Saturday, 20 July 2013

Stimulating and Interesting

This project is very stimulating and interesting. We need to learn as much as we can about the heritage associated with East Worlington Parish Hall and the local community.

Friday, 19 July 2013

East Worlington Parish Hall is a Grade II listed former barn that sits within the curtilage of the former rectory, now East Worlington House.  Probably constructed in the 17th Centrury, the building was almost certainly originally a threshing barn and subsequently used for the collection and storage of tithes.  For the last 100 years it has served as a Parish Hall for the local community.  Although the barn has undergone a number of refurbishments and improvements over the centuries, it is once more in need of further conservation and updating.

Our vision is to create a Community Hub that provides a place not only a place where the local community can gather for learning, recreation and social and health activities but where the local history can be shared.  The building if part of the heritage of the area and our hope is that we can protect it for further generations to come.

Our focus is the ‘story’ of East Worlington Parish Hall within the context of the local community.  The current parish population includes families with deep rooted heritage in the area, and others who have moved more recently into the area.  Being a rural community the people are spread throughout the parish, sometimes quite isolated and therefore the hall has the potential to be a focal point for bringing people together.  But currently the Parish Hall is an underused resource and our aim is to change this, so the hall can be an asset for everyone who lives here and for visitors to this rural part of North Devon.

The principle objectives of our heritage project are:
  • Restore, conserve and improve the utilisation of the Parish Hall
  • Enable the building to fulfil its role as a community hub where the recreational, social, learning, cultural and health-related needs of local resident can be met
  • Enable a community resource to generate income to achieve financial self-sustainability.
  • Motivate, stimulate and support members of the community to work and learn together
  • Develop further knowledge and understanding of the local history and create a documented record of our community’s heritage
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers to contribute to their community development and sustainability
  • Create a heritage learning hub: with physical displays and artefacts within the building; and access to learning resources both paper and electronic
  • Provide a location for heritage learning through talks and heritage events
  • Support local economy by encouraging and providing facilities for visitors

We are in the early stages of this project and this blog will record the journey as we attempt to fulfil our vision to create a hub for the community.