18th November 2018
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Ness hall calls for support from locals

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A community hall in the South Mainland could close unless more support is received from locals.
Committee members from Dunrossness Public Hall are calling for more people to step forward to keep the venture going.

A steering group was created three years ago in order to get the hall back on its feet. That was initially deemed a success but several members have stood down.

There are only a handful of committee members left: the chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer, secretary, the named licence holder and a few helpers – three of which represent the Scottish Women’s Institute (SWI).

Secretary Frances Black said the committee wants to hold more fundraising events including suppers, family dances and the like. However, there are not enough committee members to plan and run events.

She said: “The stumbling block is that we just don’t have enough people on the committee at the moment. If we are to proceed with improvements to the hall then we need people to come on board and see the projects and funding through.

“There is also the question that if we were to go ahead and get funding in place and get the improvements made, would people still use the hall?

if we were to go ahead and get funding in place and get the improvements made, would people still use the hall? – FRANCES BLACK

“We also need more folk to come and help out with things such as cleaning and maintenance – it isn’t much and many hands make light work.

“It is an old hall and it does need a lot of work done to it to make it more user friendly but this can’t be done unless more folk come forward.”

The hall committee’s annual meeting will be held on 14th November. However, if the committee’s lack of members cannot be addressed then an emergency meeting will be scheduled.

Various fundraisers have been held at the hall including three well-supported variety concerts and Sunday teas. The teas have been hosted by the Boddam SWI for the past three years, which committee members appreciate, and also outside offers of help have been received.

Now the committee wants to hear what events residents would like to see put on in the hall. A variety concert will be held on Friday 4th November when feedback forms will be handed out for the community to have its say.

Other events in the run-up to Christmas include an “In Aboot Da Night” with Pat Christie from the Cunningsburgh History Group on 11th November and a Christmas Shopping Night on 18th November.

The hall is also used regularly and the MS Society Shetland branch recently held the “Messy Slester Fun Run” around Spiggie Loch, using the hall for the registration and refreshments afterwards. They are planning to use the hall again next year and Mrs Black said it would be very disappointing if it was no longer available for this type of huge fundraising event.

She added: “It would be a shame to lose the hall. It has a great location, opposite the football pitch, on the main road and it is now the only hall in the Dunrossness area after the closure of the Bruce Memorial Hall. If it closes its doors there will be no community hall south of Levenwick.”

Ness Junior Youth Club uses the hall from October to Easter and Boddam SWI from September to May. Chinese takeaways are also served regularly all year round.

The hall recently received grant money from the Dunrossness Community Council “South Mainland Decides” fund to the value of £1,500 and this was used to do safety lighting upgrades internally and externally and also safety testing of electrical equipment.

• If anyone is interested in joining the committee they should contact Frances Black on (01950) 460756, Janette Leslie on 460447 or visit the Facebook page at Dunrossness Central Public Hall.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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