A VILLAGE hall that survived a devastating fire is throwing open its doors 10 years on for people to have a look round.

Historic Cradley Village Hall, near Malvern, celebrated the completion of a major £75,000 refurbishment project in March 2003, only for a blaze to tear through the 15th century building less than six months later.

But, as hall committee member Margaret Edgar explained, the black and white building somehow escaped relatively intact.

“The devastating fire destroyed a third of the roof, but miraculously the majority of the building, including the oak beams that date back to the reign of Henry VIII, were spared,” she said.

Disappointed but undeterred, the hall’s custodians vowed to press on with a planned second phase of the refurbishment alongside the fire repairs.

“Specialist builders and craftsmen were employed to fix the damage, using original materials to replace roof timbers and roof tiles, new hand carved window frames were put in to replace the damaged ones and a new floor was installed,” said Mrs Edgar.

The work, which was paid for by local fund-raising matched by a Heritage Lottery grant, saw a new gallery area created as well as a committee room and storage area.

A decade on from the refurbishment and dramatic events surrounding it, the hall committee now want to celebrate its ongoing success and position at the hub of the community. They are planning an open day with art and heritage competitions, music, and barbecue from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, July 6.

Mrs Edgar said: “As a celebration of the continued success of the hall, we want to give everyone the chance to view or revisit this fantastic facility.” See cradleyvillagehall.

org.uk for information.