Marton Village Hall is an unlovely place. Over a hundred years old now and never built to last it stands against the odds. There's not much in its favour - expensive to heat and maintain, dusty and hard to keep clean. Whilst it has both kitchen and toilets neither would gain many marks out of 10. It is, as they say, past its sell-by date.
Over the years its walls have resonated with plays, pantomine and song. Societies have formed, met and disbanded here. There have been countless extravaganzas, bazaars, fairs, fetes - spring, summer, autumn and Christmas, and functions both public and private too numerous to mention. Venue for wake and wedding feast, for laughter and tears, the gamut of emotions has run here.
Despite its decrepitude it's still well used; most days of the week it provides, in its way, a hub for this small rural community. A foot clinic, an exercise class, acupuncture and a youth club bring services to the community and an opportunity to meet and chat.
Plans are in place to build a new hall on the site - purpose built, user friendly, cost effective. All those things that right now Marton can only dream of. Fund-raising is underway - and though I understand that grants are available and will (hopefully) provide the lion's share of the money villagers are pulling out all the stops to make this new building a reality in the near future. So much commitment and so much hard work is going into this project I do hope they succeed and soon.
I wonder, does it irk to see so much money going into a project such as (dare I say it?) the London Olympics which are unlikely to have any tangible effect on our lives here on the borders? Our small project needs but a small fraction of the costs involved to bring the Games to fruition and yet its fulfillment would so enchance this community. I do wonder.
In the meantime we'll hold onto the dream and keep selling the raffle tickets.