Praise for Eileen as she hands over Louth community room’s management after 30 years

Eileen Ballard, who has been involved in voluntarily running the ‘ConocoPhillips Room’ community space above Louth Library for three decades, has been praised for her long service after library staff took over the management of the room earlier this month.

Eileen (left) receives her Community Service Award from the Rotary Club of Louth.
Eileen (left) receives her Community Service Award from the Rotary Club of Louth.

The management of the room was formally handed over on June 10 to ensure that the space is still be available for community groups to use, after the impact of lockdown meant it would not have been ‘financially viable’ for the management committee to continue running the room.

Eileen was involved in overseeing the ‘birth’ of the community room in 1990, following a £60,000 donation from Conoco, which was opening the first on-shore North Sea Gas terminal at Theddlethorpe at the time.

The library opened in October 1991, and the upstairs room has been enjoyed by countless community groups ever since - all while Eileen has faithfully served at the helm the management committee.

Eileen Ballard at the ConocoPhillips Room, above Louth Library, several years ago. Photo: Ian Holmes

The Rotary Club of Louth has praised Eileen’s work, with a spokesperson saying: “Over the last 31 years, Eileen has put in hundreds of hours in managing the hall and keeping an ever-changing committee of members together. She was ably helped for 24 years by a voluntary secretary, Sue Smith.

“The voluntary committee led by Eileen had many changes to cope with over the years as required by legislation and the Lincolnshire County Council, and which had to be absorbed into the management of the hall.

“There were also some serious financial problems to overcome and on several occasions, without her skills and dedication, some of these could have resulted in the premises ceasing to be available for community use.

“The whole project has been run voluntarily on a ‘shoe string’ financially for everyone’s benefit. Louth owes Eileen a huge debt of gratitude for all her advice and work over so many years.”

Karen Waring from Louth Library with Eileen Ballard (Chair of Management Group) and Sue Smith (Secretary of Management Group). Karen presented flowers to Eileen and Sue.Karen Waring from Louth Library with Eileen Ballard (Chair of Management Group) and Sue Smith (Secretary of Management Group). Karen presented flowers to Eileen and Sue.

President of the Rotary Club of Louth, Pam Ashley-Marsh, presented Eileen with a ‘Community Service Award’ and thanked her for establishing and maintaining the very successful project.