VIDEO: End of an era as hall is demolished in West Cumbrian village

18 May 2017 8:29AM

A West Cumbrian village marked the end of an era this week as a once-popular meeting place was razed to the ground.

Originally a Royal British Legion building, Dearham Band Room had stood in the village for decades.

But, having fallen into a state of disrepair and become an eyesore, work began on Monday to demolish it.

The building was taken over by Dearham Band in the mid 1970s and was the group's home until about 10 years ago.

Secretary Joe Edmondson said: "It got vandalised and we were forever putting new windows in.

"It got to a point that every time we went to a practice we were finding damaged windows. We boarded it up and moved."

Since then the group has met in the village hall and the band room, on Central Road, has deteriorated.

Earlier this year, Story Homes used the site to house the marketing cabin for its nearby development.

In return, it agreed to fund and arrange the demolition of the building and clearance of the site.

Contractor Ashcroft was brought in to systematically pull down the structure, clear the site and grass seed it.

The land, which is owned by the band, will be left clear for the time being but Mr Edmondson said the group hoped to be able to build a replacement in the future.

He added: "It's disappointing to see it having to be taken down but it's better for it to be taken down than for somebody to get hurt in it. It was beyond repair.

"It's been a big help having Story Homes involved. It would have been very expensive to have it removed ourselves."

The project had added poignancy for Richard Haycock, Ashcrofts managing director for demolition, who oversaw the project.

My Haycock, who is from the village, said: "I used to be in Dearham Band myself and when I was about 10 or 11 I have a birthday party there.

"I have fond memories of it.

"It's nice that the village has had a lot of good things out of the hall over the years.

"Now it's making way for new developments in the village."

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