THE community of Alderholt joined together to celebrate a historic milestone – the 50th anniversary of the village hall.

Residents and invited guests including Lord and Lady Salisbury, North Dorset MP Simon Hoare, and East Dorset District councillors Toni Coombs and Spencer Flower attended a special party on Saturday to mark the occasion.

Norman Jones, the chairman of Alderholt village hall, said: “Our hall is the centre of the village, and has had many improvements to its facilities over the past 10 years. The management team is proud of our village asset, and strives to keep up the standards achieved.”

It was a fitting return for the current Marquis of Salisbury, who opened the hall back in January 1968 - standing in for his grandfather who was too ill to attend.

At the weekend Lord Salisbury unveiled a 2.5 metre long tapestry, depicting Alderholt scenes and life, which was created by the local Knit and Natter group.

MP Simon Hoare said: “Saturday was a wonderful event celebrating not just a hall but the spirit of Alderholt. It was great to see so many of the community there across all age groups as well as the array of community groups.

“The hall has been a village hub that has fostered local life. Here’s to the next 50 years.”

The afternoon celebrations included a barbecue, children’s entertainment, coconut shy, plate smashing and a disco in the evening.

The original hall was built using two Nissan huts but in 1963 trustees decided to look at building a new one.

After money was raised building work started on the new village hall in 1967.

And over the years the Jubilee Garden has been added as well as new seating, LED lighting and other refurbishments to the building.

Mr Jones added: “To maintain the village hall and to keep it alive for our future residents, please consider giving us a hand and come to the AGM on October 18 in the village hall.”