It has been another busy month preparing the campaign to buy Hough End Hall.
We now have a website – and a Twitter account @ourheh . We have been tweeting about the project and will continue to do so. Chorlton Community Index and the Chorlton Civic Society newsletter both carried short articles about the campaign. We are forming a new association, Friends of Hough End Hall, and membership is now open. If you send us your name, address and email details we will issue you with a membership card: we suggest a donation of £5.00. We are able to accept donations now, as we have a bank account: at the moment we would really appreciate any help with costs of printing and so on, prior to our getting a grant (we hope).
We have left leaflets and posters in lots of shops in Chorlton (although we haven’t contacted all the shops in Beech Road yet) and will shortly be going round to replenish their supplies. Most hove been only too happy to have material (40 shops have taken piles of leaflets and 26 have put up posters), so thank you, traders. Quality Save, Wowie Zowie and Bargain Booze on the Hardy Lane parade of shops offered to put leaflets into bags. We have not asked many cafes, pubs, bars and fast food outlets to take leaflets yet but hope to do so soon. If you see a leaflet, do send in your ideas and then pass the leaflet on to someone else. If you would like to distribute any leaflets, please get in touch.
We, under the Chorlton Civic Society, have submitted a nomination to name Hough End Hall as a community asset. If the Council agrees that it meets the criteria and as long as no one has already bought the Hall, we will get 6 months to prepare a bid, during which time it cannot be sold to anyone else. Of course there is always the risk that any bid might not be accepted. John Leech, MP is supporting the campaign.
We have continued to meet with people and groups who can offer advice. We met with Friends of Lapwing Lane (FOLLA) and the Didsbury Parsonage Trust, both successful local campaigns
to retain our heritage for community benefit. We
have met with or talked with Cooperative Shares, Locality, MACC (the support body for the community and voluntary sector in Manchester). We are working with a group called Can Do Communities to prepare a grant application that will enable us to carry out surveys of Hough End Hall. Michael Thompson has offered to help us with strategic planning. Anne Strachan from Crowdfunding UK is working with us so we can include crowdfunding in our plans raise funds from various sources.
As we have been going round the neighborhood talking about the project, we have heard a number of stories about the Hall, from people playing there as children, working there at different times and seeing the ghost! We even heard of someone’s grandfather’s ghostly encounters from the 19th Century.
We have formed a committee and you will soon find details of the committee members on the website. We welcome Nick Window, a postgraduate student of Historic Environment Conservation, who will be working with us.
We will continue the awareness raising campaign
We are preparing grant application and plans for raising the money to buy the Hall.
We are discussing the implications of different forms of organization with a view to becoming legally constituted
We will have stalls at the three forthcoming community markets in front of the PostBox café on 12 April, 10 May and 14 June. Come and help or just say hello if you can.
We will have another viewing of the Hall on march along with Alice Ullathorn from English Heritage and John Kelsey from the Conservation team in the City Council, at 2.30 on Friday 21st March – so if you want to see inside the Hall, come along.
A Chorlton Civic Society project in conjunction with Three’s Company
For more information contact Carolyn Kagan
37 Chandos Road South,
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 0TH
Telephone: 0161 881 6887
So, if you would like to get involved in any way, please get in touch by email or phone (see details below).