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Revamped Bourne Old Town Hall host first live concert in 16 months as Pennyless play




A near 18-month wait finally came to an end as live events returned to Bourne's revamped Old Town Hall venue last weekend.

It reopened to guests on Friday for the first time since the pandemic arrived 16 months ago with a new look and a sell-out concert from local folk duo Pennyless.

A full programme of live events has been planned for the rest of the year, including the return of popular monthly cinema screenings from August.

A grant from the Len Pick Trust helped give the Shambles its new look. Photo: Bourne Town Hall Trust
A grant from the Len Pick Trust helped give the Shambles its new look. Photo: Bourne Town Hall Trust

Charles Houseago, chairman of Bourne Town Hall Trust, called Friday’s concert 'a significant milestone' for the Old Town Hall and said the new layout had proved a hit.

"After being closed for almost a year-and-a-half, finally being able to welcome people back to the Shambles was fantastic," he said.

"It was a fantastic evening and a great start to our full programme of live events and movie screenings coming up."

Folk duo Pennyless, with guest Rich Young on keyboards, featured at Friday's landmark concert.
Folk duo Pennyless, with guest Rich Young on keyboards, featured at Friday's landmark concert.

The Trust made good use of their enforced closure by renovating the Shambles performance area thanks to an £8,500 grant from The Len Pick Trust.

Renovations included new flooring, equipment and furniture to create a multi-purpose performance space for up to 50 guests, with table service from the bar.

“We were thrilled to be the first in the performance hotseat at the Old Town Hall," said Les Woods, of Pennyless, who added guest keyboard player Rich Young to their line-up for Friday's show.

To celebrate the building's 200th anniversary, the team have planned a week of events in October.

And as covid restrictions relax, the trustees are now pressing on with the 'significant task' of raising further funds to fully restore and convert the building for the community.

"Lockdown was a challenge with the loss of all income from events and limited ability to fundraise," Charles added.

"So the fantastic grant from the Len Pick Trust helped us make good use of the time being closed to upgrade and equip the Shambles to provide a welcoming venue for all."

For details of further live events, visit www.bournetownhall.org.uk



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