Community rallies to make re-opened hall a success

The newly refurbished Memorial Hall in Greenlaw (behind the RBS building). Sisters Lauren and Katie with committee members Kathryn Todd and Margaret Campbell
The newly refurbished Memorial Hall in Greenlaw (behind the RBS building). Sisters Lauren and Katie with committee members Kathryn Todd and Margaret Campbell

After a huge village effort to get its doors open once again, the re-opened Greenlaw Memorial Hall is enjoying a new lease of life.

What was built as the Good Templar Hall in 1882 and once a hub for local sporting activity, hosting billiards, carpet bowls and whist drives fell into disrepair at the end of the 1970s to the point where it was not being used anymore.

Frustrated at the sight of a building standing empty and recognising its potential to be an asset to the village once again, Greenlaw residents set about dragging the hall out of the doldrums and a Memorial Hall committee was formed.

That was in 2007 and six years on after receiving £250,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and £39,000 from other sources including BAVS, Federation of Village Halls, Garfield Weston, Robertson Trust, restoration began in January this year.

But the Memorial Hall Committee didn’t just rely on hands out.

Countless fundraing projects were embarked on, most notably a naked calendar in 2009, and transforming the hall, which was officially re-opened in July, was a shining example of team work.

“It’s been a very, very long journey for our small committee of eight,” commented hall trustee and assistant treasurer Kathryn Todd.

“We always thought we’d manage to re-open the hall although initially we didn’t expect it to take so long. But when we spoke to the Gavinton Village Hall committee they said we needed to be in it for the long haul. The shape of the hall has stayed the same but we’ve completely overhauled the interior.

“There’s a new floor; the walls have been re-decorated and we’ve installed veluxwindows and solar panels

“We’re only a small village but the community have been fantastic throughout.”

The Hall is now being promoted as multi-functional venue, already being used by zumba, yoga and youth groups and also includes a community cafe- Poppy Coffee House which is open six days a week.

Fundraising events are still ongoing, with the next one, a pop up market, taking place this Saturday, featuring traders from the popular weekly St Abbs market.

The market will run from 10am-4pm.