Volunteers hope hall regeneration will put village on the map

Trustees of Lakes End Village Hall hope to revitalise the building and also draw attention to the west Norfolk village.

Trustees of Lakes End Village Hall hope to revitalise the building and also draw attention to the west Norfolk village. - Credit: Sandi Turner

Families in a little known Norfolk village hope regeneration of its only remaining community space will help put it on the map.

The village of Lakes End, which is located between Welney and Upwell, has around 100 homes and has seen its pub, school, chapel, shop and post office close over the years.

And villagers have now come together in the hopes of putting a stop to that trend by bringing attention to their small and overlooked community.

Sandi Turner, trustee, said the village was 'quite unknown in the area', with people driving through 'not knowing it's there'.

She added: "We don't have the amenities that other villages have in the area. It's such a shame."

A new Lakes End Village Hall committee has been formed with the aim of raising funds to restore the "old" building at the centre of the community.

It is said to be in desperate need of work to stop further damp and disintegration, with repairs already underway to fix a leaking roof and to remodel its toilets.

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The hall was built in around 1966 on land acquired by the then trustees for the purpose of 'educational, social or recreational activities'.

Mike Turner, committee chair, explained the building was expected to last for around 16 to 20 years, but is now entering its 56th year.

Mike Turner, Lakes End Village Hall chair.

Mike Turner, Lakes End Village Hall chair. - Credit: Sandi Turner

He said: "Time, however, has taken its toll and not just on the hall but on the area as well.

"In the 60’s when the hall came into being Lakes End had a thriving community.

"Today the area is a lot quieter and with the closure of the pub, school, chapel and shop it means there are now no ad-hoc meetings, chats that happen when you bump into a neighbour in the shop or the pub.

"Those social interactions that happened so naturally once and were the bedrock of community spirit have sadly disappeared.

"It brings into sharp focus the impact of change in small villages like ours."

Volunteers have decided its now time to revitalise the community space after feeling the "devastating impacts" of Covid-19 on mental wellbeing and on isolation.

In a bid to put their village on the map, they will be holding events throughout the year to raise money. 

The first being an Easter Fayre on April 16, which will include craft and gift stalls, a bouncy castle, fairground games, a fancy dress competition, a fun dog show and dog agility course.

Trustees of Lakes End Village Hall are raising funds to regenerate the building and are holding an Eater Fayre on April 16.

Trustees of Lakes End Village Hall are raising funds to regenerate the building and are holding an Eater Fayre on April 16 as part of the project. - Credit: Sandi Turner

For more information visit lakesendvillage.co.uk/village-hall