Reviving Our Pavilion: A Beacon of Community and Remembrance
In the heart of our village lies a cherished gem, the Pavilion – a remarkable structure with a rich history. This Pavilion, a rare and unique war memorial, stands as one of only 63 in the UK out of over 90,000 on the Imperial War Museum’s Register that serves not only as a symbol of remembrance but as a year-round community hub. Its original purpose was to be a vibrant community asset, bringing the people in the village together and a focal point of remembrance for the 15 soldiers that did not return after the Second World War.
Over the years, our pavilion has become the heartbeat of village life in Snettisham. It stands as a testament to the community’s dedication, vibrant spirit, and local pride. The pavilion and the adjacent recreational area have hosted a number of events over the years from charming fetes to jubilant national celebrations and bustling car boots, the pavilion’s versatile facilities have been the cornerstone of these gatherings.
However, despite the Pavilion being well-used and well-loved, time has taken its toll. The Pavilion, although a vital part of community life, now stands in dire need of restoration. The wear and tear are evident, and it no longer complies with modern standards and regulations, hampering its current use. Out of all the sports teams that once used the pavilion, only the village cricket club is able to use the facility, and even their use is extremely limited. Key areas like Health and Safety, Child Protection, Disability-friendly access, changing facilities, and more, fall short of what’s needed for inclusive community activities. The building’s limited size also prevents it from being a more versatile community space, hindering its ability to host pre and post-event social gatherings or once again support large community events.
In 2020, a dedicated group emerged, consisting of representatives from the Memorial Hall Trust, the Parish Council, Cricket and Football Clubs, and passionate members of the local community. Their mission was clear: to restore the Pavilion to create a community space and address its pressing issues with the utmost care and sensitivity. Local architects from Atelier Architectural Designers were brought in to design a structure that would meet modern requirements while preserving the original building’s footprint and distinctive features.
Given the Pavilion’s proximity to the school, expanding outward wasn’t an option. Instead, the chosen path was to “go upwards.” The roof’s pitch was altered, maintaining the original tile design, and a balcony was added to the front, effectively creating additional space. This innovative design allowed for essential enhancements without compromising the Pavilion’s character. In the summer of 2021, the design received planning permission with the support of all statutory consultees and the local community.
Our vision is to see the Pavilion renewed, reopened, and blessed, to coincide with the significant 75th anniversary in 2025. This is no small feat; it’s a massive undertaking requiring approximately £500,000 to complete. However, we believe in the strength of our incredible community and the support of local businesses. With our dedicated team leading the way, we are confident that we can come together to make this vision a reality, both for our generation and for future villagers. In doing so, we will honour the spirit of unity and determination that inspired those who originally funded and built the Pavilion for us.
Join us in this remarkable journey to revive the Pavilion as a symbol of community, remembrance, and hope. Together, we can make a lasting impact and ensure that this beloved landmark continues to be a vibrant center piece in the heart of Snettisham. Let’s come together and write the next chapter of the Pavilion’s history – a chapter that reflects our shared commitment to preserving our heritage and building a brighter future for our community.