Plans for community groups to use War Memorial Hall this year

Congresbury War Memorial Hall volunteers Keith and Sally Westlake.

Congresbury War Memorial Hall volunteers Keith and Sally Westlake. - Credit: Clive Burlton

A group of volunteers are working to restore a village’s war memorial hall for community groups to use in 2021.     

A team of nine volunteers have been looking after Congresbury War Memorial Hall and have carried out repair works to restore the hall to its former glory. 

During the 1980s, the hall was popular among many community groups, but for the past three decades it has been left to decay. 

The hall celebrated 100 years since it opened last month and its committee is formulating a final planned state for the building, in High Street. 

Congresbury War Memorial Hall in High St. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Congresbury War Memorial Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The plan will be ‘as adaptable and flexible as possible’ in order to accommodate as many future activities in which the villagers will choose to participate. 

The committee has also applied to Congresbury Parish Council for funding and is awaiting a response. 

Volunteers Keith and Sally Westlake said: “We started the clean-up during the first lockdown in March as something to do, but it quickly escalated as the place was full of detritus, now we are starting to plan what to do with the space. 

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“We are trying to bring the place back to use for community groups in 2021.  

“The village hall’s suspended plans will have an effect that we need something in Congresbury. It has so much potential.” 

Congresbury War Memorial Hall in High St.
Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Congresbury War Memorial Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

The next task for the committee is to plot a path from the current state to the final scheme layout.  

This will come from a combination of grants and donations together with the hall’s own resource generation. 

Volunteer Cyril Clark added: “Clearly this will take some time, progress being made as and when resources allow. 

"However, the committee is committed to bringing the hall back to full working order for village folk to enjoy. 

“Inevitable maintenance issues of a 100-year-old building will interfere with development but the committee believes this building has great potential for the village. 

“The War Memorial Hall is not only a memorial but one of the village’s most important buildings.

"We have a duty to try to bring it back to a condition where villagers will feel it attractive to use.” 

The committee is keen to hear people’s suggestions for potential uses of the building.  

To get in touch, search for Congresbury War Memorial Hall on Facebook and send them a message. 

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