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The world's oldest surviving music hall located in London's East End is appealing for public donations to help restore it to its former glory. This charming but crumbling music hall needs cash to repair its structure, which has been standing for nearly 300 years.
Tucked away in this row of terraced houses in London's East End is one of the city's hidden gems.
Wilton's is the world's oldest surviving music hall.
The most beloved songs sung in any Victorian music hall have been performed on this stage.
Today, it still hosts weddings and the occasional performance.
But the peeling paint, crumbling plaster and collapsing ceilings are a long way from its splendor when it first opened in 1858.
Frances Mayhew, director of Wilton, said, "I've never come across a building where the atmosphere and history literally grabs you buy the neck. Somebody very sweetly said Wilton's walls are peeling with history and they simply are."
But although the building's "shabby chic" is not without its charms, Mayhew recognizes there are more serious issues affecting the structure.
Frances Mayhew said, "Wilton's needs money to repair the building because it's been derelict for a long time, so there's a lot of damage that has happened over the years. Rot. A lot of our floorboards and beams have simply rotted away, which means floors have collapsed, ceilings have collapsed, roofs have collapsed."
The overall project cost is just under 3.8 million Pounds and Wilton's was looking to secure 2.25 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and then undertake a Capital Appeal to raise the remaining funds.
The public responded and the fund raised 500,000 in just two months, one third of the money needed.
If Wilton's is to survive, it needs the public to dig deep and save this historic building from being lost forever.