Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Village Hall

The village hall is one of those vital buildings that make a village a community rather than just a collection of houses.  Our village hall is very well run and hosts a wide range of events from rug sales to birthday parties.  One week in December it hosted the 100th birthday party of a local gentlemen on the Tuesday and the 5th birthday party of a local boy on the Saturday, so it really is used across the community.

The hall was originally built as a reading room with a cottage either side in 1878 and was funded by Earl Sherborne.  Apparently reading rooms were funded by philanthropists at that time to encourage agricultural labourers to stay out of the pub.  I suspect the sensible labourer would have gone to both the pub and the reading room, especially as the latter has very big, stone fireplaces and must have been warm and well lit.  It was probably a welcome refuge from home which was probably a one up, one down smokey cottage with several noisy children within.  Maybe they went to the pub first and then for a good read in the reading room; I could think of worse ways to spend a few hours on a winter's evening even today.


  1. Hi Richard,

    There are an increasing number of pub that have bookshelves, with books for sale to raise funds for one local charity or another. They could do with a reading room on the side for their guests to sit in comfort with their book purchase and a drink. Bring back the 'snug', I say!!


  2. Hi Yvonne

    The couple of times I've sat in the Catherine Wheel with a book I've felt a little out of place. I'll suggest they re-introduce the snug!