The good news is that the first stage of the restoration of the Memorial Hall has now been completed. Our residents can see that the hall has been extended,and the stage has been demolished. In the rear extension there is now a disabled toilet and shower room, a small meeting room and a large storage area.
The hall has now been redecorated by a team of volunteers led by Mr. Ian Bartholomew and it is now furnished with a new set of very nice curtains. Meanwhile the following photographs show the extended hall although it should be noted that, in spite of the hall walls looking rather yellow, they are in fact Magnolia !
IT IS A START, BUT THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL STILL NEEDS TO RAISE A LOT MORE MONEY TO COMPLETE THE OTHER STAGES, PARTICULARLY THE TOILETS! So, please support the various events that are being staged to raise that much needed money – it's for you AND FOR YOUR CHILDREN!
During the last few years the Community Council has made several unsuccessful applications for a Lottery grant to enable a comprehensive update of the Memorial Village Hall. All four applictions were rejected as not fully meeting the ever-changing criteria.
The hall is now in almost constant regular use by most of the village organisations which now includes the twice weekly Post Office and it’s accompanying Coffee Morning, the Badminton Club, Baby and Toddlers and Kick Boxing, plus the annual Drama Club performance. It is also used for various other social functions, Wedding Receptions, 21st Birthday Celebrations, Football Club dinners etc. A monthly list of events is detailed in the current Diary of Events excluding of course any "private functions".
Although the condition of the hall was adequate for use for all of the functions mentioned above The Community Council were well aware that the building itself needed some improvements including some additional space to enable a more versatile layout to include an additional smaller meeting room for the use of committee’s, IT courses etc. It was also essential to add disabled toilet facilities and to tackle the constant damp problems that are an ever present feature of the hall. To help to solve these problems the architect has recommended that the present stage is removed and that the existing floor should be extended to the area presently underneath the stage. The other problem encountered by the old layout was the constant lack of storage space and part of the recommendations included a purpose built extension at the back of the hall primarily to help solve the storage problem. At well as adding the disabled toilet facilities there still needs to be an improved bar area and a general improvement of the existing toilets which will subsequently entail losing a relatively small area of the main hall.
By removing the existing stage the eventual loss of space at the entrance to the hall will be more than compensated for at the other end. As the stage is deemed to be essential to the success of the annual village pantomime and other performances staged by the Drama Club the Community Council is investigating replacing this with a "demountable" stage. Any visiting theatre groups always bring their own props and do not use the existing stage thereby depriving the Village Hall of several rows of a potential audience and the removal of the stage has overcome this problem, and in these instances any "demountable" stage could be used to provide tiered seating at the rear of the hall. Other improvements include the provision of the shower and hot drink facilities at the back end of the hall, both of which will be invaluable for any performing artistes, either visiting or home grown.
The plans were approved by the Community Council committee and they were displayed in the Village Hall to enable any interested clubs or individuals to study the new layout. A model was also shown to further explain the main areas of improvement i.e. the toilet fascilities, the improved Bar/PO area and the extension complete with the extra disabled toilet and shower, and the small meeting room. This also indicated the storage area for the chairs, the demountable stage and the Baby and Toddlers equipment. A copy of the plan is shown below along with photographs of the 'model'.
As it appears that a lottery grant is not available it was decided to gradually carry out whatever updates are both practical and affordable in line with the above and to this end a Memorial Village Hall Fund has been instigated. This is being organised by a group of volunteers who are running a number of fund raising schemes to help to gradually make those additions and improvements. It is intended to explore any grant avenues available to the Community Council once the tender is approved by the council and this will then be used in combination with the funds raised by this group.
After failing to do permanent damage, to himself whilst playing the part of the Demon King in a local dramatic society's production of Mother Goose, Ian, a one-time mathematics teacher and self-professed buffoon, happened upon a new obsession - the unicycle.
Not content with just being able to ride it, he decided to undertake the discomfort of riding it for charity. This book tells the tale of these rides, set against the backdrop of his other cycling "achievements".
How he is still standing and also still tolerated by his long-suffering wife are questions which may well puzzle the reader long after they have put the book down – especially since Ian has been unable to work out the answers himself.
For more interesting information from the author of this very popular book just go to www.iansbikerides.webplus.net/.
LOST AWHEEL runs to 48 pages including 18 photographs as well as 4 maps detailing his longer unicycle rides.
See below for ordering details.
At the beginning of July 2008 Ian Toulson, a one-time maths teacher in Suffolk, set off on another of his bike rides; this time undertaking the challenge of the North Sea Cycle Route, a route of some 3000 miles through the seven countries that border the North Sea. Through the flatlands of Holland, north-west Germany and Denmark, before encountering somewhat stiffer terrain in Sweden, Norway and Scotland, before gradually returning to the Noel Coward flatness of East Anglia. In all, the trip took just under seven weeks.
During his time away he kept a diary and sent a number of emails to a group of friends. He has now combined his "scribblings" into a small booklet - entitled ROUND THE NORTH SEA AWHEEL. As well as the text there are many photographs of places he passed through and people whom he met on the way. His comments reveal both the joys and frustrations of life on the wheel. Quirky encounters and hair-raising moments add to the texture. For anyone considering such a trip this might well prove an invaluable first read.
The book runs to 96 pages including 32 photographs (8 coloured and 24 black & white), details of daily distances, and two basic maps.
To read more details of the author and his adventures, please just go to www.iansbikerides.webplus.net/
Both of these books have been produced to raise money for the refurbishment of Walsham le Willows Village Hall. To obtain a copy of either book send a donation of at least £5.00 + £1.50 p&p to:-
Ian Toulson 1, Wrenshall Cottage, Walsham le Willows, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. IP31 3AS
Cheques should be made payable to:-
Walsham le Willows Village Hall
To obtain further details email Ian at email@example.com
Allow at least three weeks for delivery.
The Walsham le Willows Cycle Routes Committee have produced a comprehensive booklet detailing thirteen different cycle, or walking routes with most of them having alternative shorter versions clearly detailed. These routes are all shown in map form with each one also being very clearly detailed in a narrative form along with details, where applicable, of shops, pubs, tea-rooms, churches, public telephones etc… The longest route is one of 35 miles while the shortest, which is around Walsham itself, is only 4 miles. Every route starts and finishes at the Memorial Hall car park but the routes can start and finish from any particular point that can be chosen from the maps.
There are also details of the various villages that are passed through whilst covering the relevant route and there are other pages of useful information such as one on ‘Safety First’.
This is quite a substantial book of 94 pages and is extremely good value at only £5.00.
Copies can be obtained from Jan Hall on 01359 259653.