Fundraising by Thornley Community Space to turn the derelict former village school into a community centre started last year and the total now stands at just over £50,000.
The latest success was this year’s Great Thornley Bake Off at Lee House Church, which had everything from cupcakes to savoury pies gracing the tables, including some very impressive showstoppers. Together with attendance at Chipping Steam Fair raised almost £500.
Visitors could enjoy afternoon teas in the gardens, a Pampered Chef cookery demonstration, coconut shy and tombola with the cakes being sold off after judging.
And surplus cakes were donated to the children from Belarus staying in the area with host families connected to the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children.
The first phase of work on the former school will be to restore the original fabric of the building, including a permanent fix to the roof, new windows, insulation, structural repairs and security measures to make it weatherproof and secure.
The Community Space team, which has applied for grants, is talking to builders at the moment who, with the help of volunteers, are to instigate a clean-up on site, removal of furniture and other items from the old school and a check for asbestos.
The team aims for full work on the restoration to start within a few weeks.
The winner of the showstopper class and best children’s entry in the bake off competition was Kate Hayhurst (11) with a Battenburg cake. Other prizewinners were: edible necklace and recipe cover, Anna Hayhurst; cupcakes (7-11), Darcy Perrin; Victoria sandwich and best in show, Cathy Mason; best chocolate cake and tray bake, Anna Haworth Wheatman; other large cake, Martin Wheatman; savoury pie, Little Town Farm shop; cold dessert, Julie Hallett; biscuits, Lynda England; cupcakes, Joanna Fawcett.