News. New Cumnock Town Hall

21st of March, 2017

It’s a Thursday evening and the recently renovated New Cumnock Town Hall is the setting for a badminton match. Leaders of the badminton group, Rosemary and Faye, are discussing the journey to their current home. “We used to be at the Sports Hall that got flooded and then the old Community centre, which is now shut down, and now we’re here. We’ve been all around New Cumnock, but we’ve never given up!” The Town Hall is now home to them and many other local groups: a job club, sewing club, karate and table tennis club, to name a few, have become permanent fixtures.

Tonight also sees a gathering of the New Cumnock Disabled Group as they discuss fundraising ideas for the year ahead. “In the past we’ve put on bingo, bring and buy sales and raised money for the local hospitals,” explains 40-year member Helen Morecambe. “I’m happy we have a place to carry on our work.” The transformation of the building is felt not just in its bricks and mortar, though the newly installed heating, audio-visual system and lift (built to aid the Town Hall’s less mobile visitors) is undeniably impressive. It has brought new life to a community that still feels the loss of the mining industry more than 30 years ago. With a town that has three generations of unemployment, it’s important to have a place that offers the community some enrichment. “It’s somewhere for the wee ones to come and get inspired,” explains supervisor John Houston. “I can’t wait for the restored outdoor swimming pool to open in June and see how that changes things even more.”

Words: Marie-Louise Von Haselberg

Photography: Sophie Gerrard