Hall rebirth dream gets off to fine start

Ukelele band BUGS perform during the event last Monday
Ukelele band BUGS perform during the event last Monday

An historic Poulton hall could be reopened within ‘two or three years’, the charity set up to run it said.

Alastair Thomas, Vicarage Park Community Centre (VPCC) chairman, spoke after the launch of a £300,000 appeal to refurbish the former St Chad’s Church Hall, in Vicarage Road.

Today was a very special celebration for us as it marks the first 12 months of our successful charity registration and lease on the hall

He said: “We don’t underestimate what a tall mountain we have to scale but we are confident that with the backing of the local community, sponsorship from local businesses and capital grant funding, that we will reach our target of £300,000 and be in a position to refurbish and reopen the hall within the next two to three years.”

The charity was set up in 2015 after the hall, which dates back to 1925, closed two years earlier.

Its appeal was launched by Wyre mayor Terry Lees, and has already raised more than £2,000.

Coun Lees unveiled a fundraising ‘thermometer’ outside the hall shortly before noon on Monday as part of the VPCC’s summer fun day.

More than 200 people enjoyed free music from 11am until 4pm, and enjoyed picnics on the grass at the nearby Vicarage Park, while organisers dressed up as hippies for the day.

Refreshments were served from a marquee, while 70-year-old marathon runner, Trevor Mills from Blackpool, handed over a cheque for £1,600, cash he raised during a recent run.

Organiser Sarah Welsh said: “It was such a perfect day, we couldn’t have wished for better weather and it certainly contributed to the large attendance and relaxed open air atmosphere.”

Mr Thomas added: “Today was a very special celebration for us as it marks the first 12 months of our successful charity registration and lease on the hall.

“Last year we made a great start by fundraising over £25,000 in our first few months of operation and this year we plan to do even better.

“Our latest ‘Buy-a-Brick’ fundraising campaign has got off to a fantastic start with our supporters purchasing 78 bricks with a total value of £780.”