History

The Village Hall was originally built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubillee. The intention of its benefactor, Rev. William Finch, a wealthy cleric, was as a reading room and its location outside of the village and a good distance away from the local inns was intentional so that ‘the young men who disported themselves within the reading room should not have to spend their leisure in an atmosphere of coarse talk.’

In 1927 the Village Hall, or Village Institute as it was then known, became a registered charity and the Trustees soon had plans to extend the building to include a ladies cloakroom, toilets, a larger kitchen and a billiard room in an iron building at the rear. In 1929 the Trustees built three tennis courts on an adjacent meadow. In 1930 electric lights were fitted throughout the building at a cost of £21.

During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s the Institute had fallen into disrepair and it was decided to either to build a new hall in the village or to carry out a refurbishment to the existing building. Eventually in 1967 work was started on the refurbishment at a cost of £9740 with a 50% grant coming from the Department of Education and Science. In 1977 a further small extension was constructed from proceeds of a village production of ‘Oliver’.

In 1983 it is recorded that there were about 480 bookings each year but one of the most common complaints at the time was that the hall was so well used there was never any meeting rooms available.

In 1997 it was decided that an application should be made to the National Lottery under the Village Hall Millenium Fund for a grant to cover the cost of an extension to give extra meeting rooms and improved storage facilities. By the time that the design had received planning approval the Millenium Fund had closed and this was probably the luckiest break that the project team had in the fact that it became the first application for a Village Hall to the National Lottery Charities Board Community Fund and on 11th December 1999 they awarded a grant of £339,863 which was far in excess of any grant that would have been achieved under the previous scheme.

Construction work started in August 2000 and following a few setbacks along the way which meant trimming a few of the original aspirations the building was eventually handed over in July 2001. A regular annual maintenance programme has ensured that the Village Hall remains an attractive and functional location for many regular activities and private functions.