Story: Saleema Imam
Ten years on, the regeneration of the Burngreave Vestry Hall is nearing its conclusion. A small group of local invitees gathered on the 11th of September to view the transformation.
A hanging art installation greets you in the entrance and a plasma screen on the wall links to music and art created by the IT space users.
In the main hall on the first floor, Rose Ardron from BNDfC reminisced about past happenings in the hall – fund-raising pram pushes and fuschia society displays amongst them – and hoped that the future would see similar imaginative uses. John Clark reminded us that the building needed the whole community to use it and own it.
We then split into two with half starting at the top and the others in the basement. Some of our group took great delight in inspecting the pipe works in the boiler room and the server for the new computer suites and voice internet connections. The two state of the art IT suites – one housing PCs, the other Apple Macs for music and media studies, open out onto the newly excavated light well.
A light airy feeling pervades the whole building. The polished wood dance floor has been reinstated in the main hall which retains its original high windows and still looks big enough for badminton. The original stone and wrought iron staircase has been retained as have some of the Victorian mosaic floor tiles in the basement.
A new top floor has been created in the roof space with offices and a multi-purpose space which can be divided into two.
At the Community Open Day on Thursday 4th October, people will be able to register their interest for courses which should begin in November after the half-term break. Three wedding receptions are already booked before the end of the year.
Park Wood High School head teacher was very impressed by the building and expressed his intentions of using the facilities for some school meetings.
On 20th September, 20 residents attended a first meeting towards setting up a new management group to oversee the use of the building and to plan for future funding and activities according to community desires. Many people had hoped to see a kitchen better equipped for cooking for events but everyone looked forward to the Vestry Hall being community-led.
Community Open Day
Before falling into disrepair in the 1990s, the Vestry Hall was one of the best-known, best-loved and most widely-used buildings in the area.
Now, thanks to a £3 million refurbishment programme, funded by Burngreave New Deal for Communities, the Vestry Hall is re-opening its doors as a community learning and activity centre.
The Community Open Day will be your chance to:
- Come and have a look round
- Find out what the Vestry Hall has to offer
- Tell us what types of courses you would be interested in doing
You can call in at the Vestry Hall any time between 10.00am and 6.30pm and receive a guided tour round this wonderful new building.
Why not come on down?
- Thursday 4th October 10.00am - 6.30pm
- Contact: Tony Tingle, Vestry Hall Manager on (0114) 213 3800.
- Community Open Day
Thursday 4 October 2007