Are you a NIMBY? Collette Barber is a YIMBY – she says a big “Yes!” when it comes to things going on in her backyard!
Collette is passionate about all things community-related and live music in particular – so much so that for the past 10 years she has chaired the Reigate Community Festival in Priory Park – family fun for very nearly free. Other events include R&R Live which saw 20 bands play in 20 pubs on the same evening. Her latest venture, slightly more modest in scale but hoped to be an ongoing project is The Yard @ Reigate Station.
Small but perfectly formed this micro venue for community events has joined the likes of Beryl & Peg’s, Tony’s Tattoo Parlour, China House restaurant and the Prince of Wales Pub at the interesting end of Holmesdale Road. Collette Barber’s own company All Your Business Needs (AYBN) is just up the road, and when a small gated area by the station became available earlier this year, she saw its potential as a community space and snapped it up.
The inaugural event took place in July, and in just a few months The Yard’s reputation is growing steadily and it has become a firm favourite with locals who value a place to call their own where they can meet, relax and imbibe a bit of culture and company.
In these technological days when so much of our social interaction is done online, it is a refreshing change to have a place and the opportunity to meet people in the real world. The Yard is open to the public every day, 10.00am – 5.00pm as a seating and eating area – you bring your own food and drink – and busking too, if you feel so inclined.
Flea markets, art and photographic exhibitions, food, live music and children’s events make up the regular programme. It is a creative space and perfect for pop-ups. September saw The Yard play host to Reigate Art Fest – where art, textiles, ceramics, and craft were on display, author John Hughes made an appearance, and actor Nathan Marlow gave an impromptu performance from Hamlet. It is a spot where anything could happen!
There is live acoustic music every Tuesday and Thursday, 7.00pm – 10.00pm, and this month Alan Atkinson and his Irish Band will be playing on Thursday, November 2, and on Sunday, November 5 there will be a Christmas Gifts Jam when you can start your Christmas shopping and listen to live music – not forgetting to keep one eye on the sky for fireworks.