Search

Princess reopens ambulance hall

PUBLISHED: 16:38 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:00 21 May 2010

Crowds braved the grey and wet weather to welcome Princess Anne to the Beccles St John Ambulance hall this afternoon.

The princess, who holds the title of Commandant in Chief for the charity, spent an hour meeting local dignitaries, members of St John Ambulance and representatives from community groups who use the hall at its official reopening after more than a year of renovation work.

Crowds braved the grey and wet weather to welcome Princess Anne to the Beccles St John Ambulance hall this afternoon.

The princess, who holds the title of Commandant in Chief for the charity, spent an hour meeting local dignitaries, members of St John Ambulance and representatives from community groups who use the hall at its official reopening after more than a year of renovation work.

The refurbishment of the 17th century hall on Blyburgate, which included a new staircase and toilets, improved disabled access and a new kitchen, was funded by a grant from the Landfill Communities Award through Biffaward and by donations from a number of local groups.

The princess, who was shown round the building by Tony Curd, Suffolk's commander of St John Ambulance, was treated to a performance by young ballet dancers from the Dance Factory, who practice in the hall on Saturdays. Cadets from the St John Ambulance in Beccles also gave a first aid demonstration to show how the skills they learn can be put to use saving lives.

Keith Loveys, officer in charge of the Beccles St John Ambulance cadets, said: “We started work on the cottage part of the hall about eight years ago. A lot of work had to go on underpinning the floors and roof before we could do anything else. It's nice to see it finally all finished. The whole project has cost about £230,000 and so the fundraising has been brilliant.”

The princess unveiled a plaque to commemorate the rededication of the building and planted a memorial tree in the ambulance yard.

She said she was delighted to have been invited to reopen the hall, which can now be used by the whole community. She said: “I would like to add my congratulations to everybody who has made this work possible. I am sure both the development and getting the plans in order has not been straight forward, but the support that St John Ambulance has here in Suffolk, and especially in Beccles, is a great encouragement and I sincerely hope that everybody will continue to use this extraordinary building for years to come, not just St John Ambulance but the whole community.”

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists