Ideas call on future of Helmsley Town Hall

Helmsley Town Hall is now watertight after recent work.
Helmsley Town Hall is now watertight after recent work.

Ongoing renovations to Helmsley Town Hall are now well under way, but the building needs the support of the community, say its trustees.

Last year the town hall trustees embarked on an exercise to repair and renovate the Grade II listed Queen Anne style building, which was constructed in 1901. So far, the roof and the lantern have been repaired, meaning the building is now watertight.

A run-down area to the rear of the town hall known as the caretaker’s flat is next on the list.

No-one has lived in the two-storey accommodation for many years and it has fallen into a state of dereliction.

The aim is to repair and renovate this wasted space, providing the opportunity to let the meeting room with the use of a small kitchen area and toilet facilities.

The upstairs kitchen will also be refurbished.

Helmsley Town Hall is a community charity run by volunteer trustees.

In 1958 the then Earl of Feversham gave the building to the population of Helmsley parish, originally to serve as a courtroom and to provide a place for the community to pursue recreational activities.

Helmsley Community Library occupies part of the ground floor, with an elegant main hall, a meeting room and a kitchen available to hire.

The building is used for everything from bowls to ballet, along with indoor markets, art exhibitions, keep fit classes and private parties.

Jeanne Brown, town hall Trustee, said: “Obviously, these renovations are extremely expensive, especially with this being a listed building. We do not get any financial support from NYCC or Ryedale or Helmsley Town Councils.

“The only money we receive is from those people and organisations that hire the town hall or through grants. We were delighted to receive the sum of £4,750 as a community grant from the North York Moors National Park, towards the cost of refurbishing the lead work on the lantern and the weathervane.

“As trustees of the town hall we are responsible for providing a building for use by our community and residents – and we’re keen to improve the facilities so we can provide even more suitable rooms and spaces for those uses.

“But, even as it stands, the town hall is a wonderful place for a party, an exhibition or a meeting and the money raised through the hire of the facilities then goes towards the renovations, which will benefit us all.

“So, we urge people to think of us for their events, and to get in touch with any ideas for the future of the town hall.”

Anyone wishing to book a space, or to give feedback or views on the town hall and how it could be used, are asked to get in touch with the Trustees at Helmsley Town Hall, The Market Place, Helmsley, YO62 5BL or via Chrissyme@btinternet.com.