Appeal to support new chapels trust

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HOLBEACH residents are being urged to support a new charity aimed at restoring a town landmark to its “original beauty”.

An open day is taking place at Park Road Cemetery on Sunday between 11am and 4pm when people can find out about Holbeach Cemetery Chapels Trust, a new charity set up to repair and regenerate the cemetery’s two old chapels.

The Grade II listed buildings date back to the 1850s and were used by residents until one of the chapels closed in 1952.

Holbeach Parish Council has been responsible for looking after the chapels but rising maintenance costs have seen them fall into disrepair in recent years.

But the new trust hopes to restore them once it agrees a lease with the parish council and if applications to both the Architectural Heritage Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund prove successful.

The trust’s secretary and Holbeach parish councillor Jenny Worth said: “The idea behind the open day is to raise local interest and let people know about our plans to raise money to restore the chapels.

“Most people in Holbeach have never seen inside them because they are locked all the time.

“People will get quite a pleasant surprise on Sunday when they see the chapels and their potential if they can be refurbished.”

The open day, with its theme of Trade and Travel, will feature a display of memorabilia from Holbeach’s past such as photographs of its former train station.

Holbeach district councillor and new trustee Rita Rudkin said: “We’ve been trying for several years to form a trust to restore the chapels and put them in community use.

“Two or three weeks ago, we found out that our application to become a trust had been accepted and the parish council has agreed in principle to let us have the chapels so they can be maintained and restored to their original beauty.

“We hope they will give Holbeach residents a sense of civic pride but it’s up to them to support the trust.”