Community help clear flood damage to theatre

The community of Great Torrington has come together to help replair flood damage to The Plough Arts Centre

IT’S ALL hands on deck at the Plough Arts Centre to clear the flood devastation before Thursday night’s sell-out show.

The Great Torrington community has come together to fix up the venue after torrential rain on December 23rd left the venue flooded.

Although the flood had the potential to close the venue for a considerable amount of time, a team of dedicated volunteers have been working hard to ensure the venue is open for Lesley Garrett’s sold-out show on Thursday night.

Director Richard Wolfenden-Brown explained: “The work of Plough staff and volunteers has been a heart-warming display of community endeavour and The Plough is grateful to all who have helped.”

He especially wanted to thank Plough Chairman John Eeles and local carpenter Nigel Lewis-Carpenter, and claimed: “They have virtually been living at The Plough since New Year’s Day and have made monumental efforts, way beyond the call of duty, to get us up and running again.”

Mr Lewis-Carpenter had been visiting the centre to watch a film when he felt compelled to offer to help the team.

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He joked: “I only came to watch Tin-Tin and I haven’t left here since!”

The flood was caused by the heavy downpour, which left Mr Wolfenden-Brown bare-footed on the roof trying to deal with a leak in the gallery.

Meanwhile, fowl-smelling water started to bubble through two drains in the bar area, leaving the bar, caf� and kitchen all damaged.

Mr Wolfenden-Brown added that they were planning fundraising events to help towards the renovations: “It is hoped that the insurance will cover most of the costs but there will inevitably be a shortfall for excesses and for work done which constitutes an improvement rather than a like-for-like replacement of damaged equipment, fixtures and fittings.”

The Plough are trying to see the positives in the situation and hope to use it as a chance to create a more spacious ground-floor area, including moving the Box Office.

An evening with Lesley Garrett will still go on as planned on Thursday.

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