The building now used as a Village Hall was built in the 1870's to provide a new school, replacing the original room in the Almshouses. The new building gave more space but it was not without its flaws. Each of the two rooms had been built with a fire grate but these were quite inadequate for the size of the rooms. Successive boilers were put into the rooms but they all had their faults and complaints were often made in the winter.
The Village Hall viewed from Loughborough Road
The schoolroom floor was also an ongoing problem. It was damp and several ‘cures’ were tried. Even now the walls of the rooms are damp and are still a problem to the Parish Council. The original rooms must have been very dark for they have both had additional windows inserted. One has been put in the south wall of the large room, and one in the west wall of the little room (the one that gives a view of the churchyard).
In the 1890s plans were drawn for the classroom (the small room) to be enlarged, cloakrooms to be added and the toilets improved. The work was too costly and in the end the governors decided instead merely to improve the toilets. The entrance to the second school was the same as today’s Village Hall and immediately on the left was the main schoolroom where the children from seven to fourteen years were taught. Beyond the main room was the little classroom where the five and six year olds spent their days. Directly ahead of the entrance door was the boys’ cloakroom and beyond that a door which gave onto a small yard with the boys’ toilets on the far side of the yard. The girls’ cloakroom was off the main form room with another small, damp, dark yard beyond and their toilets on the far side.
When the second school was built, the governors had a playground laid down and properly surfaced in the space on the corner between the two school buildings. Of course this was much too small for sixty healthy seven to eleven year olds to exercise in and lack of proper playground space was one of the main faults of the new building. However, visitors frequently commented on the happy atmosphere within the school even when, by the middle of the twentieth century, the school and its curriculum had long outgrown the buildings and was functioning under extreme difficulties.
For many years the villagers had been complaining that there was no large building capable of catering for a large event and that the community suffered because of this. Hence in 1946 it was decided to fund-raise for the building of a village hall. At that time the target was £1,000, quite a sum for a small place to raise. Fundraising in many forms was undertaken and in 1960 land in Church Street, at that time occupied by two derelict cottages, was purchased for £350; this was a large percentage of the money raised so far. However progress in collecting enough money to build the hall was extremely slow, the required sum now being quoted as £3,000. It must have been very discouraging and several times it was suggested that the fund be wound up and the idea forgotten. People became concerned that if the hall were ever built, it would be difficult to finance its maintenance. Finally in 1963 it was decided to sell the land. It raised £1,200 at auction and the money was invested until the lease of the old Victorian school could be arranged - this was due to be replaced by a new building. This finally came to fruition in 1969 and the Village Hall became an actual fact.
The need for fund-raising for the Village Hall became necessary once again in 1978. The Village Hall was in desperate need of refurbishment. It still had the old outside toilets and primitive kitchen. The village had to raise £3,000 to build an extension, which would include a new kitchen, inside toilets and storage facilities. In 1999 a pitched roof was added, this time funded by various grants.
At present the Village Hall provides the venue for a Mother and Toddler Group, an art class, a line-dancing class, the Gardeners Club, Women's Institute, Youth Club, and History Group. It is also available for public and private functions.
More pictures of the Village Hall are available on the Bunny