Veterans

Campaign Launched To Save 100-Year-Old Memorial Hall

The John Alker Memorial Hall is in desperate need of repairs and re-decoration.

A campaign has begun to save a 100-year-old memorial hall that was left to the veteran community near Manchester.

The John Alker Memorial Hall was commissioned by the wife of John Alker who fought and died of his injuries shortly after the First World War.

It was left to the people on the condition it remained for the use of ex-service personnel.

But the Hall is now in serious need of repair.

Claire Wright, Founder of Trafford Veterans, said: “I like to think that when we’re all here it means a lot to us all because it was built specifically in memorial to a World War One soldier who gave his life for the very way of life we have today.

"To help put something back and use that hall and bring life into it, bring a community spirit back into it - it means a lot."

John Alker Plaque
A plaque in memory of John Alker.

Once a month, the memorial hall comes alive with memories as the Trafford Veterans Club host their monthly breakfast.

Club member and World War Two veteran, Lewis Banham, said the club has helped him get out of the house and make "new friends".

As well as the veterans club, the hall is used for a range of things from NHS blood collections to flower arranging and fencing classes.

Ms Wright and her team have now launched their own 'DIY SOS' in an attempt to try and save the hall.

They are appealing for people to lend a helping hand and also donate materials.

RAF Veteran Reading A Poem To The Room
WWII RAF Veteran Frank Tolley reads a poem to the veterans club.

One of the biggest changes needed at the hall is new disabled facilities. 

The current stairlift regularly gets stuck, leaving some veterans stranded between floors.

“We’ve got guys downstairs - they're in their 90s, they fought in World War Two - you can sit down there (breakfast area) and have a brew...but they can't access the bar upstairs.

"Surely they deserve a pint for everything they've done for us.”