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Pitcombe News July/August Edition

Posted by admin on Jul 10, 2008 - 10:38 AM

Peter Wyatt's article in the July edition of the Pitcombe News

HADSPEN VILLAGE HALL

On Friday, 20 June the Village Hall was finally launched by Lady Gass officially unveiling the donor’s plaque. Over seventy guests who were either committee members, grant giving body officials, donors or people associated with the building, attended the ceremony at 12 noon. Below is an extract from my address.

‘On behalf of the Village Hall Committee I should like to welcome you all to the official opening of the new hall. Everyone present here today has in some way contributed towards this project and I would like to thank Lady Gass for agreeing to be our guest of honour to officially open the hall after which I hope you will all join us for refreshments.

It was nine years ago that the hall committee was informed by structural engineers that the old hall had a limited lifespan, that renovation was out of the question and that a new one would have to be built if the residents of the parish still wished to have a village hall.

Feasibility studies were carried out and possible new sites examined and after a positive reaction from the parish, it was decided if possible to build a new hall on the site of the old one and in addition to lease some land from the owner of the adjoining orchard to accommodate a new entrance and car park. Fund raising began in earnest with extra events being slotted into the hall social calendar.

After obtaining all the necessary planning permissions, Pitcombe Parish Council gave tremendous support by increasing the parish precept to give vital grants to get us started. Grant applications were made and generous support from South Somerset County & District Councils was given. Viridor Credits and other grant giving bodies from outside the County followed, which together with a tremendous response from the residents of the parish to our fund raising efforts, enabled us to accomplish our task.

Over this time the full support of the hall committee has been vital and I would like to pay tribute to all our supporters some of whom are unfortunately no longer with us to see the final result. In fact our sincere thanks go to everyone who has made the building of this hall possible, not forgetting those who have been involved in the planning, construction and project management.

As I mentioned previously, the funding of both the hall and the new entrance and car park came from many sources - less than 10% from outside Somerset and 90% from within the County, of which over 40% came from within this parish of Pitcombe. This is truly a hall built by the Community for the Community.

The old hall gave 70 years of good service and we hope that the new hall will serve this community as well as the old one did.’

Lady Gass then unveiled the plaque and was presented with a basket of flowers after which the Chairman of the Parish Council gave a vote of thanks.

I hope that in the next issue of Pitcombe News I will be able to give a full account of the costs of the project and how it has been financed.

The hall is now ready for hire!

Peter Wyatt