Dereham Memorial Hall to re-open after �2.6m refit

Dereham's new-look �2.6m Memorial Hall will be officially re-opened on Sunday.

War veterans will be among the guests at a re-dedication event at 2.30pm, which will include the unveiling of a commissioned sculpture by the nationally-acclaimed local sculptor Neal French.

The sculpture is dedicated to the heroism, courage and self sacrifice shown by ordinary people in order to keep this nation free. The hall will also display the first world war roll of honour.

During the re-opening event there will be music by the Parachute Regiment Band, an act of remembrance, including a two minutes' silence, readings of poems and hymns.

Town councillor Linda Monument will give a speech about courage and said: 'We have all worked together to trace some lesser known World War Two poems to add to the better known World War One poems everyone expects to see. I also chose one poem written in Afghanistan, to bring home the point that soldiers are still fighting as we re-dedicate the hall.'

Among the guests is Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman who said: 'I congratulate the councillors, architects, the town clerk, and I am sure many more involved, for their perseverance during this project. They can be immensely proud of the work they have done in providing Dereham with this facility. This new space allows Dereham to attract the arts and entertainment to the town and will be of huge benefit to its residents.

'The regeneration of the hall also takes into account the heroism and self-sacrifice of Dereham's residents and I look forward to viewing the World War One roll of honour and statue on display. In every aspect of the Memorial Hall its designers have been successful in combining modern facilities with a sensitivity to its past. Well done.'

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On Sunday evening at 8pm, the Dereham and District Royal British legion will be holding a charity concert by the Parachute Regiment Band.

The proceeds from the concert will go to the RBL's Colchester personnel recovery centre, which is scheduled to open in Spring 2012 and will provide help with recovery and rehabilitation of injured service men and women.

Because of the support from the town council and the Dereham Times, every penny from the sale of tickets will go to help injured solders in their recovery and the concert should raise nearly �4,500.

Tickets for the concert will be �15 and available from the EDP/Dereham Times office at Bond House, High Street, Dereham, NR19 1DZ. Tel: 01362 854701. Payments can only be made by cash or cheque. Tickets can also be bought on the door.

The public will get a chance to look round the new-look hall during an open afternoon on December 9, 12-4pm and an open morning on Saturday December 10, 9am-1pm.

Last week there was a special 32-page supplement in The Dereham Times celebrating the re-opening of the Memorial Hall. There are still copies at the office at Bond House, High Street, Dereham, NR19 1DZ.

You can also see the supplement on the website

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