Ottery’s Institute warms up

THINGS are hotting up at The Institute in Ottery.

Deciding that it was time to replace the old central heating boiler, the management committee of the community building in Yonder Street applied for grants but were turned down by the Community Council for Devon and East Devon District Council.

With regular repairs, difficulties getting parts and an inefficient system, however, it was decided to press ahead and get the job done.

Ottery St Mary Town Council approved a grant of �650 and Honiton Oil and Gas did the work in September at their original tender price of �7,404.53. The grants process had taken nearly two years.

Further help came unexpectedly from two of the hall’s regular users: The Otter Vale Art Society, which holds monthly meetings and an annual exhibition, gave �250 towards the cost; and the Short Mat Bowling Club held a weekend event at which �800 was raised and presented at The Institute’s annual meeting at the end of November.

“Everyone was bowled over,” said management committee chairman Dave West.

The Institute is a registered charity and a popular venue for local clubs and organisations.

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Caretaker Ron Berry looks after the day-to-day running and is also bookings secretary, and the cleaning is done by Hilary Stone.

Ron has mastered the controls of the new system and is now able to set the timers for the various bookings a week at a time.

“This has proved very useful during the current cold spell,” said Dave.

“All users of the building can now benefit from a more efficient heating system and grateful thanks are due to everyone who helped to make this possible.”