A campaign to repair the roof of an historic building in Cricklade is being given a boost by TV antiques expert Philip Allwood and his team from Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester.
In December the trustees of the 359-year-old Jenner Hall launched a £165,000 Raise the Roof appeal to pay for urgent repairs to the roofs of the building.
Its rare Grade II* listed status means specialist conservation architects must be involved in the project, which experts estimate will take three months, and tiles have to be replaced with expensive Cotswold stone slates.
The Jenner Hall was built in 1652 with a legacy left by Robert Jenner, a London goldsmith and the MP for Cricklade between 1628 and his death in 1651.
Jenner intended the building to be a school for the boys of the town, and when it opened it was one of the first free schools in England.
During its long history it served as a brewery and a workhouse for the poor before re-opening as a school from 1840 until 1959, when St Sampson’s primary school was built.
It now serves as a meeting space, with the Cricklade Open Door Club for the elderly using the centre three days a week, community groups hiring the hall during the week and at weekend.
St Sampson’s Church Sunday School and the youth club also meet there.
And later this month experts from Moore Allen & Innocent will be offering their valuation services to antiques owners from Cricklade and beyond in aid of the appeal
Philip Allwood, familiar to many as an expert on TV shows including Bargain Hunt, Flog It and Dickinson’s Real Deal, will cast his eye over nic-nacs and family heirlooms, and value them for their owners who will pay £3 per item, of £5 for two items, for the privilege.
And if past experience is anything to go by, there will be some surprises in store. During a previous charity valuation event, Philip and his team discovered a Faberge box, which later sold at auction for £75,000.
“Of course, owners are not obliged to sell their antiques,” said Philip. “Many are just interested to find out the history and value of granny’s silver coffee pot, or would like a valuation for insurance purposes.
“We’re delighted to be able to support the Jenner Hall, which is both of historical significance and great importance to the community.”
The Charity Valuation Day will be held at the Jenner Hall, Bath Road, Cricklade from 12.30pm to 5pm on Saturday, October 29. Other attractions include a table top sale, raffle and refreshments.
Fundraiser Vicky McIntosh said: “We believe in an innovative approach to fundraising. Some of our next events include geocaching – which is a treasure hunt using GPS devices – and a swishing party, where ladies swap items of clothing or accessories.”
For more information about the Raise the Roof appeal, log on to www.crickladejennerhall.org.uk or contact Vicky McIntosh on 01793 759338, Liz Sherman on 01793 752246 or Kate Crow on 01793 751386.