The Friends of Milton Regis Court Hall are absolutely delighted after nearly 500 people attended the two open days over the weekend, as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme.
The Hall was opened by the mayor of Swale, Councillor George Bobbin, who was accompanied by the lady mayoress, Mrs Brenda Bobbin. As well as members of The Friends of Milton Regis Court Hall, who have leased the hall from Swale Borough Council, representatives of the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne had a display relating to the first world war.
The Court Hall has been closed since 2006 and its reopening generated enormous interest. On Saturday there were 238 visitors followed by a further 247 on Sunday, which far exceeded expectations. It was particularly nice to see so many children taking an interest in their local history.
The Friends of Milton Regis Court Hall worked for two weeks to prepare the building for the event. Display cabinets showing items of local interest had been laid out and many information boards were on display.
It is hoped to open the Court Hall on a regular basis from next Summer. Nevertheless, much work needs to be done to ensure that the 15th Century building is brought up to a reasonable standard. It is likely that between £20,000 and £30,000 will be needed. So far sufficient funds are available for only the most essential work. The intention is that renovation work will be phased as funds allow.
Milton Regis is a very historic area, with many attractive old buildings. However, it has suffered from many years of neglect and it gives every appearance of being in a depressed state. Judging by the interest generated during the two open days, the Court Hall could be the catalyst needed to revitalise the whole area. Perhaps a great oak of regeneration will develop from the little acorn planted by The Friends of Milton Regis Court Hall.