One of the most used phrases by people who visited the renovated Hose Village Hall as it was reopened a year after being gutted by fire was ‘wow’.
Three crews of firefighters battled the blaze back in September 2018 but they couldn’t prevent the Harby Lane building suffering extensive fire and smoke damage.
The loss of the hall left many community groups and the primary school without a base for their regular activities and families lost an important venue for parties and celebrations.
But a major renovation project saw the roof repaired and a new stage area installed as well as improved lighting in time to celebrate the building’s 50th anniversary of being built, which falls next month.
Three villagers who had their 50th birthdays this year - Paul Baxter, April Grayson and Simon Folwell - attended a reopening event as special guests.
The relaunch was timed to take place on the same day as the popular annual Hose Feast event, with a band providing live music, and attendees were given an opportunity to view the renovations.
Village hall committee chair, Brian Keevil, told the Melton Times: “What pleased me most about the reopening event was the reaction from the people I was near during the night - there were a lot of ‘wows’.
“We had about 180 people which was more than we normally get for a Feast event.
“Everyone is very pleased with the way the hall looks and it certainly appears a lot brighter with the new LED lighting.”
The newly-renovated building will be used extensively again now for activities such as school PE sessions, exercise classes. music concerts, drama performances and caravan club get-togethers, as well as family celebrations.
Mr Keevil added: “We had a caravan club meeting here at the weekend and they were very pleased with how the building has been rebuilt.
“The hall is going to be very well used again and I’m hoping that it will also now be an attractive proposition for weddings too.”