Will Lord Irvine do town hall honours?

A CENTURY after one of the nation's top government officials opened a community hall, villagers have invited one of his successors to celebrate its 100th birthday.

By Richard Cornwell

A CENTURY after one of the nation's top government officials opened a community hall, villagers have invited one of his successors to celebrate its 100th birthday.

Trimley St Mary was honoured in 1902 when the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain visited the village to lay a stone at the opening of its Welcome Hall.

Now, with its centenary approaching, the management committee of the building, a thriving village hall at the heart of its community, has written to the current Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg.


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They have asked him to join them for their celebrations this October and are anxiously waiting for his reply.

Lord Halsbury was Lord Chancellor in 1902 and the stone cemented into place by him can still be seen beneath the window at the front of the Welcome Hall in High Road.

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The Pretyman family provided the hall – next to the Three Mariners pub and opposite the church – for the benefit of villagers in both Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary.

In 1939, the hall was conveyed to trustees from the village. A trust deed was drawn up to say 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".

It is now used for a wide variety of activities for young and old, including for meetings and by clubs and organisations throughout each week.

A spokesman for the Lord Chancellor's office said the letter from the management committee inviting Lord Irvine would be considered and officials would see if a trip to Trimley could be fitted into his diary. A reply would be made soon.

Mary Dixon, chairperson of the management committee for the hall, said: "It will be great if he would come, but we do recognise that he is a mighty person to turn up for the event. I don't know how it happened last time.

"It a nice hall and very well used by the community, in fact when people go in to it they remark it is one of the nicest halls they go in to."

The open day will take place on October 5 and organisers are appealing for people to send old photographs they may have of the hall to the committee for the day to be a success.

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