The Caston Blog

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by Ian McIntosh, Secretary to Caston Village Hall Committee - 10:23 on 11 December 2007

Caston Village Hall has a ‘use by’ date.  Every year the village hall has an ‘annual check up’, telling us the general physical state of health of the building. Hardly a year goes by without a recommendation or two of jobs that need to be done, all of which are dealt with on an ongoing basis, over and above the running repairs that any building of such age will have. Bear in mind that the building is timber frame over timber suspended floor, with timber cladding with steel over, and is about eighty years old.

This time round we have to face the reality that time is taking its toll and the ‘use by date’ has been stamped on the ticket. All that this indicates is that the present structure is getting tired though is fundamentally sound, and the repair jobs can only get bigger and will be uneconomical to maintain in 5 to 10 years time.

How often have we heard in recent years that yet another village hall is in need of either major refurbishment or rebuild? Many have very successfully been replaced with splendid buildings and facilities, unfortunately with the inevitable financial encumbrance, and some communities are not finding it easy to financially support their splendid edifices.

One of the major attractions about Caston village hall is its location, right in the centre of the village. There are many new halls which, for probably good reason, have been located on the edge of communities, on green field sites but allowing for a substantially larger building to be erected. Need this be the case here? The present hall is ‘licensed’ to accommodate 100 people, how often is there a genuine need for a larger facility?

We need therefore to gauge the interest and input that would be available from our communities in Caston, Griston, Stow Bedon and Breckles and surrounding areas that make use of the hall. In the forthcoming weeks the Village Hall Committee will be seeking to establish how much community support they would receive if they were to start the process of seeking to rebuild the Village Hall, probably in brick with approximately the same capacity and facility as at present but with one additional smaller room.

In the meantime your views on this project would be appreciated. The committee would also welcome ideas and expertise on money raising initiatives and possible sources of funding. Please contact any of the following who would welcome your input: (e-mail to either address below would be preferred.)

Ian McIntosh Secretary email:
phone: 01 953 488 124

John Chapman Chairman phone: 01 953 483 756

David Blincow Deputy Chairman email:
phone: 01 953 488 495

You can also state your views below which will be forwarded on to the committee.
Comment from A.Skipper at 12:17 on 11 December 2007.
Why use bricks when you could use local products in a sustainable way? Look at the web site for Neatishead Village Hall who are currently looking to build a new hall. They too are thinking of the future needs of their village and have some up to the minute ideas.
Also see the National Trusts new building at St. Catherines Woods near Windermere and closer to home the new classrooms at North Pickenham village school.
The straw could easily be grown on the local farms and use the local people to help with the build. This would make the new building really belong to the village and a sustainable part of the landscape.

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