Wednesday, 23 June 2021

£30k appeal to repair clock tower

THE trustees of Goring village hall want to raise at least £30,000 to repair the building’s clock

THE trustees of Goring village hall want to raise at least £30,000 to repair the building’s clock tower.

The lead roofing at the base of the tower is cracking due to age and must be replaced.

It has split in several places so that water leaks into the storage areas behind the main stage when it rains.

The trustees are to apply to South Oxfordshire District Council for a grant but must also provide some of the funds themselves.

The clock tower was added to the hall in 1925 to mark its 25th anniversary.



The problem came to light last month when it was discovered that the Goring Gap Players’ costumes and props were getting soaked.

The trustees hired lead roofing specialists to inspect the tower and found the damage but couldn’t get close enough for a full inspection.

Next month scaffolding will be put up around the tower to allow a detailed inspection for a quote to support the trustees’ grant application.

While the scaffolding is up, the clock faces will be cleaned.

The work will take several months and is expected to cost more than £30,000.

The committee is selling Christmas cards featuring images of the clock tower at £4 for a pack of 10.

These can be purchased from the Miller of Mansfield in High Street or Westholme Stores in Wallingford Road.

Proceeds from its annual Christmas food and produce fair on December 5 will also go towards the appeal, as will takings from a barn dance at the hall in February.

Other fund-raising events are being organised.

Trustee Sally Wicks said: “Until we’ve got the scaffolding up, we won’t really know the full extent of the damage. The woodwork is likely to be rotting as well.

“We’ve launched the appeal because this is a matter of urgency. We have to show the district council that we’re actively trying to raise money in other ways.”

In 2010 the committee launched a successful campaign to raise £100,000 for a new garden room at the rear of the hall, which opened two years later.

Mrs Wicks said: “Hopefully that shows there are ways of raising large sums of money when we need them.

“The clock tower is such a valuable asset to the community. It is an iconic part of the building and you can’t imagine it not being there.”

Bernard Novell, who chairs the trustees, said: “We did some digging and realised that it’s the original lead from when the hall was built and has never been replaced.

“We want to repair and refurbish it comprehensively so that it lasts another century.” The food and produce fair, now in its fifth year, will run from 10am to 3pm. Entry is 50p (children get in free).

On sale will be turkeys, meats, cheeses, pickles, preserves, cakes, baked goods and vegetables as well as wreaths, table decorations and wines.

For more information or to help the appeal, send an email to sally.wicks@btinternet.com



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