September 22 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, May 22, 2014
A Victorian village hall has been brought back to life by a team of volunteers.
Whaddon Village Hall officially reopened last Wednesday after a fundraising campaign from residents, which has been going on for the past 25 years.
An official opening ceremony was held at the hall, with villagers invited along to see the end results of the project.
Wendy Evans, vice-chairman of the Whaddon Village Hall and Recreation Ground Trust, said: “The village hall is a Victorian building built in 1845 and was the village school until it closed in 1962.
“For many years – at least 25 – we have been endeavouring to bring this building into the 21st century. One of the problems with it was inadequate heating, because it is a single skin building. This made it almost impossible to use in the winter.
“The floor was uneven as many of the joists had collapsed and the window frames were starting to crumble, altogether it was in a sorry state.”
The villagers formed a charitable trust and started applying for grant funding, receiving cash from Amey Cespa, South Cambridgeshire District Council, The Lottery Fund, Garfield Weston, the Co-op and Keepmoat Homes. Whaddon Parish Council also chipped in with funds, and the restoration work was completed in March.
In total, the work on the hall cost £150,000.
Mrs Evans said: “We now have a village hall which is fully insulated, with underfloor heating from an air-source heat pump, a new kitchen and new toilets.
“It is a joy to use and as a result we have much more happening in the village including coffee mornings, gardening club, yoga and table tennis club. The hall is now let regularly for birthday parties, weddings and other events, and we are justifiably proud of what we have achieved.”