Scratby’s new community hall is named at topping out ceremony

A CHAMPAGNE cork popped as Scratby celebrated the final roof beam being put in place at its new �600,000 community hall.

The hi-tech hub, due to open towards the end of January, was christened Scratby All Saints Parish Hall at the topping out ceremony on Monday - continuing the history of the former All Saints church in Beach Road.

When the hall opens it will fulfill the community’s 50-year dream to have a social heart of the village.

John Conway, chairman of the hall’s management committee, said: “It’s going to be absolutely brilliant, and a superb facility not only for the villagers of this parish but for people further afield.”

The building, built on agricultural land just outside the village boundary boasts a main hall where clever design means it can host anything from indoor sports to theatre productions.

Parish council chairman Geoff Freeman said work was on track, and when completed the hall would serve Scratby, Ormesby and California.

“We wanted to deliver more than just a parish hall,” he said. “Our slogan is that we’re three villages but one parish.”

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Work has been carried out by contractors Mainstay Construction of Martham, and site manager Paul Nickerson said: “We’re proud to be involved with this project.”

Most of the money for the hall has been raised by the parish precept meaning everyone has contributed and will benefit. And it is fourth time lucky for a project that has suffered three previous attempts that came to nothing, and parish councillors are glad decades of hard graft has nearly come to fruition.

Parish councillor and former chairman John Leadbeater has been pushing for the hall for more than 30 years. He said: “We’ve fought hard for this and it’s going to be a flagship hall for the whole of this region.”

Clubs are already queuing up to get involved with the hall, with judo, croquet and five-a-side football among the interested. Films will also be shown, and classes are planned to teach older people to use computers.

The hall is also environmentally friendly, as its “intelligent” heating and recovery system mean it can monitor its own temperature for next to nothing.

It can generate enough electricity to sell some back to the national grid – all without boilers that need serving and oil tanks that need security protection thanks to its air source heat pumps.