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We are all delighted to report that the re-roofing of the Hall is now complete.

Huge thanks to Joe Nutter and his dad Fran, who have completed the work. We hope you agree – the roof looks wonderful!

Update from our Chair

Aighton, Bailey and Chaighley Memorial Hall (aka Hurst Green Memorial Hall)

Phase 1: The roof

I write in my capacity as Chair of the village hall committee, as a member of the fundraising project team, and as a villager of the community of Hurst Green.

From my office room in my house, I can see five local workers currently completing the necessary building work on the village hall roof. I watched them begin when the storms we faced in early February (Ciara, Dennis, and Jorge which first started on 8th February and only finished on the 8th March 2020) when the project looked like it would never get going. Then the storms abated and the weather has been more settled and gradually got warmer too.

Seeing the work progress in front of everyone who drives or walks by is publicity in itself: locals can converse with the workers and see for themselves the steady progress: they can see the removal of the old tiles – and see what state of disrepair they were in; they can see the gradual reduction of roofing tile pallets as they are placed ready to be distributed on the roof; they can see the roof channels for rain water being checked and remodelled after fifty years.

I am incredibly proud of the opportunity for the project to happen and the involvement of grant makers and the community to enable its realisation. There is no doubt that without the former it would have been a non-starter. And the building would have fallen into disrepair and become a mill stone rather than a centre for the community.

The significance of grant makers is not just in their generosity to support such projects but their ability to build momentum and give confidence to the project.

Each award comes with conditions and that is only correct. If I can illustrate with some examples of grant bodies and their requirements and how we have met them, then I hope you will get a flavour of why we approached them and what we would offer in return for their support:

Awards for All: as part of the work requirement on the roof, an earlier survey identified the finials

(the decorative feature at the top of top of the roof ends) as in a dangerous state of repair and would need both fixing and re-cementing. The Award money was a very timely help and ensured the opportunity of using the scaffolding for the roof tiles for this remedial work


ACRE (Action with communities in rural England): this body is a part of DEFRA, and it recognises the importance of village halls in communities. They have recognised our rural isolation and how a physical hub is needed for the community to maintain and build up the social activities for both the elderly and families

Village fundraising: in all grant making applications, there is a reminder of ‘what are you doing to raise money?’ This is only right to demand from the community a fiscal response: put your money where your mouth is! The Project Team took this opportunity to galvanise the community with a variety of fund raising projects (Talent Show, Bingo, Sponsorships etc.) which had the essence of fun whilst being gently fleeced! And the community has responded positively to spend their money, support the activities, see for themselves the progress being made to accumulate the necessary funds, and literally buy into the plan. The time generosity of the organisers has been marvellous to behold and the response form the villagers has been humbling. Particularly from the original hall volunteers still living from over fifty years ago!

Harold and Alice Bridges: a local fund which really hit the spot for our application. We were lucky enough to be sited in the preferred area; our request was for appropriate capital support for the roof tile replacement and the funds focus was on village halls.

RVBC (Ribble Valley Borough Council) have been long standing supporters of all the rural parishes of the Borough and have been generous in their time, advice and financial giving to the project. They also recognise that when elections are held, we are the only best placed location and building to hold the requisite facilities for such affairs!

LEF (Lancashire Environmental Fund): a major contribution to our efforts, and probably the most challenging for us to meet in terms of their requirements. Examples of how we have recycled as the work has progressed include the following:

  • The wooden roof batons were not fit for purpose and locals have used the broken pieces for their firewood
  • All lead has been re-used on site
  • Where the roof supports have had to be replaced a volunteer has removed the nails from the wood and recycled the metal accordingly
  • The old tiles were beyond re-using (the concrete material was very badly corroded) but the they have been used for hard core (local Farmers)
  • The membrane and underfelt were beyond repair or re-use.
  • The old top coping tiles have been re-used as hard core
  • The plastic guttering has been checked and replaced; the plastic has been sent off to a specialised re-cycling place
  • The new tile pallets’ wood has been used by locals for making garden sheds!


In summary, I would like to thank again all those involved whether supporters, donors, volunteers, grant makers, (and the dreamers) without which none of this would be happening and what makes the future look so promising even as I write whilst the dire pandemic is undergoing around our world.

Best wishes

Niall Macfarlane

Chair of the Memorial Hall, Hurst Green