The last major investment in the building was in 1993 and, in order for the community to continue to benefit from having the village hall on its doorstep, we have a number of urgent requirements that will help to secure the hall’s future. Right now, our most urgent requirement is the replacement and repair of our many windows, which will cost an eye-watering £24,000. The good news is that our committee has managed to raise £11,800 by applying for grants and through other fundraising initiatives; we’re hoping to start work on the worst affected windows in the next few weeks.

In order to complete the urgent work for the windows, we still need to raise around £12,000– a huge sum of money. To help us achieve this, we’re launching a summer campaign aimed at the younger members of our wonderful community. So, if your children love to get creative and would like to be in with a chance of winning one of three fantastic prizes, please read on.

Given that quite a few of our damaged windows have water levels resembling fish tasks, we’ve decided to make the most of this! Over the summer holidays we would love to fill our ‘fish tank’ windows with colourful artwork created by younger members of our community. We’d like to go with the theme of ‘Under the Sea’ – so their creation can be anything from a drawing of a sea horse or a turtle, to a cut out walrus or a clownfish! If your child would like to get involved, please encourage them to brighten up the hall’s windows over the coming weeks.

1st prize – a bespoke piece of artwork created by Mick Kirkby-Geddes

The 1st prize-winner will see their creation turned into a wonderful piece of artwork by Mick, who has long been a supporter of the local community. Some of you may have noticed his work dotted around Holmfirth, which he creates in his workshop full of the discarded junk metal of everyday life. Determined to see nothing go to waste, he spends all day sorting, cutting and welding the metal back together with new steel to create his sculptures. Animals, people and machines are re-born as unique pieces of art, with a touch of humour of course.

2nd prize – Two fabulous books donated by Read. bookshop

When Read. opened its doors in early 2019, Holmfirth gained a wonderful, independent bookstore which has been enjoyed not only by the local community, but also by Holmfirth’s many visitors, some of whom have become customers from a distance.

Louise and James Ashmore, who are ably supported by a wonderful team of staff with vast knowledge across a huge range of books, own this gem of a family bookstore. Books in all categories and genres are carefully chosen, from award-winning literary fiction to graphic novels and film titles, to a selection of books about the natural world, biographies and even books or maps for the many cyclists, which pass through Holmfirth.

Undeterred by the lockdown earlier this year, Read. took to the road delivering books across the community through a new venture,, which will continue even though the store has opened its doors once again.

The team at Read. has very generously donated two beautiful, colourful books about the ocean and the creatures found there.

3rd prize – Some delicious fish-shaped chocolates donated by The Reluctant Grocer / The Royal Oak at Upperthong.

Few residents will have failed to fall for the charms of Chris, the landlord of Upperthong’s Royal Oak Pub in the heart of the community. During the earlier weeks of lockdown, when Chris had to close the doors to the pub, he transformed himself into ‘the reluctant grocer’ (some would argue he’s the very reluctant grocer!) and has developed a thriving community business providing residents with delicious breads, pizzas and lots of wonderful local produce.

Happily, although the reluctant grocer is still going strong, Chris and the team have now reopened the doors to the pub; no doubt his regular customers are enjoying his dry wit once again!

A long-term supporter of the village hall, Chris has donated some fish-shaped chocolates (don’t worry – there’s no actual fish in them), which we can safely say are delicious.

The important bits

• ‘Under the Sea’ is open to children aged 3-11 and costs a minimum of £2 per child, per entry. Children are very welcome to produce and enter more than one piece of artwork, although each item would need to be paid for as separate entries.

• When making the entry donation, please tick the box to indicate that you’re happy to Gift Aid your donation, if you’re able to do so. Entry donations should be made through the donate button on this link.

• Closing date: all entries should be posted through the village hall letterbox no later than 4pm on Sunday 23 August 2020. Where possible, please post in an envelope or folder to protect their creations. If you’ll struggle to post your entry, please contact us via our social media pages.

• All entries should fit onto a size of A5 paper (equivalent to A4 folded in half). Each entry should have the name and age of the entrant on the back of the design. Also, please include a contact number of a parent/carer and the name of the person that will appear on the donation appeal page, so we can match entries to donations.

• The winning entries for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be chosen by Mick Kirkby-Geddes and a member of the Upperthong Village Hall committee. All children who enter the competition will receive a certificate.

Thank you for taking the time to read this: we’re so grateful for your support.

And finally… good luck!