New lease of life for Sidmouth Hall

Sidmouth War Memorial Hall
Sidmouth War Memorial Hall

With the recent upgrades now completed, Sidmouth Hall is an ideal place for a community group to gather. The upgrades included a fantastic new community barbeque area designed and ready to use, a new carpark completed, with a second one on the way and a freshly painted exterior. The restrooms have also un­dergone some much-needed improvements along with a community notice board added.

‘We hope to bring the com­munity back to Sidmouth Hall!’ Said Lorraine Gardin­er, long serving committee member.

‘We hope to have a celebra­tion of the restoration of Sidmouth Hall!’ Lorraine added. We have completely revamped the old hall, with new heaters, new ceiling, lights, blinds, a new kitchen, a stage that has been re­stored and is ready for use, be it theatre, live music or even a political debate!’

Lorraine was quick to add (with a wink) that she be­lieves the hall is the second largest in the Tamar Valley region! ‘We are big on real sustainability and have used as many recyclables as possible.’

When I arrived at the new Hall, I was taken back by the changes and improve­ments.

Bookings are clearly already coming in, with chairs, easels, paintbrushes, and champagne glasses assem­bled for an upcoming art class!

There is no substitute for love when it comes to a project like this, and as fellow committee member Michael Lees added, much of the work was carried out by the Sidmouth Hall committee on a volunteer basis. Equally the communi­ty are extremely grateful for the support of the Liberal State Government and in particular Mr Michael Fer­guson for honouring their pre-election promise with a generous grant to assist with the upgrade.

The hall has been used for various purposes recently, with an arts group, table tennis on a Monday eve­ning, badminton, musical events, and a Church group all using the building in recent times.

In decades gone by, Sid­mouth had its own football and cricket team with the ‘supper room’ as Michael calls it, decorated with photos of teams from years gone by, with many of the surnames instantly recog­nisable even for a person relatively new to Tasmania.

The strong sense of history is a real treat for any sports enthusiast no doubt.

While the limited player pool in the area, would mean a Sidmouth cricket team would be unlikely to return anytime soon, as Michael Lees suggested, an annual limited overs cricket tournament featuring all the other teams in the region and played at the grounds one day over summer ‘The Sidmouth Cup’ is something that could be introduced in the near future!

Sidmouth could even field a team on the day itself as part of the annual event, ideal for any interested or even nostalgic locals whose parents or grandparents might have once played for the club.

It’s this kind of community mindedness and forward thinking that warms the heart.

There are live music events and cabaret planned over summer with bookings expected to be announced soon. One way to stay in touch is to follow the Sid­mouth Hall Facebook page for updates or if you would like to book the hall for your own community group or event, please call Michael on 0438 947 790 for more details.

There are many things wrong in the world right now, but Sidmouth Hall and its passionate committee are focussed on bringing back old-fashioned country, community spirit which is a breath of fresh air and refreshing to see.

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