History of the Village Hall

More than 80 years ago a temporary hall was erected by public subscription on ground purchased by the Parish Council.

In 1949 plans were produced to build a new village hall with materials and building skills being supplied by local businesses and tradesmen. This scheme was rejected by the Ministry of Housing because the priority was to use materials for building houses after the end of WW2.

In June 1959, after the site had been conveyed and approved for use as a village hall, fund raising began in earnest. At that meeting Thomas Bell agreed that if, within 5 years, sufficient money had been raised to justify starting building operations he would double the amount raised. Despite an original estimate of £6,000 the hall cost nearly £17,000 to build by the time of its completion in 1964. When the Building Committee handed over to the Village Hall Management Committee, with Thomas Bell as Chairman, the Main Hall could be hired for £1.50/hr!

Thomas Bell continued as Chairman until his death in 1968 when his place was taken by his wife, Sylvia Bell, to whom, in memory of the significant assistance the family gave to the building and running of the Hall, one of our rooms was dedicated in 2005.

Under the trust, set up to manage the Hall, it was to be used “for the inhabitants of Oxton and the neighbourhood.. without distinction of sex or of political, religious or other opinions and in particular for meetings, lectures and classes, and for other forms of recreation and leisure-time occupation with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants”

To that end the Hall continues to be maintained and improved by the Management Committee. In recent years the floor of the Main Hall has been sanded and re-varnished and soft lighting was installed. The Car Park has been re-laid and marked out with designated parking places. Access for disabled people and emergency escape routes have been improved and the kitchen has been completely refurbished. The main hall and Sylvia Bell room was redecorated and refurbished with new curtains in 2016. The bar room will be revamped into a more modern style in 2017.

One thought on “History of the Village Hall

  1. I lived in Oxton from 1945 to 1951i had some lovely times went to Oxton School I have 2photos of us all when I was in mrs Kirby class and in Mr Fentons class happy days

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