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New lease of life for Cranage Village Hall thanks to grants
CRANAGE Village Hall is more than 100 years old, but has been given a new lease of life thanks to a recent renovation.
The village hall, formerly known as ‘The Club’ was built in 1907 by William Carver of Cranage Hall for his family and the village – his employees.
It is a substantial ‘Arts and Crafts’-style building, originally incorporating a social room, a billiard room and a caretaker’s cottage.
When the Carvers sold Cranage Hall in the 1930s it became a hospital for the mentally handicapped, and in 1947 the then Cranage Club was ‘given’ to the residents of Cranage to be held in trust.
In 1958 to make the hall more usable and versatile the central wall in the main hall was removed and a temporary building was erected to provide a ladies and gents toilets and a kitchen.
The current committee are all trustees of the hall and operate it as a charity, making sure it breaks even every financial year.
Over the years they have had grants from WREN to build the new entrance area, Manchester Airport have paid for chairs and tables and EON have paid for the new kitchen.
This week the committee revealed the most recent renovation, inviting villagers and representatives from the grant bodies to the hall to show them the work that has taken place.
Sheila Tomlinson, a member of the committee, told the Guardian: “We have used quite a lot of our own funds to keep the fabric of the building in good order.
“From 2007 to 2012 we have had a lot of help from EON and we were able to complete the job in the main hall with new curtains at the new windows.
“They also gave us a grant for a new cooker and provided funds to extend the central heating to the upstairs committee room.
“In 2010 we put in new toilets and in 2011 we painted the outside of the building. This coming week we are to finish the kitchen job by having it painted.”
Fellow committee member John Halstead said: “We’re still looking at other things like the roof as a lot of the nails holding the slates are more than 100 years old.
“The pre-school are extending the area outside so the children have a bigger play area. We’re planning on extending the car park and obviously there’s the ongoing maintenance.
“In the longer term we want to change the gas heaters to radiators and we have both at the moment – we’re always trying to keep the energy costs down.”
The hall is well used, with a successful pre-school now open during term time on three full days and one half day each week.
The art club meets each Monday evening, a whist drive is held every other Tuesday with the bridge club meeting on Wednesday evenings.
Zumba is on Thursday evenings and on available Fridays there is the ‘All For You’ social club for young adults with learning difficulties.
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