Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Saturday Night Out

A few weeks ago on a Saturday evening we went to a concert in our village hall. The evenings entertainment was provided by the Daniel Smith Blues Band. They were very good and even though I am not a blues fan I enjoyed the evening. The purpose of the evening was to raise funds towards the refit of the village hall kitchen.

Our village hall is mainly prefabricated and probably constructed of a considerable amount of asbestos, although a small extension to it was built on a few years ago. The village hall committee have had several attempts at applying to the Big Lottery Fund for a grant to rebuild our ancient and much used village hall. Our village of about 420 homes, mainly occupied by professional people and farmers, seems to be viewed as being to prosperous and affluent to qualify for a grant. Just about every day the village hall is used by a variety of clubs, classes and meeting groups. The following Friday I went to a flower arranging demonstration in the village hall. This time the funds raised were for the local hospice.

At the moment the bulk of the UK lottery funding is going towards the preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, which we in the north west are unlikely to benefit from, as the majority of the Olympic events are being held in London and the south of the country.

The village hall is at the heart of village life. If our village loses it, a lot of the community spirit will go with it. Perhaps in thirty years time when a clutch of the present residents die from asbestosis, a grant towards a new village hall will become a reality. Can the village hall wait until 2013? That is after the 2012 Olympics in London. I suppose that it will have to. In the mean time the village hall committee will continue to attempt to raise funds and to continue to patch up the old village hall when necessary.

20 comments:

Akelamalu said...

Good luck with the fundraising - maybe the committee could spend £1 a week on a lottery ticket - you never know your luck! :)

jinksy said...

Maybe a surveyor could confirm / deny how much asbestos is there? It might give you a better case for a rebuild grant...

Jenny said...

Hope that funds can be found to keep the village hall going. As you say essential to any small community but like village post offices there is no value placed on what they give to the community.

Sandi McBride said...

Our Wives Club (Navy) used to raise money for charity by purchasing a "hunk of junk" car if no one could supply one for free...we would get sledge hammers and sell "hits on the car" for 3 each...we always had the glass removed before hand...but raised quite a lot of money this way...
Hope you get the asbestos out soon!
Sandi

Maggie May said...

Hope your village hall gets the money. All communities need a central place like that whether in a village or a city.

Nuts in May

The Dotterel said...

Sounds like a thriving village, not just village hall. Have you got a pub and post office too?

French Fancy said...

Even as an ex-Londoner I can appreciate how unfair this disparity in doling out the money must seem to Northerners (Mr FF would die of shock as he claims I am the most London-centric person he has ever met).

Surely this is where a good local (is that an oxymoron?) MP onside could take up the cause?

Helen P said...

Village halls are so important and they serve so many people. You need a petition CW with everyone who uses it adding their signature.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Jinksy is right...perhaps if you build a case for it!! Hope that in the meantime you will be able to raise funds toward the remodel/rebuild! It is so essential to the sense of wonderful community that you share...a precious commodity in this day and age!! ~Janine XO

Super photograph,btw!!

cheshire wife said...

Sniffles - I am afraid that it is not my photograph.

Gilly said...

Village halls are so important! Where we used to live in Buckinghamshire, ours was used daily, and in the evenings as well.

Last I heard they were trying to raise money for a replacement. Don't know how they got on.

Gill - That British Woman said...

would the local council not contribute something, or the County Council? It's sad that all that money is being spent on one area only.

Gill in Canada

Gloria said...

Good luck with the fundraising. Such a shame that a much used and loved village hall doesn't appear to count for much these days. Sign of the much decling times I suppose:-(

Thud said...

My local village hall (thornton Hough) is a fantastic place and I would do anything to keep it going.

Carol said...

Hmmmm, have you thought of doing a profile of the area in which you live? They can be really invaluable when trying to persuade people to part with cash because they offer hard facts which are difficult to argue against. I can offer some help and advice to the committee if they are interested?

I know exactly what you mean about funding!! I worked in Manchester when the announcement was made that Britain had won the Olympics and I watched pots of money that had been set aside for community projects vanish overnight!! The Olympics will be good for Britain but not at the expense of everything else!!

C x

CG said...

It seems there is always funding available for OTHER projects! A village hall is such an asset and I wish yours the best of luck!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Commiserations. We have just lost our local, well done Tesco.(Its an Express, you are allowed 20 minutes parking time. How about that for the disabled!

Hilary said...

I hope things move along more quickly than you're anticipating. It's kind of a scary thought to have what might be a lot of asbestos there. I think Jinksy has the right idea though..

Susie Vereker said...

I believe asbestosis is caused by inhaled dust (esp by builders), that's why you have to be careful if alterations are made to a building. But it sounds as if you have a good claim for a grant.
Our village hall is pretty ancient too.

cheshire wife said...

Thank you very much for all of your comments, suggestions and advice. They will all be passed onto the Village Hall Committee.