VillageArena

History of Church Minshull Village Hall

1968 Village Hall   aerial view
village hall after

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The first meeting of the Village Hall Committee was held in the School on May 21st 1946 at 7.30pm. At this time there was no village hall!

The Committee was — Mr E.N.Cookson (Chairman), Mr Stan Farrall (Treasurer), Miss Potts (Secretary), Miss Upton, Mr T. Parton, Mr J Owen, (Parish Council representative), Mr F Birchall (Parochial Church Council Rep.) and Miss H Greenwood (Young Peoples Club Rep.). A One of these prominent members, Stan Farrell the village blacksmith remained involved until resigning in November 1987.

The proceeds of the first Whist Drive (admission 2/6d) were £20-18-0d, including a donation of £5 from the Children of Church Minshull School, £1 from Miss Brereton and 10/- from an anonymous donor.

The Parish Council called a public meeting on May 14th 1947 and the Vicar, Mrs E.N.Cookson and Mr A Birchall were nominated as Trustees. An account in the name of "The Village Hall Fund" was opened at the Post Office. By May 16th 1950 the balance was £538-4-2d. Indeed, it took no less than 17 years of whist drives, coffee mornings etc., before they were able to buy the land and erect the ex-army hut in 1963.

A public meeting was held on November 30th 1959 in the School, the minutes reveal that it was a well attended meeting in fact it was the best meeting that has taken place! The Chairman Mr E.N.Cookson reported that the Village Hall Fund balance was £865-1-11d and the Young Peoples Club had £152-19-10d. The meeting decided to ask the Rural Community Council if any grants were available and to approach the rural District Council to help identify a site.

c.1965 Village Hall

On May 31st 1960 the Committee resolved to "accept the offer of the Brewery to sell land for the Hall for £375". On the 10th May 1961 a 50% grant from the Ministry of Education for the land purchase was accepted and the Post Office account was transferred to the District Bank Ltd, Nantwich. On 7th February 1962, it was agreed that all arrangements for building the Hall be left in the hands of the Revd. Peter Gains, Messrs E.N.Cookson and T.S.Parton.

The site conveyance completed on 8th August 1962 and an ex-army hut was purchased and erected largely by volunteers. The opening event was a Whist Drive on 4th September 1963, admission 3/-. The total proceeds were £16 pounds, 2 shillings and 3 pence. Hiring Charges were set at £3 for Parish Residents and £5 for others. Hire of Kitchen only for meetings was 10/-.

An £300 overdraft was requested in February 1964. By April 1967, the debit balance had risen to £236-15-1d and Villagers were invited to help line the hall by buying panels of hardboard at £1 each (or 10/- per half).

These names of a volunteer working party were found hidden behind a panel dated 20th May 1964 — R.Farrall, D.H.MacDonald, Richard Farrall, R.G.Burrow, M.MacDonald, James Morris, James Dennel, (Ringo) Bate, W.Smith, C.S.Brereton, A.Everall, M.Skitt, H.Owen, R.H.Dover, I.Hulme, R.Morris, R.G.L.Hulme, D.M.Hough, S.Farrall, Gillian Moody, Mr. E.N.Cookson

In April 1972 (with a credit balance of £67-19s) the committee agreed to the redevelopment proposals proposed by The County Council prompted by the G.P.O's need to close their brick telephone exchange (now used as a store). A new public highway (now Muslin Row) was built to provide access to a new telephone exchange and a new access to the Village Hall car park.

More recently, since 1994, a number of significant works have been undertaken to both develop and maintain the hall's infrastructure despite an event at a Trustees meeting in 2001 when a motion was made, seconded and narrowly defeated by one vote "to close the hall immediately". It was after this committee meeting that the Chairman Peter Brereton drafted an application for a major capital grant. Since then significant work by a committed group of supporters and generous grants have meant that the hall functions well today

Recent major improvements:

  • 1994 the roof was re-felted and some timbers replaced
  • 1996 the kitchen was re-furnished at a cost of £7230
  • The new brick entrance lobby and toilets were built in 2003 at a cost of £63,507.
  • A new wooden floor was laid in August 2008.
  • In March 2009 a grant of £17,000 was awarded by Crewe and Nantwich BC to insulate the roof.
  • Aug 2009 a WREN grant of £6,500 paid for replacement windows, doors and extraction fans.
  • June 2009 a £1,500 Cheshire Grassroots grant helped to replace the cookers which was the precursor of the main kitchen upgrade, completed in December 2010, courtesy of another WREN grant.
  • Dec 2009 following the success of the Hall, and discovery of an unsafe store it was decided that a separate storage room was needed
  • An application was then made (completed in 2015).
  • In February 2012, again by courtesy of A WREN grant, rotting load bearing timbers were replaced and all the wall cavities were insulated.
  • Changes to electric systems following H&S risk report completed with 'Awards for All' grant in June 2012.
  • At the beginning of 2013 new audio/video equipment has been fitted as an additional facility for users.
  • Following financial help from several sources, a meeting room was built in 2015 at the front and the old, failing, back store was removed. It is hoped that this will one day be replaced.

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