Well-used Sidford Social Hall faces closure without volunteers

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

It is ‘make or break’ time for Sidford Social Hall - which faces closure unless members of the community come forward to secure its future.

The vibrant village hub, home to the Byes Pre-school and many clubs and societies, relies on a committee to keep it running.

But member numbers are dwindling and, with the chairman, treasurer and secretary all looking to retire next year, they are desperate for somebody to take their place.

Chairman Raymond Salter said: “We are trying to find someone who is willing to come up with fresh ideas and help organise events.

“If we do not get someone to come forward, the hall will have to close.

“The pre-school will have to look for new premises.

“We are always fighting to keep the costs down and I have no doubt that if they had to move, they would not find anywhere else as cheap.

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“There’s also nowhere else in Sidford.

“The hall’s been here for more than 100 years and we do not want it to close. It’s use it or lose it.”

He added that the building faced a similar threat more than 30 years ago, when the community rallied to revive it, so he is hoping this imminent threat could inspire people to act again.

Committee member Marion Perry was one of the people who crowded into a packed hall to save the facility before.

“From that, we formed a committee of 20 to 30 people who wanted to keep the hall running,” she said.

“We transformed the hall into what it is now. It was a lot of hard work.

“We are in the same predicament now.

“The committee got older and lots want to retire. It’s either somebody comes along and helps out, or it folds. This is make or break.

“It’s a shame because the hall is used every day of the week.

“It’s a well-used, well-kept hall, but we just need somebody to take over the major roles and have a few more committee members”