Delight as community saves popular social hall

Ray Salter, chairman of Sidford social hall with existing members a new members Veronica Burge and P

Ray Salter, chairman of Sidford social hall with existing members a new members Veronica Burge and Peter Eagles. Ref shs 1234-29-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Users of Sidford Social Hall are thrilled its future has been secured after the community venue faced a ‘make or break’ point, prompting an appeal for help.

Committee members - who oversee the running of the well-used hub - turned to the Herald to rally for volunteers to take on vital roles.

Home to The Byes Pre-School, the hall is also used by a number of sports and social clubs, who all stood to lose out if it was forced to close – the threat which loomed if there were not enough people to run it.

Chairman Ray Salter said: “Thanks to the Herald’s articles we have had four enquiries to join our committee. Two have already attended our last meeting and hopefully they will all join the committee formally at the next annual general meeting. We are most grateful for the publicity given to our problem over the last few weeks and are relieved that it now seems as though the hall is once again, a viable proposition.”

Treasurer Colin Kingman will have been in the role 15 years when he stands down in April and said he has been looking for the chance to retire, but did not want to leave the hall in jeopardy. He is grateful for the support and confirmed there will also be someone taking on the role of secretary.

The Byes Pre-School treasurer, Helen Harms, said: “I speak on behalf of all supporters of the pre-school, parents and committee members alike when I say that we are delighted to hear that community-spirited individuals have stepped forward to take on the important roles associated with the running of Sidford Social Hall.

“We very much look forward to meeting and working with them in the near future.”

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Committee member Marion Perry was one of many who crowded into a packed hall to save the site more than 30 years ago when it faced a similar situation. She said a lot of hard work went into transforming it into the thriving community hub it is today.

Town councillor and committee member Ian McKenzie Edwards welcomed the news and added that the hall is very well used, but it was vital to get the main roles filled.

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