AN ENTHUSIASTIC CROWD of about 50 people watched as local MP Graham Stuart formally re-opened the newly refurbished Preston Community Hall at 1.15pm on Saturday 15th September 2012.
“This building represents the way that the local community comes together.” said Graham during his opening speech, and many people present expressed a similar view that the Community Hall was not just a building, but an ‘organiser’ and a focal point of the local community.
Geoff Catterick of the Management Committee told us that the present building was already second-hand when it was erected on its present site in 1956. It was in desperate need of a makeover. The newly refurbished hall has been the result of lots of hard work over 20 months. The 10-strong Management Committee had driven the project forward but hundreds had been involved in the fundraising and it had been a real community effort. Local firms had been involved and volunteers had helped with the decorating.
The hall’s original sign had recently been found buried under ivy on neighbouring land. A lovely feature of the opening festivities, was when Preston’s oldest resident Maureen Jones (96) was photographed with the original sign by the local press. Maureen still uses the hall and remembers it opening the first time round in 1956.
The new hall, with its brightly lit, cream coloured interior has a warm, welcoming feel. “It evokes warmth” Graham Stuart told us later and helps “create a sense of community ownership”.
Parish Council Chair Janet Weatherill was delighted with the refurbishment and with the turnout for the opening event. But Janet wondered what headline we would use for this article?
The Rev. John Staton from Preston Methodist summed up the purpose of the hall – and provided our headline: “Buildings like this bring people together to make things happen. They put heart into communities!”
The new hall will undoubtedly get very busy, but new bookings are always being sought. To book the Community Hall Contact: Mrs. A. Acey. Tel: 01482 896101 or Mr. J. Myers. Tel: 01482 896631.