Arson attack clock to serve as reminder

A CLOCK which partially melted following an arson attack on a village hall is to be put on permanent display – as a reminder of the disaster.The hall, at Metfield, was set alight in August last year and, following the completion of re-building work costing £150,000, is set to re-open next week.

A CLOCK which partially melted following an arson attack on a village hall is to be put on permanent display – as a reminder of the disaster.

The hall, at Metfield, was set alight in August last year and, following the completion of re-building work costing £150,000, is set to re-open next week.

The hall clock partially melted during the fire and still – in true Agatha Christie style – shows the time it stopped – 1.10am.

Now it is to be returned to the wall of the hall – to remind villagers of the fire and the tremendous community effort needed to ensure the hall was re-built.

The hall was originally built eleven years ago at a total cost of £99,000. At the time of the fire villagers were still paying off the mortgage on the building.

However, with the help of the insurance company, local architect, Robert Gooderham, and builder Steve Jarten , the hall has risen from the ashes.

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"The fire was disastrous but a wonderful community atmosphere was created as we dealt with the situation and planned the re-building," said Peter Cook, co-chairman and treasurer of the village hall committee.

"Other local buildings were offered as meeting and function locations and everyone rallied round to ensure we got the hall back as soon as possible," he added.

Mr Cook said it was only when the hall had become unavailable that people had realised just how important it was to the life of the community.

"The same thing happened when our village pub closed for about a year," he added.

On August 1, from 6-8 pm, locals are being invited to an informal get-together to mark the re-opening of the village hall and the first event in the "new" building is scheduled to be the annual village fete, on August 16.

The fire is thought to have been caused by the setting light of a dustbin filled with newspapers up against the timber-clad wall of the hall.

Nobody has ever been charged in connection with the fire.

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