‘Loss of hall would be a disaster for Sidford’

Beryl and Colin Kingman, Jan Baker, Tony Lavers and Ian McKenzie-Edwards hope to prevent Sidford Soc

Beryl and Colin Kingman, Jan Baker, Tony Lavers and Ian McKenzie-Edwards hope to prevent Sidford Social Hall from potential closure. Ref shs 7362-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Members of Sidford’s community are being called upon to save their social hall and prevent another ‘devastating loss’ to the village.

Pre-school children, sport and social groups all stand to lose out if the well-used venue is forced to close – something that is threatened if more people do not come forward to keep it going.

The hall relies on a committee to oversee its running and members have launched an appeal through the Herald as they fear for its future. A number of key people are set to retire and there is a lack of volunteers to replace them.

Chairman Ray Salter said: “We have one person interested in joining the committee, so there has been some success from the [Herald] article, but I really hope we can get a few more interested people to come forward.

“To lose yet another amenity in Sidford - now that the chemist, health centre and post office are closing - would be a disaster and it would lose its status as a village.

“The hall is very well used by many organisations including short mat bowls, folk dance, badminton, the Women’s Institute and pre-school - all of whom would have difficulty in finding alternative suitable premises.

“What most users do not realise is the amount of work involved in keeping the hall running successfully, so it is imperative that we are able to recruit new committee members, particularly to the key positions.”

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The Byes Pre-school treasurer, Helen Harms, said: “Sidford Social Hall provides a fantastic service to local social groups within the area and is, of course, the setting for the pre-school.

“We are obviously very concerned to hear that its future may be in jeopardy and the prospect of potentially losing our setting, especially after working so hard to create the nearby wildlife garden. It would be a devastating loss for our staff, local families and the children.

“However, there is still plenty of time for community-spirited individuals to step forward and take on these rewarding roles and I have every faith that the residents of Sidford will rise to the challenge to ensure the continuation of their long-established social hall.”

Anyone interested in becoming a committee member can call Ray on 01395 516686 or email rayandpat2011@gmail.com.

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