I realised something today. In none of my blogs have I mentioned the pandemic. In fact the presence of Covid has never escaped us all in our quest to open up the Town Hall.
It was the No 1 worry about taking on such a large project in the beginning. What if we open the doors and discover that we have to lockdown again? We could be sitting looking at a big, beautiful, empty building. But then we would be no different to any other business that had to lockdown. We would just have to respect that this was a pandemic and find ways to use the building to perhaps help people during lockdown.
For example, the children of front line workers needed places to be looked after in. Leith Theatre partnered with Empty Kitchens during lockdown to make and distribute meals. We would like to think we would have had the imagination, to do something to help the community, if need be, and make use of the vast space we had.
But on the other hand, we also knew that with such a large space, once things started to open up, we knew that we could offer a large space for activities. With such a high ceiling the ventilation would be good. You could hold activities and easily maintain a two metre space between people. It would not be bustling they way we wanted but it would have been a start. In fact, a perfect solution for myself, as a dance studio owner with small studios. I would have jumped at the chance to move classes to the Town Hall when we came out of lockdown. Instead we had to restrict some class sizes to comply with guidelines. We also couldn’t have adult classes for most of the year. So I am in no doubt that if the Town Hall had been open, that there would have been people, like myself, knocking at the door.
However, we have come through this worry and are quietly confident that by April 2022 that we will hopefully be returning to a more normal life, albeit with restrictions of a sort. As ever, we can all be adaptable.
Keep safe, good people