Celebration of community life

VILLAGERS tomorrow celebrate a special day in the life of a building which has played a major role at the heart of their community for 100 years.It is the centenary of the Welcome Hall at Trimley St Mary, which for a century has been home to many groups and organisations, serving people of all ages.

VILLAGERS tomorrow celebrate a special day in the life of a building which has played a major role at the heart of their community for 100 years.

It is the centenary of the Welcome Hall at Trimley St Mary, which for a century has been home to many groups and organisations, serving people of all ages.

Tomorrow the management committee of the hall in High Road will be opening the doors for a special celebration – and all residents are being invited to come along and join in the occasion.

Between 10am and 12 noon, refreshments will be served and people will have a chance to reflect on the building's past, as well as finding out what goes on inside its walls today.


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It was opened in 1902, provided by The Pretyman family for the benefit of villagers in both Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary.

In 1939, the hall – next to the Three Mariners pub and opposite the church – was conveyed to trustees from the village, and a Trust Deed was drawn up.

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This stated that the hall should be used "for the purpose of physical and mental training and recreation, social, moral and intellectual development through the medium of reading, recreational rooms, library lectures and classes".

Entertainment could also be held in the building and the church had first right to the premises on Sundays, presumably as a venue for Sunday school classes.

In 1995, the trustees agreed that Trimley St Mary Parish Council could apply to the Charity Commission to have the trusteeship transferred to the council.

The move was needed in order to allow public money to be spent on a £28,000 project to provide a desperately-needed new roof.

A management committee was formed from villagers and users of the building to oversee the day to day running, while the parish council is the "owner" and helps with the major expenses and repairs.

Local fundraising has also played a vital role in the past few years in improving the hall and events have meant a small meeting room could be refurbished, kitchen improved and the building decorated and kept in good repair.

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