CAN I thank the Evening Press for its timely article (May 16) drawing the attention of the people of Haxby to the threat to demolish the Memorial Hall.

The building was originally the village school built in 1876 as one of the earliest in the country to implement the 1870 Education Act, and continued as the primary school until 1954. It now commemorates those of its pupils who went on to give their lives in two world wars.

It was also a key structure in the Victorian redevelopment in the village centre along with St Mary's Church and the Methodist Chapel, all built within a few years.

In the past 40 years, Haxby has given away its church bells, one of which was dated 1621, seen the Grade II-listed Georgian Haxby Hall demolished and lost Eastfield House, built for the eminent Methodist John Lyth in 1829, to housing development. Are the inhabitants of Haxby ready to see the Memorial Hall added to that sad list or should we follow the example of the people of Fulford and try to save it?

Most people would readily support the building of a new community centre but would also want to preserve a vital part of Haxby's heritage. The two aims are not mutually exclusive. With the right vision and support in a town of 10,000 people, surely both can be achieved?

F T Smith,

Ashwood Glade,

Haxby, York.

...THE Memorial Hall is probably the best-known building in Haxby. Several generations of Haxby people spent their formative years there until 1954, when it was dedicated to those local men killed during two world wars. Remember that the original memorial hall in South Lane was demolished.

Without doubt the present Memorial Hall fits perfectly in the main street, along with the older buildings of character and its Victorian contemporaries. I am reliably informed that its site lies within the long-standing conservation area, which specifies that any future development should retain buildings where they merit retention and be constructed of brick to a domestic scale.

During discussions on the trustees preferred option to demolish the Memorial Hall, I am concerned to realise the lack of awareness of the proposed demolition amongst the existing community.

Could I please plead with the people of Haxby to sit up and take note of the intended demolition of their heritage and actively protest strongly to your town councillors. Surely there must be a less drastic and more cost effective alternative to acquire a new community centre?

A further vital question. Who is to bear the capital cost and will future revenue be adequate to maintain the glass construction? I suspect further local taxation is on the cards.

Alan Clark,

Vanbrugh Drive, York.

Updated: 11:11 Wednesday, May 21, 2003