REPAIRS to the roof of a Cricklade community hall, which has been described as “the lifeblood of the community,” could be finished in time for Christmas.
Trustees, volunteers and consultants came together last week to inspect the progress made on the repairs at Jenner Hall.
Chairman of Jenner Hall Community Trust John Hickman said he was pleased with the progress. “We hope the new roofs will be completed by Christmas or shortly afterwards, but it is all dependent on the weather,” he said.
After two years of intensive fundraising, volunteers finally collected the £170,000 needed to rebuild the hall’s roof this autumn and work began in mid-October.
Historic building consultant Harvey Faulkner-Aston said the work was progressing well. “The original roof timbers are in quite good condition, considering their age, and some minor repair work has been carried out on them,” he said.
Vice chairman of the Jenner Hall Community Trust Vicky McIntosh said local residents had taken a real interest in the work. “People walking past the hall always stop to look at the progress,” she said.
The fundraising campaign was launched in December 2011, after the grade two listed building fell into disrepair. Vicky said the tiles were old and out of alignment, causing the roof to leak constantly.
The trust received major grants from Hills PLC and the SITA Trust, which supports community and environmental improvement projects. Cricklade Town Council also donated £1,000 to the project.
Chairman of Cricklade Town Council David Tetlow said the repairs were urgently needed. “I am delighted to see that progress is being made to replace the ancient Cotswold stone tiles,” he said.
The Raise the Roof committee ran several moneymaking projects, including a "buy a roof tile" scheme and small change money jars, which raised more than £500 during the last year.
An official celebration of the hall’s new roofs will be held in the spring. Members of the Jenner Hall Community Trust are hoping to involve local schoolchildren in creating a time capsule, which will be placed in the roof.