1963 – Can you remember the special events of that year? Well, it was the year of the big winter; snow was still lying in April in some parts of the country. Cliff Richard and his mates took a London double-decker bus on their 'Summer Holiday' and Dr Beeching decided we didn't need nearly 2000 railways stations. In the United States, its 35th President, J F Kennedy was assassinated and back in the UK, the Beatles went straight to number one in the charts for the third time with 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'. And, oh – Church Minshull Village Hall held its first function in the newly opened hall – a Whist Drive costing 3/- admission!!
But if you think that means the Village Hall is some 57 years old then you'd be wrong. Being an ex-Canadian Airforce nissan hunt, it's at least 25 years older and although a bit like Trigger's broom being the same one even after several new heads and handles, the village hall is essentially unchanged (albeit over the years it's had two new roofs, a new kitchen, a new floor and a new toilet and storeroom extension).
Over the years, the Village Hall Trustees, as part of their adherence to its governing Constitution, always look to the future to ensure that the hall continues to meet the requirements of potential hirers and be an integral part of the village and its community facilities. Part of that governance, (and also increasingly becoming a mandatory requirement for insurance purposes) is to make sure that the hall is structurally sound, by periodically (between 5 -10 years) commissioning external structural engineering reports. The last such report that the Trustees commissioned in 2018, showed that the hall was generally sound, but that there had been some slippage to the load bearing piles which has meant the internal floor is slightly concave (the short mat indoor bowls teams, have used this as an excused for their errant bowls for some time!!). The report concluded that there was no cause for immediate concern but over time, probably by 2028, the Trustees should be prepared to have to spend a considerable amount of money to replace much of the existing structure.
As a consequence, the Trustees decided that after what could be a life of the village hall of 80 years plus, they should look to put in place a mid to long term strategy to replace the existing hall with a new, purpose built modern facility. It was also agreed that the pursuit any new facility should potentially be effected by way of an integrated plan with Church Minshull Parish Council as part of their wider village responsibilities.
At the recent meeting of the Parish Council, the first steps along this pathway were made with the agreement to form a sub-committee consisting of delegated members of the Parish Council, the Village Hall Trustees and others who would be able to add specialist expertise. If you would like to be involved or have skills or experience that you think may be of help to the sub-committee, please get in touch to either Rob Parton or Rob Jones whose details are shown below.
But in the meantime, the hall is not about to fall down and we've just re-opened albeit on a limited basis.