Beginning to rise from ashes

A SUFFOLK community is today beginning to pick up the pieces after fire ravaged their village hall.The Chamberlin Hall in Bildeston was destroyed by fire in the early hours of April 27.

A SUFFOLK community is today beginning to pick up the pieces after fire ravaged their village hall.

The Chamberlin Hall in Bildeston was destroyed by fire in the early hours of April 27.

Most of the roof was lost and a number of items inside were destroyed.

But villagers are now beginning the long process of restoring the hall to its former glory, and say they have been touched by the many offers of support they have received.

Kevin Taylor, chairman of the hall's management committee, said: "We have had lots of letters of sympathy and people offering us help, but at this stage there's not an awful lot us villagers can do.

"It's all got to be left down to the professionals now."

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The building has been fenced off and a clean-up team is expected to start work on repairing the hall next week.

Builders have been appointed to make the hall safe and take off the roof and once this is done the hall's management committee will then start the search for builders to restore the hall.

Mr Taylor said: "It's too early to put an exact date on when it will all be finished but we're looking at well in to next year."

A Portacabin will be arriving next week and the committee will house their meetings in there for the time being. The local bowls club will also use this for their games.

Mr Taylor said: "It's been a very busy week. We've gone through the list of all the people that hire out the hall and made sure they've all got suitable alternative venues. Thankfully, everyone seems to have found somewhere now."

A large shipping container was expected to arrive at the hall this morning so that all the bits and pieces from the hall that were not damaged in the fire can be safely stored.

Storage company Mr Box Ltd have agreed to donate the box free of charge for the first month and then at a reduced rate after that.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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