman as nobody else wanted to do it and I think that’s a sign of the times.

“I think it’s sad that no one wants to get involved with it, the population of the estate has changed so dramatically so people are not interested in the community and things like this any more.”

When the group first started each house was ask to give 50p to get it off the ground.

After the first year the association decided to give a Christmas dinner to the elderly residents on the estate.

The first dinner was attended by 120 people and it was held at the Parish Church in Grays. The event ran for 36 years.

In 1979 a club for the older residents was formed with more than 80 members, and there were various events including bingo on Tuesday nights, a fete and dog show, a bonfire night and much more.

The group had to spend much time fundraising.

The last committee included Gloria Taylor, Pat Revere, Janice Carrett, Alan Linnell.

The committee wants to thanks all the people that took part and put hours of work raising the funds to keep it all going over the years.

Mr Taylor was awarded an MBE for his services to the community about 20 years ago and said this included the work he undertook with the association.