Presenter Anneka Rice joined the community for a 25th anniversary party to mark a quarter century since the Slade centre was built for the Challenge Anneka show

The community gathered in Ilfracombe today (Wednesday) to welcome Anneka Rice back to town to celebrate the centre she helped build 25 years ago.

The celebrity and presenter joined in with the Slade Silver Big Bash to mark the anniversary of when the Challenge Anneka television show created what is now the Slade Vision Centre.
The show, which challenged Anneka and her team to complete a task within two or three days, saw the former dilapidated Ilfracombe library building moved across town and rebuilt as a new community facility.

Anneka told the Gazette: "It's great to be back here to see the hall we transported from one side of Ilfracombe to the other in such good use - it's stood the test of time and is still here.

"I do remember when I was first here that lovely sense of community here, so it's great to be back and to see that again."

Anneka takes a selfie for singer Chloe Aston. Picture: Tony GussinAnneka takes a selfie for singer Chloe Aston. Picture: Tony Gussin

The free party was well attended and hosted by the Slade Vision Centre Committee, working with North Devon Homes and supported by the Big Lottery Celebrate fund.

It included live music from Rough Justice and Chloe Marie Aston, children's entertainers Entertainingly Different, street dance, martial arts displays and tricks from local magician Tom Rose, as well as animal encounters from Really Wild Learning.

Centre chairman Lee Aston said: "It's an excellent turn out and I am really proud to be involved in the centre, I think it's a wonderful asset for our town. I am really pleased that Anneka has made an appearance and shown an interest."

Ilfracombe mayor Paul Crabb said he was working on that job 25 years ago. He added: "I think it's brilliant that this centre has proved so useful here. We are 25 years later and it's still used daily - it's a testament to the people who run it.

"I think it's a really nice gesture that Anneka has come back."

If you would like to book the Slade Vision Centre for an event, meeting or function please call 07815 444583 or email info@visioncentrebookings.co.uk.