CECILIA Hall, off Malvern's Church Street, was saved from an uncertain future 25 years ago, thanks to Oxfam.

The charity made a £40,000 deal with the hall's owners, Foley Developments (Malvern) Ltd. Oxfam had already set up shop in front of the hall, where it remains a quarter of a century later.

"The purchase ends a five-year search by Oxfam for a permanent shop in the Malvern area," reported the Gazette. "It was made possible partly by a £13,000 gift from a local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"The rest of the money came from the charity's special shop development fund, but should be recouped by the sale or lease of the bulk of the property."

A spokesman for the charity said they had already been approached by people interested in the hall. The property also included flats above the shop. The hall was once mooted as a possible home for Malvern Museum, but that idea came to nothing.

Before moving to the Church Street premises, Oxfam used to lease a shop on Belle Vue Terrace.