Ferneham Hall open day proves to be a big community hit

James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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The community open day at Ferneham Hall was such a success that there are already plans for a similar event next year.

The Osborn Road venue offered visitors the chance to go behind the scenes of the entertainment complex on Sunday and enjoy a feast of activities at the same time.

Dance schools, amateur drama societies, the emergency services and a host of societies from Fareham, Gosport, Portsmouth and Havant attended the event.

They included the Stage One Theatre Company, Bodyrox Productions, Havant Chamber Orchestra and Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS).

Fareham Musical Society, Gosport Gang Show, Fareham Leisure Centre and Fareham Shopping Centre were also present on the day.

There were backstage tours to the green room and the control room, as well as performances from local groups on the main stage, such as Portsmouth-based Marie Clarke School of Dance.

The event, opened by Mayor of Fareham Councillor Michael Ford, attracted hundreds of people.

Ferneham Hall general manager Rod Cameron was delighted with the turnout and the success of the event.

He said: ‘It was definitely a fun-packed day for everyone involved. It was very successful so we’re already thinking of doing another one next year and making it an annual event.

‘It was well received by the public and we had a lot of support from the local community.

‘The day was open to the community of Fareham to not just have a look around the hall but also go on tours behind the scenes and take part in all the different activities.

‘The weather made a big difference and we were able to have outside activities.

‘The sword-fighting display from Nick Scovell and the Interalia Theatre Company were very popular with everyone and gave people a chance to see it close up.’

Fire service sniffer dogs Harvey, Ruby and Millie went down extremely well with families and children, as did a visit from Toffee The Bear and performances from characters from Frozen.