Table of Contents

  1. Part One — In the Beginning
  2. Part Two — The Campaign Continues
  3. Appendix One — The Future of the Silver Rooms

Contributors to the battle

There have been many people who helped for different lengths of time in advising and supporting our campaign. There were those who used the Rooms and Day centre originally especially Hilda Bullen. Special thanks to John Dixon the architect from Ingleton Wood who through the group Prohelp helped us to develop the plans for the project. Kevin Fitzmaurice helped us to get the Rooms as a Community Asset and is an interim Trustee on our board. Marion Brooks, Pamela Gardner (who served for sometime as a Trustee), Guido, Dave, Sally Kelly and Steve Wiseman who helped us to get Lottery monies, Chris Johnson, Fiona Dowson of the Puppet Theatre, Georgina Moles and Karen Michael gave us invaluable support. Our current Trustees included Henry Meiklejohn, Shirley Jordan, Keith Roads and Cym Cant. We had great help from Pat Bond who works for Norfolk Property Services (NPS). And thanks to Lorraine Farebrother who produced this pamphlet as a type written account. To all those who drove us to not give up we say – here’s looking at you kid!!

Ian Gibson and Julie Brociek-Coulton 2014

Pro Help

Norfolk ProHelp is a group of professional firms that pledge free support to voluntary and community organisations wanting to get projects off the ground. Members comprise accountants, solicitors, architects, consulting engineers, surveyors, property consultants, marketing and IT specialists.

These professional firms undertake “one off” projects including feasibility studies, structural surveys, drawing up plans, property valuations, business plans, legal and accountancy advice, employment law, IT support and web design.

ProHelp was pleased to support the Silver Rooms project in collaboration with four of it’s panel members:

Ingleton Wood

Ingleton Wood was pleased to offer the firms support to the Silver Rooms Community Group. The practice initially engaged with the group through the Pro-help enterprise and was asked to provide project management consultancy advice on the refurbishment and transformation of the Silver Rooms building into a new lively community hub building.

Having met the group John Dixon, Partner and Architect with the practice assisted the group in establishing the range of consultants required to gather basic data on the condition of the building and put costs estimates to its fundamental preservation. This data was used in establishing case for the gifting of the building to the Community Group form the county council.

Having helped to established a high degree of credibility behind the refurbishment aspects of the project, John went on to assist the group with assessing their space needs for the refurbished building. A range of options for the development of the building were drawn up and presented and a preferred scheme selected after public consultation events. The re-formatted space would allow a range of activities to be undertaken from play groups to Zumba classes and bingo to badminton all of which would help to fill up the buildings weekly timetable.

Since this time practice has continued to engage with the community group and hopes to assist in the delivery stage of the project in the next few months.

John Dixon RIBA,


Ingleton Wood LLP,

DD: 01603 666847/07834 104249

Arnolds Keys

Arnolds Property Consultants (now Arnolds Keys) were contacted through ProHelp in respect of the proposed change of use and conversion works of the Silver Rooms facility as part of plans to convert these to community use. Our involvement was to provide a detailed building survey report of the premises. This report was primarily to ascertain the nature of both the structure and condition of the premises to identify any defects or significant repairs necessary prior to refurbishment.

We were able to discuss the proposals with the end users and the architects so that we could tailor the inspection and report around those objectives. For example, where internal dividing partitions may be removed as part of the final layout, we were able to ascertain the load bearing function of any such partitions which allowed for more accurate budget costings and space planning at the early stages of the scheme.

Through the building survey we were able to confirm that the building was free from significant defects which may otherwise have rendered the proposals unfeasible due to the high cost of the capital expenditure required or the high day to day running costs of the premises.

Tom North BSc (Hons) MRICS
For and on behalf of Arnolds Keys LLP

P J Cozens

P.J. Cozens completed some of the early surveys on the existing buildings Mechanical and Electrical Building Services. From this information and the Architectural concept drawings we were able to compile the M & E services parameters on the new building layout.

John Plummer Partnership

The John Plummer partnership carried out a site visit and made an appraisal of the existing structure. Details were subsequently passed on to the architect to assist with the next stage of the refurbishment plans.

Sweett Group

The Sweett Group was pleased to be able to provide a cost estimate for the building work to the architect.


Whilst the author has made every attempt to talk to those who dipped in and out of the Campaign, he apologises to those he has failed to remember.