A hall which lies at the heart of the community in Ponsanooth has risen from the ashes six years after it burned down.
Ponsanooth Methodist Hall, which went up in flames in the early hours of June 1 2008, has been rebuilt and improved thanks to the hard work of volunteers and fundraisers from the village, with support from the Big Lottery Fund.
Michelle Firminger, of the Ponsanooth Hall Management Company, said: “The hall held all sorts of activities, and we tried to carry these on in houses and at the pub when it burnt down, because there was nowhere else to meet in the village.
“Over the last six years the village has seriously grown and it’s been a great chance to get together and form a community, especially through fundraising.”
Although money from insurance would have paid to rebuild the hall as it stood, it was felt by the community that the fire was a good opportunity to improve on what had gone before.
To this end, the village raised £13,000, with grants coming from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Cory, and Lottery funding.
Apart from getting a contractor for the building work itself, the project has been overseen from start to finish by Friends of Ponsanooth Hall, led by Chris Trewern.
Volunteers have dealt with the legal aspects of the work, organising contracts, and finances, and once open the hall will be run on a voluntary basis, from the community café to maintenance and administration. Michelle said: “People with different skills have helped in different ways: a retired accountant helped with the finances, a retired solicitor helped with the legal side.
“We did a huge amount of research 18 months ago, finding out what people would want to use the hall for, not just in Ponsanooth but all over the Parish of St Gluvias.
“We came to really realise the need for the hall: old people who live on their own, or are shut in, or who can’t get on a bus.
“The hall will give them somewhere to go now, a meeting place.”
The hall will host a taster day on May 28, when all the groups which are ready to run activities at the site will be showcasing what they do, with activities for visitors and displays such as zumba and piloxing, a combination of pilates and boxing.
It will officially open on Sunday, June 1, six years to the day after it burnt down.
There will be a service by the Reverend Steve Wild, chairman of the Methodist Church in Cornwall, who will also be handing the keys of the hall to the community.