New members could save Whipton Community Hall
HUNDREDS of people could find themselves without a venue for their hobbies and socialising if a popular city community hall has to close.
A wide range of groups as diverse as a ladies' barbershop choir and a baby ballet class meet at Whipton Community Hall.
Once a church, the hall is run by the Whipton Community Association. The problem is members of the association are elderly and want to retire.
But they fear that if no one steps forward to replace them, the hall will have to close.
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Eunice Middlewick, the association's secretary responsible for taking the hall's bookings, said: "We are all terribly worried about this. There are not many halls around.
"We get phone calls from people who need to come to our hall for one reason or another, but we now have as many groups as we can take."
Apart from the regular groups the hall hosts birthday parties, polling days and even wakes.
Mrs Middlewick said: "I have said I am going to retire in October and I think people are thinking I won't really go but I have quite set my mind on it."
Chairman Peter Gentry has not given a date for leaving, but said he wanted to have someone waiting in the wings to take over from him.
And groundsman Don Ely, who looks after the grounds and helps the chairman with odd jobs, would also welcome some help.
Mrs Middlewick added: "The trouble is everything has grown up with us.
"It is more than 35 years since it was a church, and then it was empty for a while.
"I have been secretary for 23 years and gradually use of the hall has grown. I think we are taken for granted with people thinking we are paid, but we are not.
"More people are needed to help with the general running of the organisation, helping at fundraising events and so on."
Meetings are held around six times a year. The next one is on Wednesday, March 27, at 2.30pm.
Times of subsequent meetings can be changed to suit new members if necessary.
To help or find out more call 01392 468319.