The Folk Hall in New Earswick has reopened, and last weekend hundreds of people from across York helped us celebrate.
For the first time since the £1 million refurbishment, many people were able to see the new designs and spaces inside the hall. These included the Orchard Hall, whose original beamed ceiling has been uncovered, and the Discovery Room, a space created by young people for young people in the village alongside York-based community artist Liz Foster.
On Saturday, the Sheriff of York Verna Campbell joined the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust Campbell Robb to cut the ribbon, and to welcome everyone inside for the first time.
Mrs Campbell said: “New Earswick has always been a special place in York, because it is our own model village and there are very few of those in the country. It was built as a wonderful place for Joseph Rowntree’s workers, and at the centre of it was the Folk Hall. It’s not a village hall or a social hall, but a folk hall: it’s for the people.
“I think that Joseph Rowntree himself would have been very proud to see how many people are here today to celebrate its past and look forward to its future. I hope that our hall goes on for another 100 years.”
Also speaking, Campbell Robb said: “The Folk Hall holds a special place in the hearts of many people in York, and since 1907 it has been the centre of village life in New Earswick. Over the years, many people have learnt new skills, made new friends or met their future husband or wife here. It’s woven into people’s lives.”
As well as a Post Office and a community café, the Folk Hall is also home to New Earswick Library, run by Explore York. Explore York CEO Fiona Williams said: “Moving the library to the Folk Hall will allow more people to access our services. We are very proud of our partnership with JRHT and see this as just the beginning.”
Throughout the weekend, JRHT hosted a number of events and activities. These included print-making, a free lunch in the café, apple juice pressing, a climbing wall and a performance by the Swing Commanders swing band on the Sunday evening.
The Folk Hall is open to everyone: you don’t have to be a New Earswick resident to visit or enjoy its facilities. For more information go to https://newearswickfolkhall.com/