Want to see commitment? Take a trip to SE25

What better way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon than being outside, up to your armpits in dirt? Surprisingly quite a few people from South Norwood thought so and you can understand them feeling smug and virtuous at the end.

A brave team of voluneers turned up to our second Stanley Spruce-Up session on Saturday 10th May. Some were old hands, having done the back-breaking scrub of the gallery floor before Christmas, yet still they came back for more.

They really did make a huge difference. Thanks to them, Stanley Halls now has cleaner, usable Green rooms, significantly fresher toilets, a less dusty assembly room, masses of rubbish tidied and a lighting rig up and ready for use.

All the jobs were heavy going and many pretty foul. A particular shout out goes to the folks who cleaned toilets that looked as if they haven’t seen any bleach in 20 years and those who cleared the rubbish outside in torrential rain. Supreme star of the day goes to Judith who, in a nasty downpour, put her entire arm down a severely blocked external drain to try to stop a major overflow problem.

The works highlighted that the problem with the collapsed drains extends further than we had first anticipated, so, once more, we have to be creative in our facilities management for the forthcoming productions. We are getting to be dab hands at this and tend to find the public quite like a quick tour of bits of Stanley Halls they didn’t know existed to reach a useable WC. Saying that, we will be mightily relieved when Croydon Council does the planned works to rebuild the drains.

A comment that resounded around Stanley Halls all day was the disbelief that this building was ‘managed’ and had a cleaning contract until 18 months ago; Stanley obviously needs us!

For many of us, there was a real thrill of anticipation as the stage lighting rig was painstakingly raised and secured, the modernity of its steel structure seeming somehow at home on the ornately decorated Edwardian stage. It’s now real; after years of volunteers striving to get this together, Stanley Halls will once more see performances on its stage.

So thanks to Audrey, Reisha, Jackie, Renata, Joanna, Rita, Nathan, Kathie, Judith, Ken, Janet, Guy, Charlie, Carol, David and David. You have moved us significantly nearer to these Halls being ready for our community to come and enjoy them.

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