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Robert Hardy opens Lammas hall

PUBLISHED: 12:22 30 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:34 13 July 2010

Evergreen actor Robert Hardy's last high profile role in a long and celebrated career was as the ministerial Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films.

Evergreen actor Robert Hardy's last high profile role in a long and celebrated career was as the ministerial Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films.

But the man better known to many as rural vet Siegfried Farnon in the television series All Creatures Great and Small was in Lammas not Hogwarts on Saturday night.

He officially launched the revamped village hall in a community he has visited often over many years to see old friend Maj John Perkins.

After unveiling a plaque to mark the £13,000 improvement scheme, he treated a sell out audience to an evening of poetry and anecdotes drawn from his glittering stage and screen career.

“Village halls are vital to keep rural communities together - and help them stand up to the ravages of urban governments,” he said.

These days, aged 83, he is writing more than performing, and is an authority on military history, particularly the longbow.

It was through membership of the historic London livery company the Bowyers that he met Maj Perkins.

The historic riverside village hall at Lammas was once part of maltings fed by sailing wherries but has been a community building for more than 80 years.

Repairs and improvements included redecorating, new windows, repairs to the roof and brickwork along with re plastering new toilets and hot water system

The community was fully involved, with wall tiles in the toilets painted by local children, while redecoration was done by working parties of volunteers.

But Maj Perkins said without the £13,000 grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust the village, which has just 120 residents, would have struggled to raise the funding for the project.


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