Griff at Gracehill for filming

COMEDIAN Griff Rhys Jones visited Gracehill this week to film for the BBC hit 'Restoration' show, now in its third series.

He spent several days in the village meeting locals and finding out about the Trust's plans for the Old School.

Griff paid a surprise visit to Gracehill Moravian Church on Sunday morning, chatting to the congregation before Church and joining them for refreshments after the Service.

Members of the congregation were impressed by his interest in the village and his friendly manner.

Later in the week he interviewed residents including Mrs Roberta Thompson, who organises tours of the Village, Northern Ireland's first Conservation area.

He also paid a visit to "The Readers Room" to discuss the village with Mr Christie Colhoun and he rounded off his visit by helping some local children complete an "Architectural Treasure Hunt" to discover something of the history and rich Georgian architectural heritage that still exists in Gracehill.

David Johnston, chairman of GhOST, said: "This is a great opportunity to present a positive image that everyone in the country can be proud of and following on the HLF support and the World Heritage initiative this is a very busy but exciting time. It is perhaps fitting that it will be ten years this September since we started work on the project."

He encouraged everyone to support the Gracehill bid: "This could be the final piece in the jigsaw of funding allowing work on the building to start soon!"

The "Restoration Village" series will be shown in August and September and feature buildings from around the United Kingdom. Viewers will be asked to take part in a telephone vote to select their favourite building for restoration. The Northern Ireland section will feature three buildings including Gracehill Old School and it will be shown on Friday September 1st on BBC2. Voting can take place until Thursday 7th September.

Please watch, vote and encourage your friends to do the same! Gracehill needs you!

A road show is being organised in the village to publicise the Gracehill bid on Saturday 2nd September from 2pm –5pm. This will feature a number of attractions including the BBC Big Yellow Bus, children's events, heritage exhibitors and the Country Markets group. Everyone is welcome to attend what promises to be a fun event for all ages.