Elsie’s legacy for hall she loved

Elsie Preston
Elsie Preston
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Community certainly counted for Elsie Preston.

The former teacher was a well known member of Cabus Players drama group and a veteran of Cabus Village Hall Committee.

The clock put up in Elsie's memory

The clock put up in Elsie's memory

She lived just across from the hall, in Lancaster Road, and used to check regularly that it was in a good state of repair.

When she died in 2012 she ensured her good housekeeping approach to caring for the community asset would live on. The former teacher at St Thomas’s Primary School, Garstang, left a generous legacy which has enabled valuable refurbishment, modernisation and refurnishing work to be completed.

Hall committee chairman Rob Knowles said: “Elsie was an all round ‘good egg’ who did an incredible amount of work for the village hall.

“She lived just across from the hall and I believe she went there every day to check it was in a good state of repair.

The newly-redecorated  interior of the hall

The newly-redecorated interior of the hall

“She was a great friend and supporter of the hall.
Elsie was on the committee that raised money for the rebuilding of the hall in 1974 and had acted as secretary and unofficial caretaker for many years.

“Now, due to the funds received from Miss Preston’s estate, the village hall committee has been able to
double-glaze the windows and replace the barge board, soffits, gutters and downspouts outside the hall.

“Inside the hall the curtains have been replaced, redecoration has taken place and the old heavy tables have been replaced with lighter, more modern designs.”

It is hoped new, lighter chairs can also be purchased, allowing people to set up the hall for meetings more easily.

The exterior of the refurbished village hall

The exterior of the refurbished village hall

Rob added: “Elsie would have been particularly pleased with the new stage curtain system that has been installed, as she was also a lifelong member of the Cabus Players. She took on many acting roles after joining the group in the early 1950s right up to her last stage appearance in Noel Coward’s Relative Values in 2009.”

She was also well known as the organiser in the kitchen, so a clock dedicated to her memory has been installed by the village hall committee over the kitchen hatch.

The hall hosts numerous activities and organisations, including WI meetings, yoga, keep-fit and zumba classes, the Garstang School of Dance and, of course, Cabus Players.

The committee is hoping to recruit new members. Rob explained: “At the present time there are only nine members on the committee that runs the village hall for Cabus and we would like to recruit some extra members.

“The task is not very onerous, involving only one meeting every two months.”

Meetings usually last about an hour from 7.30pm on a Thursday evening. Call Rob on 01995 605608 if you can help.

Meanwhile, members of the public, and anyone interested in joining the committee are invited to its AGM on Thursday, January 30, at 7.30pm in the hall.