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Cash call for Martham Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:25 13 March 2011

The Jubilee Room at Martham Village Hall which needs major repairs to the floor surface and the concrete foundations.

Pearl Brooke, chair to the committee

The Jubilee Room at Martham Village Hall which needs major repairs to the floor surface and the concrete foundations. Pearl Brooke, chair to the committee

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

IT was to be a space fit for a monarch - and now an appeal has gone out to help restore a room in Martham Village Hall to its former glory.

Having opened in 1977 to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year, the Jubilee Room is in dire need of new flooring, with work expected to cost £32,000.

And it is hoped that, with a bit of help, the wide array of groups who until recently used the chamber will be able to once again in time for another royal red letter day – next year’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Problems first arose last October, when the wooden flooring began to rise due to damp.

Pearl Brooke is chairman to the village hall committee, a charitable organisation now appealing for help with fundraising, or for volunteers who might be able to do the job for free. She said: “It happened just after quite a considerable downfall of rain, and one group had commented that it had felt hollow underneath the flooring. Then two hours later, the caretaker spotted that you had a ridge which carried on almost halfway across the width of the floor.”

However, a surveyors’ report this January showed that there are structural issues in the floor’s foundation which stem back to when it was originally built.

These were issues which Pearl was shocked to hear were not covered by insurance.

“I couldn’t believe it to honest. Villagers raised money to pay for this hall originally and then 30 years on to be told it wasn’t covered – well, it was mind-blowing.”

And now the village hall committee has been told that to put the situation right the entire floor slab will have to be removed, with guttering and waste water redirected and soakaways removed before a new hall can be put down.

So far the committee have identified £8,000 from their own pockets towards the scheme, but faced a setback this week when their application for a £10,000 Awards for All grant was rejected because the overall cost of refurbishment was too high.

Appealing for donations, Pearl said: “It’s for all the people in the village.”

The next fundraiser at the hall will be The Rock n Roll Revellers on Saturday, May 14, from 7.30pm, with tickets costing £5, including buffet. On the weekend beginning Saturday, July 2, there will also be a craft fair, with stalls available.

l To help out, call Pearl Brooke on 01493 749006.

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