Mrs Harold Howard gave five acres of her estate to the people of Kempston for a new recreation ground in memory of her son Addison who was killed in France during the first world war.
The park, which was opened on 26th March 1937 by Mrs Howard, was then named “Addison Howard Park”.
By the 1950’s, the Church of England Parochial Hall in Bunyan Road was found to be getting too small and outdated. A group of Kempston councillors, business men and local people formed "The Kempston Victory Hall Committee" with the aim of building a bigger community facility. After many donations and much fund raising the new hall was finally built on land set aside for this purpose in the park. The hall was opened by Councillor Basil Copperwheat on the 3rd October 1969, with Mr Arthur Basen as the first Chairman. The hall was originally going to be called Victory Hall, but was ultimately named the "Addison Centre", after Mrs Howard’s son.
The Addison Centre is a stand-alone charity which is run by a committee made up of volunteers from the community , with a President and a Chairman. It employs a part time secretary, a hall manager, two caretakers and bar staff as needed. The centre is owned by the people of Kempston who are welcome to the yearly AGM and to join the committee. It is independent and does not receive any funding from the local authority or from the government. The hall income comes from those hiring the facility , which with the profits from the bar, is used to cover wages, repairs, and all running costs. Each year the Addison Centre normally breaks even , but with ever rising costs the centre has to raise funds and bid for grants to update and improve facilities of the hall.