June 12, 2018 by stboswellsvillagehall
Like all old buildings, St Boswells Village Hall has its share of problems, which the committee work hard to deal with and, in many cases, remedy before they need urgent attention. We first became aware of a patch of dry rot (the building owner’s terror!) during the renovation works in 2014, and this was treated. What we didn’t realise is that it was elsewhere, though fortunately contained at one end of the building, beneath the new toilets and the Lesser Hall. Nonetheless, opening up the floor as it appeared to be sagging, one March day in 2017, was an unpleasant experience…
We immediately called in Dougie Oliver, a local dry rot expert, for an assessment, who confirmed our worst fears. The likelihood was that the rot had spread quite far from the accessible (disabled) toilet, into the foyer and to other areas that had wooden floors covered by impermeable flooring, beneath which – inconveniently – runs a small underground stream! Over the next year, two major pieces of work were carried out: initially to refloor and reinstate the accessible toilet, then the same for the similarly affected ladies toilets and foyer. This included removing the plaster walls up to a metre in height and installing a concrete sub-floor.
In common with most old stone buildings, the Village Hall doesn’t have a damp-proof course, so we took the opportunity to install one adjacent to the kitchen at the same time.
The work, while excellent, cost the hall funds a great deal of money – nearly £20,000 – which is why we are now having to work hard on making sure we are able to keep the hall viable in perpetuity. Later on this year, the Lesser Hall will need to be repaired for the same reason, for which we are seeking funding.