‘End of an era’ for Bethany

Bethany Hall is demolished yesterday afternoon. (0407SL02) Photo: Stephen Latimer
Bethany Hall is demolished yesterday afternoon. (0407SL02) Photo: Stephen Latimer

Packed with 125 years of memories, the “end of an era” has arrived for Bethany Hall in Limavady, Sheena Jackson reports.

The Irish Green Street building is being demolished after lying derelict due to severe fire damage just over a year ago.

The hall, owned by the parish, has been a meeting point for many groups from all sections of the community over the years.

Built in 1886, the building was used as the former Termoncanice School.

The premises was extensively renovated for community use by the Limavady Silver Thread Club more than 30 years ago.

“The hall renovations were funded by donations from the local community and carried out voluntarily by local builders.

Jean Canning from The Silver Thread Club said: “I feel so sad about it because so many senior citizens got so much enjoyment from Bethany, and my eldest daughter started school there in 1968.

Mrs Canning added: “It’s the end of an era. Bethany was synonymous with people enjoying themselves. It was a very special building.”

Parish architect, Gerard Loughrey said the “the bottom line” is that Bethany was eventually going to be be replaced with a parish centre which has received planning permission, with work likely to start in two to three years.

Mr. Loughrey said the building, after the fire, was a “right off” but, had it not been for the blaze, there is no doubt it would still be in use. He said demolition and clearing work should be complete in the next fortnight. Full story on Pg 6.