Historic Scarborough church fundraising for new roof

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Queen Street Methodist Central Hall are appealing for help from residents and businesses to raise money to replace the building’s roof.

Peter Evans, property and finance secretary, and his wife Michelle are coordinating efforts to raise £75,000 for the job.

Despite being 96 years old, the main fabric of the building is in generally good condition but parts of the Central Hall are now showing their age.

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In particular, the roof has many tiles damaged due to nail rot and high winds.

The damaged roof. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard PonterThe damaged roof. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter
The damaged roof. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

All the tiles on the roof need to be replaced, as well as a large amount of pointing. Mr Evans said: “We’ve written to various places in the hopes of getting some grants and the church are putting a sum in.

“We have already organised an afternoon cream tea to raise money which went down very well but we’re still a way off.”

The work needs to be done to enable the continuation of Queen Street as a place of worship and a hub for the community for years to come.

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He added: “Not only the tiles but I think the lats underneath are in bad shape.

The front of the building. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard PonterThe front of the building. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter
The front of the building. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

“We need to make a proper job of it, once the scaffolding is up we’ll be clearing out the towers, repointing in places and also replacing an area of flat roof.”

As well as organising their own fundraising activities, the couple are looking for any grants, sponsors or friends willing to support their efforts.

They are asking for any donations towards the vital work, large or small, so that they can preserve the building and use it for all its activities.

The Central Hall

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Peter and Michelle Evans. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard PonterPeter and Michelle Evans. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter
Peter and Michelle Evans. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

The Central Hall is used seven days a week for a wide variety of activities.

There are services on Sunday mornings and evening and groups such as the Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, Queen Street Players, Singing for Fun, Friendship Club and Slimming World also use the space.

In addition, creative art groups, Messy Church for youngsters and various exercise classes take place there.

It also plays an important part in the town’s cultural landscape as the Scarborough Symphony Orchestra use the hall for all their concerts, the Royal School of Music also use the organ and piano for their exams, and various musical groups from across the town host events there.

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Scarborough College hold their speech day in the building every year.

Mr Evans has been property and finance secretary for 50 years and the building means a great deal to him.

“I’ve been going there since I was little,” he said.

On Remembrance Day each year, a service is held at the Hall to remember the fallen before the parade to the lifeboat house.

It is the main service in the town centre and many residents gather their to pay their respects.

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The couple said the hall is there primarily to serve those in and around Castle Ward and the community is their priority.

They stressed that the hall’s doors are open to all who wish to share in any of the activities and it is firmly believed that they can make a difference in the surrounding area by using the building to achieve that aim.

Cheques can be sent to Queen Street Methodist Central Hall or anyone wishing to contact Mr and Mrs Evans to help with fundraising can find the details online via www.queenstreet.org.ukHistory of the Church

The first Methodist chapel opened on Queen Street in 1840 with pews for 1,500 people. During World War One the roof, organ and stained glass windows were damaged during the German bombardment of 1914.

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Repairs were made but days before the reopening the whole building was razed to the ground after a fire which spread from Boyes store.

The current Queen Street Methodist Central Hall was opened on March 14 1923.

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