Nowhere to twirl as town hall revamp hits Silsden All Stars majorettes

10:00am Monday 15th April 2013

Silsden majorettes are set to lose their training venue for three months, at the height of their competition season.

The long-established All Stars will be forced to find an alternative base while Silsden Town Hall undergoes a £300,000 refurbishment.

Majorettes leaders fear that following the work the hall will no longer provide enough room for all five of their teams to practise.

Troupe principal Wendy Maddocks said the town hall was the only building in Silsden with several rooms, a long performance area and a high-enough ceiling for the girls to twirl batons.

The refurbishment, to be funded from the proposed sale of the nearby library, could see room layouts changed to make space for a lift and a new stage.

The All Stars have trained in the town hall for the past 22 years and currently use three rooms two nights a week.

The 60 girls, split into five age groups, compete across the North of England most weekends from Easter to October.

Mrs Maddocks said Bradford Council planned the refurbishment work for 12 weeks from next month, when it was essential the entire troupe trained together.

She said council officers had suggested other potential venues in Silsden such as schools or the youth club, but nothing was suitable.

She said: “We struggle to train the five teams but we can just about do it. Ceiling height is an issue, which is why we like the ballroom. They’re talking about moving the stage from one side of the room to the other and we don’t know how big it will be.”

Silsden Town Council, which is opposing the town hall refurbishment and has raised several concerns, is supporting the majorettes.

A spokesman expressed “grave concern” that at least two user groups would no longer be able to use the town hall following the refurbishment.

Bradford councillor Andrew Mallinson suggested the majorettes use Victoria Hall in Keighley for three months, and said a folding stage at the town hall would solve the majorettes’ space issues.

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