Plans to extend Eversley Village Hall to create space to display and store historical artefacts have been met with enthusiasm.

A planning application has been submitted to Hart District Council to revamp the community venue in Glaston Hill Road to provide residents with a museum showcasing the village’s fruitful history.

Eversley Parish Council welcomes the idea of exhibiting important archives and benchmarking artefacts.

Chairman Phillip Todd said: “I think it is very important that people are able to identify with their community rather than being transient – just living here and moving on.

“If you know more about where you live, you become attached to it and have more respect for it.”

The application put forward by Eversley resident Caroline Sellick consists of a brief planning outline to obtain public opinion before more detailed plans are submitted.

“We do not have anywhere local to display the area’s memorabilia,” Cllr Todd added.

“There is a cupboard up at the church with a few of Charles Kingsley’s bits and there are a lot of people storing books, pictures and information about the village.

“There is nowhere in the Blackwater Valley that displays the history of our area.”

The content of the museum archive is continuing to grow and contains items of interest from the surrounding areas. The museum would display a changing collection including special exhibitions and store the main archive upstairs.

The proposal consists of extending the front of the village hall some five metres forward and re-arranging the ground floor to provide a brighter entrance to the main hall rather than the current dark corridor.

Amending the front elevation of the hall is hoped to make it more attractive to potential hirers all year round.

A staircase would be used to access the first floor storage or community room and new female toilets would be installed.

The extension would also provide easy, disabled friendly access at ground floor level.

The proposed use of a light-coloured timber aims to create a “brighter more welcoming and friendly appearance”. The sides of the new extension would also be clad in timber including covering the existing brickwork.

Mrs Sellick said in her application: “A rather dour building built of dark brick and tile with dark stained hardwood windows, it can look okay when surrounded by trees in leaf but can look distinctly un-welcoming in the winter.

“The entrance corridor into the main hall has an institutional feel and the hall itself is rather dark.”

Eversley Village Hall opened in 1959 and shares a car park with Charles Kingsley School.