Bishops Lydeard Village Hall

The new stage at Bishops Lydeard Village Hall was opened, officially, at an event on Friday 5th May. In his remarks before the opening, Greg Allen, the Treasurer of the Village Hall Management Committee explained the background to the project.

When the Village Hall was opened in 1939 for some unknown reason it did not include a stage – however, since one of the early uses was as a reception centre for evacuees, other things were probably on people’s minds. Ever since then, the local Amateur Dramatic Society used temporary structures that were hard work to erect, limited the number of performances, and reduced audience size.

When the current VHMC was reformed in 2000/01, the halls were under-used, in poor condition and in danger of closure. Planning permission was obtained for a number of improvements and extensions. The stage was included in the overall plan, but other improvements had to take priority.

Coming up-to-date, Greg explained the purpose of the stage project:

  • To provide a facility for local children’s groups that periodically put on shows for parents and other local people;
  • To enable stage performance by Drama, Music, Dance and other entertainment groups for the benefit of local residents;
  • To provide improved facilities for meetings, parties etc.

Funding for the project (to date £170k) was an ever-present worry and he thanked TDBC for their grant of £4600, the Parish Council (£5000) and the Foyle Foundation (also for £5000). However, as most of the funding had come from local people through fundraising events organised by the Village Hall Committee, he felt it was appropriate that the stage should be opened by a local resident: Mrs Ann Pattemore. 

In her speech, Ann thanked everyone who had contributed to the fundraising effort over the years. In particular, she thanked , Alan Ball, Richard Peacocke and Greg Allen for their work in bringing the project to a successful conclusion. She said that she was very pleased to declare the new stage open! Following the opening ceremony the stage was put to good use with performances by students from Nicky Jenks School of Dance and musical entertainment from the Tony White Group and Gerry Mogg’s, The Moggians.

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Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard