Meet The THGI Team

Exeter Street Hall belongs to the community. We love hearing what being involved with the Hall, volunteering or your neighbourhood means to you. We’ll be featuring blog posts from our volunteers, shareholders, guests, hirers, sponsors and fellow activists. Email [email protected] if you’d like to chime in with 300 words or so.

What better way to kick off than with a Hall hero? Iain Chambers has been involved from the get-go, not only contributing to the successful campaign to buy the hall, but regularly rolling up his sleeves and staging stellar events. Here’s why…

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If you engaged with the Scottish referendum, and it was pretty hard not to, you’d have sensed the energy emanating from people on both sides of the issue at hand, much of it positive. I think one reason for this was the feeling that this was no time for a barely considered tick on the ballot paper, let alone opting out altogether. The subsequent unprecedented high turnout has reflected well upon Scotland and its people, young and old. This really mattered.

Now I know what you are thinking – what on earth has this to do with Exeter Street Hall? Are we planning a big vote on the colour of the front door (perhaps it could be ‘gordon’ brown?)? No, my Laboured (that’s quite enough – Ed) point is that I often feel the same energy when I’m involved with the hall. This matters. It feels like more than just saving an old but distinguished building so that the community can still meet up. It runs deeper than that. As we watch our roof being renovated, insulated and sealed against the winter weather to come, it really feels as if we are weather-proofing this community. I love living in a community that has its own street parties, dances, comedy shows, banquets and food markets. I love it that the Prestonville pub will raise money for the hall by staging beer festivals. I love it that the local schools are shareholders in our hall. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no walk in the park for everyone who makes these things happen. Yet even when I think to myself “Blimey, why did I put my name down, I’m too busy for this”, I always end up chuffed to bits when I see the results of everyone’s efforts, and when I see a hall full of my neighbours having a great time together, in the hall we all own. It makes me feel better about life, and that’s no mean feat when five minutes of listening to the news can bring me to tears.

So I would urge you to get involved to help continue the still pretty gargantuan task of renovating and running the hall. There will never be a shortage of things to do, money to raise, events to stage, loos to clean, walls to paint, cakes to bake, stalls to man, chairs to stack, quizzes to devise. We need people who can just give an hour or two washing up at an event or baking a cake just as much as we need people to take on the more involved jobs running the Community Company that owns the hall. Take my word for it, one of the most gratifying things for those of us who have been involved in the hall project for the last few years has been watching new people come forward recently to join in, lightening the load for others, and full of enthusiasm and ideas and energy. Come and join us and you never know, we might even witness unprecedented queues outside the hall next May as our community seizes its own democratic opportunity, and then ruminates over the unfolding results well into the evening in our lovely, warm, dry hall!

Come party with DJ Vinette at Circus Circus

WE REGRET THAT DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL THIS EVENT HAS HAD TO BE CANCELLED.

The Hall is closed for a few more weeks but we can dance and have a few drinks just down the hill and upstairs at Circus Circus pub by Preston Circus. This fundraiser is a joint benefit for Exeter Street Hall and for domestic violence charity RISE.

Come and dance your socks off on Saturday 4th October 8pm to midnight. Tickets cost £5, £10 or £15 depending on what you want to pay.

Click here to buy tickets.

Circus Circus

Beer Festival

Beer! Have we got your attention? Jolly good. The Prestonville Arms are hosting a beer festival on the 12,13 and 14 September (that’s this very weekend, people!) with 15 real ales and a cider. Twenty pence from every pint will be donated to the Hall. Love ’em. And there’s live music with The Radiokings on Saturday night too.

Putting the ‘fun’ back into ‘fundraising’. See you there!

Beer Festival - 2014 Sept

Roof Repair

We’re under way! Local firm SBS are working hard on our roof repair. BIG thanks too to R&M Scaffolding for providing scaffolding for free and, of course, The People’s Millions (Big Lottery Fund and ITV) for footing the bill. Perhaps inevitably, with a complex project, we’ve been hit with a delay, but we’re on track for a couple of events at the end of October and to re-open to our patient and loyal hirers in November.
biglotteryfundHard hats and steel toe-caps
Ever hankered after a hard hat? Join our tile team. We’re cleaning up, moving and selling on the undamaged tiles from our roof. There aren’t enough good ones to cover the Hall, but someone with a smaller project can benefit. The money raised is helping us to keep our costs down and we’re pleased to be  part of a recycling effort. Email [email protected] to find out more about a simple induction and the work involved.
Tiles

Masque Banquet

If you thought we could only stage casual events, think again.

THGI

We hosted an exquisite five-course masque banquet for over 50 people in a breathtakingly beautiful Hall on Saturday. Check us out. Yes, sir, we can do fancy pants.

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Take a peek at our transformed Hall. For one night only, she was bedecked in fairy lights, lanterns, eye-catching ribbons, roses and bathed in candlelight. We feasted on delicious gazpacho, antipasto (the aubergine was particularly sublime), scrumptious feta and tomato filo tarts with roasted pumpkin and salad leaves, chocolate mousse to die for and cheeses to finish. With wines and liqueurs selected and shipped from France, this was an unforgettable meal in a jaw-dropping setting.

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Magic doesn’t just happen. Our volunteers make it look effortless, but that doesn’t mean it is! Massive thanks to Marianne for devising and working her socks off for this utterly delightful event (and recruiting her family and friends to give outstanding assistance).

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BIG thanks too to our talented chef, Iain, and events supremos Catherine, Gill and Lynne for mouthwatering food and drink and impeccable organisation. We’re grateful too to our intrepid team of teens – Dan, George, Martha, Jago and Annie – who waited tables with such style.

Banquet-4

We can’t wait to do it all again. Once we can fit back into our trousers.Banquet MenuPlanning a celebration? Email [email protected] and find out about availability from October.
This event was staged to raise vital funds for the Hall. We’ll be revealing the scores on the doors soon. Fancy donating? Just click here.