Reopening event held to celebrate £100,000 refurbishment of Northumberland village hall

The upper hall at the Hindmarsh Hall in Alnmouth has been officially reopened following refurbishment.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:03 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 10:44 am
An event was held to mark the reopening of the Hindmarsh Hall's upper hall after refurbishment. Picture: Terry Collinson

Cllr Gordon Castle did the honours on Saturday after the Duchess of Northumberland was unable to attend and said he felt it was one of the best village halls in the county.

Its reopening is the culmination of over 18 months fundraising and building works undertaken while the Hall was closed due to the Covid pandemic.

Representatives of funders, former trustees, residents of Alnmouth and visitors came to see for themselves its transformation, enjoying a cup of tea and homemade shortbread.

Cllr Gordon Castle performed the official reopening. Picture: Terry Collinson

From Thursday, it is business as usual with events and groups beginning to return.

Over £100,000 has been raised to provide the Hall with a new oak floor, new wiring and heating, brand new sound and audio visual systems and redecoration.

Bill Bourne, chairman of the trustees, paid tribute to the efforts of Tom Batey who freely gave his expertise and professional experience to manage the renovation project.

“Tom sorted the project and saved our sanity and we cannot say or do enough to thank him,” he said.

The new-look hall. Picture: Terry Collinson

The Hindmarsh Hall was originally a mid-18th century granary which was converted to a temporary chapel in 1859 by the 4th Duke of Northumberland. It later became Alnmouth’s Town Hall.

In 1937 Leonard King Hindmarsh and Walter Duncan Hindmarsh bought it from the 9th Duke of Northumberland. They gifted it to the village in memory of their father, Henry Hindmarsh who was the son of the village blacksmith, but moved to Birmingham in the 1860’s to become a successful businessman.

Thanks to the Hindmarsh family the Town Hall became the Hindmarsh Village Hall and has been the centre of village communal life ever since.

The work has been funded by grants from the following charitable trusts and organisations: Alnmouth Burgage Holders, Alnmouth Parish Council, AONB Partnership, Arnold Clark Community Fund, Barbour Foundation, Bernard Sunley Foundation, Catherine Cookson Foundation, Carr-Ellison Trust, Cllr Gordon Castle & Cllr Martin Swinbank, Community Foundation, Fenwick Charitable Trust, Foyle Foundation Garfield Weston Foundation, Joicey Trust, Lottery Communities Fund, NCC Community Chest, Northumberland Freemasons, Northumbria Coast and Country Cottages Ltd, Rothley Trust, Scholefield Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Sturton Grange Developments and William Webster Charitable Trust. A further £18,000 was raised by villagers contributing to the ‘Plank Fund’.

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