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50th Anniversary celebration for Muir House

Dr Julian Lewis MP, was the special guest at an afternoon tea party held for tenants of Muir House, Dibden Purlieu, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation in 1971 of Hythe Rotary Housing Association. Now known as Muircroft, the Association developed Muir House and its sister scheme, Priest Croft, in Blackfield.

The catalyst for formation of the Housing Association was an approach to the Rotary Club of Hythe in 1970 by an elderly widow, Mrs Kate Muir, who offered the sum of £5,000 if the Club, in return, would provide her with rent, rates and maintenance free accommodation for the rest of her life. After considerable deliberation the Club accepted the offer, settling Mrs Muir in a new home in Hythe, and, having looked at the wider needs of the elderly in the area, formed the Hythe Rotary Housing Association. Its objective, which remains valid today, was to provide rented, sheltered housing for the elderly, especially those with a local connection.

Joining Dr Lewis and tenants at the tea party were staff, current Board members and members of Hythe and Waterside Rotary Club, whose members remain actively involved to this day.

Rotarian and past Chairman of Muircroft Housing Association, Ralph Ellis, said:” Much credit must be given to all the Rotarians involved in the setting up of the Association, especially for their tireless work during its early years. Current members of the Rotary Club continue to take an active role on the Board as their predecessors have done throughout the Association’s five decades.”


Dr Lewis was invited to cut a ribbon on a Japanese cherry tree, a gift from Hythe & Waterside Rotary Club to mark the Association’s milestone. In paying tribute to the Association Dr Lewis said: “This is a wonderful occasion in celebration of a visionary project from fifty years ago and the best possible way to celebrate the easing of restrictions and our community’s resumption of normal life.”

Also helping Dr Lewis cut the ribbon was Tristan Seymour (9), a pupil at Orchard Junior School who, using his own initiative, sent letters to tenants to cheer them up during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. After the formalities, tenants enjoyed a cream tea and celebration cake and all received a commemorative glass coaster. A further tea party and tree dedication is to be held for the tenants of Priest Croft.

For more information on Muircroft or tenancy vacancies please contact us.

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