Village hall asbestos find

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Asbestos has been discovered during the refurbishment of Denholm Village Hall, but it seems there was no danger to the public.

Last weekend’s Denholm Folk Festival was forced to move from its traditional venue to Denholm Kirk and the Auld Cross Keys Inn after the discovery.

Organiser Kenny Speirs told TheSouthern: “There was no question we could use the hall for the festival.”

Revealing the story, he said: “The refurbishment began in August and was due to finish in the middle of October. Then they discovered asbestos, but not in the main hall, just in the ceiling in the entrance of the building.

“It was all contained – so there was no danger. There’s no problem with asbestos unless you start drilling it and poking holes in it. Specialists were called in to deal with it, and they won’t sign off the building until it’s given the all-clear.”

He added this will likely be sooner rather than later. “I’ve another concert next week on Friday 16th, and I’ve been assured the hall will be ready for that,” he said. “I’m hoping it will be ready as we speak.”

The Sunnyside hall, built in 1852, functioned as the village school until 1965, then as the schoolchildren’s canteen until 1983, when it became the village’s library and hall, and the centre of community life.

Asbestos, a fibrous, fire-resistant mineral, was widely used in building insulation, and banned when it was found to cause fatal asbestosis and cancers in the lung. The fine fibres only present a danger to human health when they are airborne and inhaled.