This year of 2013 we are celebrating the Centenary of The Village Hall.
West Grimstead Village Hall was bulit during 1912-13 and had a great impact upon the Village social life. The Parish Room as it was then called was built entirely by local people. Lord Radnor gave the land and the services of the architect.
Local Builder Mr. Penn did the building with the Farmers hauling all the materials from local sites. The names of the eight farmers who did the haulage are also recorded.
They were Messrs. H. Harding, W.Fulford, G. Light, A. Mussell, C. Penn, J.S. Penn, D.J. Read, L. Tubbs.
At the time this report was made…..
“The little village of West Grimstead has furnished an exceptionally happy illustration of Village co-operation. The Village Hall, opened this week, is entirely a West Grimstead undertaking, in inception, planning, building and even in the provision of materials. It is, as mentioned at the opening, a rare thing for a small Parish to be able to provide its own architect and builder and for it to be in such a state of complete Unity that the bill of costs is greatly lessened by a large amount of voluntary labour and the use of appliances found within this Pariochial boundary.
In most instances the provision of a village is the sign of the possession of a gererous landowner and a hard working, enterprising incumbent.
West Grimstead is happy in both respects. Lord Radnor’s liberality founded upon his well known interest in the welfare of all those upon his estates, was a great factor in the undertaking, as were the courage and enterprise of the Rector in discarding the idea of the less costly tin tabernacle type of erection.”
The Parish Room provide a Social Club for the young people of the village, where they could play cards, billiards etc.
There were also dancing classes for the 16-25 age group, at which such dances as the gay Gordons, the Lancers and Waltzes were taught. Frequently 6d. Hops (local dances) were organised at which Men had to leave their Hob nail boots at the door and put on “Patent leather dancing shoes” ! There were also Concerts performed by the local talent which included songs and sketches. The Hall was also used for wedding receptions and an early Library service was run from here.
Today West Grimstead Village Hall still plays an important Social role within the village and surrounding villages.
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