Coverage of how a Community Task Force helped to build Swadlincote’s Rifle and Pistol Club in 1983, has prompted further praise for the employment scheme.
Elaine Tagg, the booking secretary and treasurer at Stanton Village Hall, read the Mail Remembers piece on the rifle club, which reminded her of the work carried out by the task force at Stanton in 1985.
Community Task Force workers were the toast of Stanton in October 1985 when villagers celebrated the reopening of the village hall following improvements.
The work was done by the task force to save the hall, which had been in danger of closure.
The reopening celebrations on Saturday October 26, 1985, coincided with the hall’s silver jubilee.
Speaking at those celebrations, village hall secretary Jean Kinston said the event had brought back memories of 40 years of community work.
Mrs Kinston explained how a village hall fund had been started in the 1940s with a piece of suitable land being acquired in 1953.
It was then seven years later when an ex-Army pre-fabricated canteen became the first village hall.
However, after 25 years of use, the hall started to show its age.
Mrs Kinston said: “The village hall became a landmark and very much part of the local scene.
“But in recent years it has started to show signs of decay and it was increasingly clear that unless major repairs were undertaken, it would have to close.”
As with the Swadlincote Rifle and Pistol Club project of 1983, the Community Task Force stepped in to help.
The task force was made up of unemployed people, who offered their services for free to renovate buildings. The workers were trained on site and gained valuable experience which would help them find suitable employment in the future.
For the Stanton Village Hall project in 1985, the Community Task Force replaced the pre-fabricated walls with bricks and built an extension.
Mrs Tagg remembers the project and the workers who saved the hall.
She said: “They did such a good job for us. The task force were wonderful. We provided all the materials and they provided the labour for free.
“If they had not provided the labour, we would not have been able to do the work.”