Window is an illuminating discovery in South Hinksey village hall

Maggie Rawcliffe with the restored window

Maggie Rawcliffe with the restored window

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

THEY discovered its full majesty by accident, and now they have let its glorious light shine.

Villagers in South Hinksey were having this window in their village hall repaired, when they discovered a false ceiling was blocking half of it off.

So they decided to carve it out, and while they were at it, refurbished the whole hall.

New window panes have now been installed, the hall repainted, and new energy-efficient lights are currently being installed.

Peter Rawcliffe, chairman of the village hall management committee, said: “When we took the false ceiling off we realised how nice it looked, and it let in as much light again as it did before.

“When we saw how lovely it was we thought we must take the opportunity to keep it.”

With a £4,600 grant from Vale of White Horse District Council, the committee spent £9,000 fitting the window with new, hand-made glass panels.

The new spotlights will also be hung lower from the ceiling so the committee members don’t need to climb a ladder to replace the bulbs.

South Hinksey Parish Council chairman Maggie Rawcliffe said: “The new window looks glorious.

“It is best in late afternoon when the sun is streaming through, it is a sort of golden colour.

“It is south-facing so it was designed to be seen like this.”

The hall, which hosts parish council meetings, is also celebrating its centenary this year and will host a birthday party on June 13.

Other community groups from South Hinksey and further afield regularly use the hall, including yoga and martial arts classes. It is also rented for birthday parties and christenings.

The new energy-efficient lights were chosen after an energy audit paid for by a £500 grant from the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2).

The Vale of White Horse District councillor for Hinksey, Bob Johnson, donated £1,750 towards the cost of ceiling modifications and new lighting. The management committee paid for the rest.

The hall was last refurbished 10 years ago.

Mrs Rawcliffe added: “It just completely changes the aspect of the hall.”

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