Archived Feature ~ A Potted History of Our Village Hall

The present wooden hall was originally built in 1928, after collections had been made throughout the village, on land which was owned by Lord Paget. After construction, however, there was found to be a shortfall in funds and Lady Zia Wernher, daughter of the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, who then resided at Thorpe Lubenham Hall, offered to donate the balance of the money on the condition that the building was named the Women's Unionist Hall.

In 1976 they presented the building for use as a village hall, with Lord Paget donating the land on which it stood. At that time the ladies' and gentlemen's toilets were constructed with entirely voluntary help from craftsmen and other village residents.

Despite an ongoing maintenance programme, by 1992 the hall had fallen into disrepair and the kitchen had been condemned. A grant to build the new frontage was applied for; this included an entrance hall, kitchen, store rooms, a disabled toilet and incorporated the newly built toilets. Fund raising money was used to refurbish the old part of the hall, alter the fire doors, strengthen and insulate the roof, lay a new floor and redecorate using specialist paint to cover the original external creosote.

By 1993 the Committee had, with the help of a mortgage and grants from local authorities, raised enough money and began to build the new front section. Activities continued to raise sufficient funds to fmish the remainder of the building, and by early 1996 the mortgage had been paid off.

Recently there has been a new base and tarmac surface laid in the car park and children's play area. Now we have had the rear of the hall terraced and slabbed, with rear disabled access improved. The materials were donated by local firms and the labour provided by the Community Service Agency.

Just before Christnas, having been unsuccessful in our first attempt, we put in a second, improved National Lottery application for funds for the final phase - that is, the removal of the old, and building of the new, hall with a refreshments and bar area, stage, changing and store rooms and a smaller meeting room.

Your Committee has recently heard that our application has got through to the final lottery committee stage, which it didn't last time. However, only half the applications that get through to this point are finally given ftmding. Wish us luck!

David Hannibal
March 2002


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