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Help needed to keep Whitley Reading Rooms alive

The Whitley Reading Rooms could close early next year unless trustees are appointed to replace three retiring officers.

At the next annual general meeting in April, chairman Eddie Carter, secretary John Hamley and treasurer Bob Brownrigg will be retiring but to ensure the future of the charity, it is vital new trustees are appointed.

The property was built in 1904 for the benefit of the residents of Shaw and Whitley and is located in Middle Lane, Whitley. The Rooms are a registered charity owned by the village and managed by a committee of trustees who  have carried out many improvements over the last 11 years.

Bob Brownrigg said, “Some of us have put a lot of time and effort into raising sufficient funds to provide and maintain an attractive, well-used venue.

“The hall is used as a polling station and is hired by a variety of groups every week. It is also popular for children’s parties, wedding anniversaries, discos, meetings and various other events.

“I have been committee chairman or treasurer since 1990 and now it’s time for others to carry on the committee’s brilliant work that has turned a neglected old building into a village asset worth preserving.

“The charity is in a healthy financial state but if the worst comes to the worst and we have to close, it would be an  absolute tragedy.

“Appeals for support from our users and through our village magazine have been fruitless so far. Surely there are enough local people with a love of their community to keep the Reading Rooms afloat.

“If you can help this worthy cause, I can be contacted on 01225 709100 or call Eddie Carter on 01225 707981.”