Celebrating a new lease of life for village hall

Front (left to right): Doris Clarke, Coun John Taylor, committee chairman Joyce Shaw and secretary Michael Gibbs. Back: Keith, Nell and Elaine Newbigin, relatives of Alison whose bequest funded much of the renovation.
Front (left to right): Doris Clarke, Coun John Taylor, committee chairman Joyce Shaw and secretary Michael Gibbs. Back: Keith, Nell and Elaine Newbigin, relatives of Alison whose bequest funded much of the renovation.

A north Northumberland community celebrated the refurbishment of its village hall last week, made possible by a generous bequest.

As reported in the Gazette, the renovation of Craster Memorial Hall was possible thanks to £76,000 left in the will of Alison Newbigin, a long-serving member of Craster Community Trust, which oversaw the work.

And on Friday, members of her family, residents and others involved with the project gathered at the hall to celebrate the completion of the work and to unveil a plaque in memory of Alison.

Trust secretary Michael Gibbs thanked all those who had supported the scheme and paid tribute to Alison’s years of work.

She became treasurer of the trust in 1960 and only retired due to ill health in 2007, having served in various capacities and done anything necessary to keep the hall going.

Local councillor John Taylor said: “Our leisure centres are the village halls. They are your community centres and hopefully the refurbishment will last a number of years.”

Trust chairman Joyce Shaw thanked the community for their support through all the activities that go on. “They are what keeps this village hall alive.

“This was Alison’s life. I think what we have done is what she would have wanted.”