May 24 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Hundreds of residents from three Broadland villages packed their new village hall this afternoon for a ceremony to mark its official opening.
Known as the Hall for All, the building in Weston Longville also serves the communities of Attlebridge and Morton on the Hill, and replaces the previous structure built in 1947.
The hall’s uses include the WI, yoga, film screenings, tai chi, knitting and guides, and today’s celebrations featured a football match on the village’s revamped pitch and were due to continue with fireworks and a ceilidh.
Margaret Briggs, who has lived in Weston Longville for 42 years, said: “I have seen the hall rise from the ashes. It’s absolutely fantastic – there’s no comparison. In the last cinema nights we had blankets and I had a hot water bottle, and now people are going outside it’s so warm.
“The old hall was built after the war and served its purpose very well but it had reached the stage where if we had not built a new hall it would have been good money after bad.”
The need for an improved community hall was first identified when residents created a parish plan, and it soon became apparent a complete rebuild was the best option.
Ruth Goodall, who led the project team, said she had a mixture of relief, delight and disbelief to see the hall finally open for use.
She said: “In September 2009 we thought in some ways it would not be too hard. We were going to refurbish the hall but then we realised if we were to do that we were not adding any value to it and so we started to think about replacing it and at that point money became more important.”
The first funds came from local individuals and businesses, but the project received a massive boost from a £300,000 grant from Veolia Environmental Trust using money that came from landfill tax payments.
Oswald Dodds, chairman of the trust’s board, said the project ticked the right boxes because the idea came from the community, was supported by the community and helped to bring the generations and three villages together.
To hire the hall, contact Ruth Goodall on 01603 880000 or visit www.hallforall.co.uk