Hoby and District Village Hall

Hoby and District Village Hall stands at the centre of the village of Hoby

Hoby Village Hall1901 Hoby Institute was formed. This had a Clubhouse in the Rectory grounds, where it still stands, converted into a house in the 1980s – Stable Cottage in Church Lane. This was used as a small reading room and meeting place. It may be considered as a precursor to the present Village Hall

1923/24 Early expressions of a need for a larger communal meeting place for the Horticultural Society, WI, Drama Group, dances, whist drives etc.

June 1925 Mrs Phyllis Cantrell-Hubersty, of Ragdale Hall, led a General Meeting to focus these ideas on the building of a Village Hall, and the necessary fund-raising.

August 1925 A fete was held at Ragdale Hall, the first of several fund-raising events.

Charles Wheatley in Hoby school garden. John and eric are amongst the boys gardening

Charles Wheatley in Hoby school garden. John and Eric are amongst the boys gardening

1925 Site selected in Hoby (central to the four villages) on land owned by the Rector, Hans Aden Beresford. Land at that time used as the school garden.

24 March 1926 Indenture of Conveyance, transferring ownership of the land to four Trustees. This also sets out the terms under which the Village Hall would be run and remains in force today. Construction began soon afterwards.

Village Hall opening

Village Hall opening

From left to Right: Mr Fred Smalley (District Nurse’s Husband), Mr Joe Dixon, Earl Beatty of Brooksby & The North Sea Mrs Phyllis Cantrell-Hubbersty of Ragdale Hall, Mr Edwin James, Major Cantrell-Hubbersty, Mr Alfred Ironside (of The Grange Hoby), Mr Bill Bayliss (the village Postman)

 4 November 1926 Village Hall opened by Earl Beatty of Brooksby and the North Sea. Basic structure as at present, but cloakroom/toilet doors open off the lobby. No electricity or water supply in the village! Simple kitchen with hand pump drawing water from rainwater sump outside back doors. Roger Cropper’s grandfather put the heating in the village hall in 1926. Coke-fired heating, with boiler in pit outside back door. Oil lamp lighting.

1920s/30s Hall used extensively by the four villages, and by Frisby and Thrussington, which did not have their own halls at this time.

1931 Cloakroom doors moved from lobby to main hall (their present position) to prevent people getting in to dances without paying!

1931 Hall, still carrying debts from its construction, sold off an area of land (originally intended for sports facilities) to Mr C Whyard for building a General Store/Post Office (now 34 Main Street).

1932 Change from oil lighting to electricity, as village now connected.

1938 Wooden cycle shed/coke store installed at back of hall, at the request of Mr Woodford, father of lvy Woodford. This was finally replaced by the store room in 2012.

September 1939 War! Hall taken over for ARP Firstt Aid Station. (Rector Rev. H A Beresford Chief Air Raid Warden). Also to be usable as an office for evacuation purposes.

1940 Home Guard to use the hall one night a week for training.

1941 WI to use the hall for National Jam Scheme.

1942 Hall requisitioned for exclusive use by Home Guard (but with permission to use it for Dances, Whist Drives, etc, subject to military requirements. Home Guard in charge of bookings).

1944 Dance held by Mrs Phyllis Cantrell-Hubersty in aid of Red Cross/St John’s Prisoner of War parcel fund.

1940 to 1945 Eddie Garner ran many dances in aid of various charities, particularly St. Dunstans charity for the blind.

1945 Two victory celebrations held – VE Day and VJ Day.

1945 With money left over from these celebrations, an electric clock was installed on the front of the Hall, primarily for the benefit of the working population of the village. (Removed in early 70s due to malfunction).

1945 Mains water supply installed, funded by two dances.

1945 Dances held regularly. Weekly over extended periods, and sometimes more frequently – attracting busloads from Melton Mowbray. No alcohol sold in the hall, so drinks were purchased from the Blue Bell.

1953 Coronation celebrations included the purchase of a stainless steel teapot and two trays.

1959 Annexe built to provide a small additional meeting room, adjoining the kitchen and connected to the hall by double doors. (This was converted to the present bar area in 2004). Calor gas cooker installed in kitchen.

1961 Fluorescent lighting installed. Wooden tables and chairs purchased.

1972 Oil-fired central heating system installed, replacing the original coke-fired boiler. Oil tank mounted on top of old boiler pit.

1977 Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations made full use of Village Hall.

1983 Hall 100 Club established, as a fund-raising scheme to help with financing improvements to the hall.

1986 60th Anniversary of Village Hall celebrated.

1997 Leaking roof replaced by synthetic slate. Part funded by County Council grant and part by Parish Council annual contribution.

1998 Jitty wall (part collapsed) repaired.

1999 Replacement oil-fired boiler installed.

31 December 1999 Millennium Party at Village Hall

March 2000 First ‘Detour’ (later ‘Centre Stage’) event – The Sixth Wife. These events would provide entertainment and fund-raising for the next 15 years

November 2000 Clock and Village Hall sign installed over front door (Millennium Project)

June 2001 New toilets installed

October 2001 New gas cooker

November 2001 Village Hall 75th Anniversary Lunch

June 2002 Access ramp installed with removal of old front wall. Oil tank moved to front. Rear paved. Garden fenced, grassed, planted and seating installed.

September 2002 Celebratory lunch in the new garden.

Oct 2002 Dishwasher installed

May 2004 interior dry-lined and redecorated. Annexe double doors converted to bar hatch and cupboard with roller blinds. Dimmable lighting installed. Radiators replaced. Floor re-surfaced. New Curtains (donated by the WI).

February 2004 First ‘Centre Screen’ film show.

September 2004 Stage lighting installed for Centre Stage productions.

December 2005 New stackable chairs (replacing old wooden chairs). New tables.

April 2006 Stage curtains 8 rails installed (demountable).

May 2009 New mower purchased.

June 2010 New cooker & extractor hood

February 2011 Projector screen and sound system installed for Centre Screen films.

September 2011 Jittv wall rebuilt with improved drainage

February 2011 Kitchen extended and refitted (New cupboards, worktops, sinks, floor).

August 2012 New store room built (replacing old lean-to cycle shed from 1938)

February 2015 Last Centre Stage event (due to withdrawal of funding)