Skip to main content
toilet before and after image
toilet before and after image

Final Phase of Freswick Hall Upgrades Is Celebrated

Freswick Hall, situated a few miles south of John O’Groats, serves the Hamlets of Freswick and Skirza. The Hall used to be a school. On the closure of the school in 1948, the Hall was gifted to the community by the Council. The Hall is well used with regular bookings from the rifle club, and the local amateur radio club, as a training venue for the John O’Groats Fire Brigade and for occasional Community Council meetings.

The Committee have been undertaking improvements to improve the Hall and increase its popularity with local people including a kitchen refurbishment, draught-proofing and electrical upgrades. In 2019 the Committee decided the next phase of works was to upgrade the toilets and associated hallway. This section of the Hall was built of solid breezeblocks, with no internal insulation or even plasterboard. As a result, the area was always very cold. There was also no hot water to the toilets which puts people off wanting to book the Hall as a venue for community events or family occasions, and meaning that the Hall was not compliant with hygiene statutory regulations.  

The work included nearly £7,000 worth of joinery, plumbing and electrical work. This was funded in 2020 with an award of £3,434 from the Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, match-funded by the National Lottery.

In spite of the lockdown restrictions, the work was completed to a high standard and the Committee were very pleased with the results.

For the first time ever the toilets have hot water, disabled people have the proper equipment and alarm. There is a baby changing station. The walls in both the toilets and the adjoining lobby have been plasterboarded, which is such a transformation from the painted breeze blocks we used to have. There is non-slip flooring in the toilets and the lobby instead of painted cement and a new fire door replaces the old rotted one.


Isobel Ham, the Hall Treasurer

This was the final phase of the programme of works to bring the Hall up to an acceptable standard in the communities vision for the hall to be a hub for local residents to come together, providing a meeting space for people of all ages. The Committee also hopes to develop new activities that were not feasible previously such as the Mother and Toddlers group, sports classes, keep fit classes and musical performances. The Hall can also now be marketed as a venue for small weddings and other family celebrations.