A resident who had only ever visited her village hall to vote has stepped in to save it from folding.

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The doors of Antingham Village Hall, near North Walsham, were set to close this month after a fruitless search lasting more than a year to find a treasurer for its management committee.

Now, after a last-ditch plea in this newspaper, Antingham resident Sue Coleman has volunteered to take on the role - and the committee’s ranks have also been swollen by a number of other new faces.

Miss Coleman, 50, works in stock-keeping and consultancy for the licensed trade and is an experienced book-keeper. She is also publican at the Stanley Arms in Norwich and ran the Vernon Arms in Southrepps for seven years until the millennium.

Her appearance means that former treasurer Ann Beaumont can bow out after nearly five years in post and dedicate more time to her family and work.

“It’s such a relief - I can concentrate on my daughter’s forthcoming wedding now!” said Mrs Beaumont. “The village hall will be open as usual for the foreseeable future with a stronger team to move the facilities onward and upward.”

She had appealed through our pages for people to turn up at this month’s village hall annual meeting to keep the hall alive and save it from possibly being sold.

Without a treasurer, authorised to sign cheques, the hall could not have kept its vital bank account open for processing bills and payments in.

“I was expecting that only a couple of people would be there but we must have had about 30 - it was wonderful,” Mrs Beaumont added.

Miss Coleman, who has lived in the village for nearly 15 years, said a neighbour had approached her about the role: “She said to me: ‘You do accounts don’t you? You should do it.’ And I just thought to myself: ‘You know what? I should do it.’ It’s time a lot more people got involved and it’s really great that they have done.”

She is joined on the committee by chairman John Lake, vice-chairman Margaret Lake, secretary Graham Pinner, Janet Covell who is in charge of bookings and caretaking, and committee members Linda Pinner, Graham Jones, Barbara Rogers, and Jane Cooper.

The hall dates back to the 1940s but has modern kitchen and toilet extensions and recently had a new £3,000 floor.

It is used by groups including line-dancers, carpet bowlers, adults with learning difficulties, flower-arrangers, as well as for table tennis, bingo and whist drives - and three bands use it for rehearsals.

It costs £7 an hour to hire and is keen to add other users. Call Janet Covell on 01263 833507.

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