So what has been happening over the past weeks?

The Trust is working like beavers to be ready to take over the Westgate Hall on 31st March 2012.

What’s on the programme at the moment?

Becoming a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, completing the legal work for the leases, preparing for the Hall refurbishment with architects, surveyors and Curzon Cinemas, and to support all this, fund raising for our Westgate Hall Takeover Fund.

While much of the takeover work is being provided pro bono, and Curzon Cinemas has made a generous contribution towards associated legal costs, we are using our imagination and energy to keep a steady flow of cash streaming into the fund as we don’t want any bad surprises.

Here’s what we have achieved most recently.

Saturday’s Curry & Quiz fundraiser was not only a great community evening out! Deliciously nourished by Paul Babra and his Canterbury Curry Club, brains were in fine form to tackle Quizmaster Brian Sackett’s taxing questions. The result for the Fund: £530.

Then, since voting closed at Monday noon, thanks to over 330 passionate supporters, it appears the Fund is in line to receive a further £6,000 from NatWest’s Community Force initiative that enables ‘local projects and charities to raise awareness of their work and make their plans a reality with the support of NatWest and their local community.’ Fingers crossed this is confirmed on 3rd November when the final results will be announced.

So we are seriously upbeat thanks to all this determined community support — let’s keep this momentum strong and steady. How can you help?

Come and take part in these great fundraising and community events:

Westgate Hall Wine Challenge, 17th November, from 7 to 10pm, Espression café, 20-22 Palace Street, Canterbury

Master of Wine Clive Barlow will lead us through tasting six wines from around the world and test your team’s tasting skills. The prize for the winners will be a selection of wines.

Patrick’s Kitchen from The Goods Shed will provide a light supper.

Tickets are £20. You can book single tickets or in teams of six by calling 0845 689 0213 or emailing:

Grand Christmas Fayre, 27th November, from 11am to 4pm, at the Westgate Hall
A cheerful festive community Christmas fair, with music, a Christmas market featuring local crafts, delicious food, and even a panto! Let us know if you would like to take part, we need plenty of volunteers. This year we want to make a great grotto for Father Christmas, can you help?

And we will launch the 100 years of Westgate Hall Wall. As we begin the Hall’s next 99 years of life, we will celebrate the community’s efforts to save the Hall from demolition in 2010 and 2011 with a commemorative wall of tiles painted by our community. Everyone aged 0 to 140 can paint a tile in exchange for a donation to cover costs and help raise funds. More details available soon!

To carry all that Christmas shopping, please buy our Westgate Hall Shopping bags. They are eco-friendly and available for an amazing £3.00. Buying them not only helps you avoid filling the planet with even more plastic bags, it spread the word about the Hall as you walk about!

Finally, consider sending everyone our beautiful starry Westgate Hall Christmas cards designed by Liz Findlay, selling at £4 for 10, or 50p each (including envelopes).

Looking forward to seeing you at our events, and thanks again for all efforts so far!