A RED ribbon was cut to officially open Stockleigh Pomeroy’s new and modern village hall – a vast improvement on the Nissan hut used as the former hall.

The Nissan hunt hall was opened in 1950 and was well-used, but it was 30 years ago that local residents began fundraising and campaigning to replace it.

On Saturday, April 9, Clifford Webber (74), a farmer who still lives in the parish and whose parents were on the first hall committee, was called upon to cut the ribbon to officially open the new hall.

Ian Huxtable, hall committee chairman, welcomed 120 guests, including local residents and those involved in making the new hall a reality, were invited to attend the opening ceremony, to view the hall and enjoy refreshments.

He explained that local people had been involved in all aspects, from grant applications to clearing the site, laying footings for the new building, brick work, painting and much more.

Mr Webber who opened the hall was involved in some of the process, carrying blocks and helping where he could.

Thanks were extended to all those who helped.

Mr Huxtable explained that planning permission was obtained in the Spring of 2014 and demolition of the old hall, the site on which the new hall sits, started in November of that year. He told those gathered for the opening:

“The footings went in on Christmas Eve 2014 and in February and March of 2015 the timber frame of the building was installed.We have finished the job in just the last few days and honestly we still have not quite finished.  As you will see we have no proper floor surface as yet but the hall is functional and usable.

Ian Huxtable

As well as thanking grant bodies, those who gave private donations and the volunteers, he also thanked the neighbours for their patience and cups of tea to those working at the building site.

The grant bodies thanked were: Viscount Amory Charitable Trust, The Norman Family Charitable Trust, The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Eric F Stoarkes Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Mid Devon District Council Seed Fund, Devon County Council Investing In Devon, “Express and Echo” Cash For Your Community, Viridor Credits Environmental Company and numerous donations from local residents.

Devon Communities Together was amongst these grant bodies and awarded Stockleigh Pomeroy with £13.5k from the Rural Initiatives Loan Fund. This was one of the last communities to benefit from this fund which came to a close in 2014. President, John Lee OBE was delighted to represent the charity at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Thanked for their help in completing the build were: Bill Butt, Colin Hooper, A and S Paving, Devon Concrete, John Twitchen, Mexboro, Isca Scaffolding, Devon Oak Ltd, Valley Construction, United Roofing Products, Dave Totterdell, Andy’s Plumbing, S J Kenshole, Air Conditioning Services SW Ltd and John Butt.

Also thanked was CDM Health and Safety, Management SW Ltd, Drawing Office SW Ltd, Harmony Architectural, Tiverton Kitchens and Bathrooms, Howdens, White Cross Engineering and W E Johns.

The wish list the hall committee would like includes flooring, shutters for service hatches, a dish washer and microwave, a hot water heater, electic hand dryers for the toilets, tables and chairs, curtains, cladding, signs to the hall and bottle coolers.

A celebration cake, in the shape and design of the hall, made by Ann Huxtable and iced by Susie Horder, was cut by the hall trustees, Chris Gill, Peter Rogers and John Reed.

Local resident Malcolm Huxtable said the hall was “a credit to the village”.

The hall has a high vantage point with sweeping views of the beautiful neighbouring countryside.

Monthly coffee mornings are held at the hall and forthcoming events include a dog show on July 16, Harvest Fayre on September 3 and a Harvest Supper also in September.  Other planned events include a Christmas Fayre, Breakfast Morning, Curry Night and Skittles/Social Night.

An open afternoon, for the public to view the new hall, will take place from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, April 30.

Alan Quick

Editor

Crediton Courier

See more photos on our Facebook account here