Blackham Village Hall A place of reasonable recreation
I am indebted for the following to an anonymous sheet promoting the hall from the late 1990s. If the writer would like to make him or herself known, I will gladly make due acknowledgement. David Price Haigh donated the land opposite the church to build a village hall and in the deeds of 1926 it was stated that it should be ‘a place of social intercourse, mutual helpfulness, mental and moral improvement and reasonable recreation’ It was also for the use of ‘all village residents their families, friends, guests and servants.’ The original hall is believed to have been built from the former ‘Iron Church’ originally erected by Rev Rudston-Read in the 1870s. In a pamphlet on the church, Mr W M I Wood wrote that the hall ‘was used for meetings, concerts and even as a drill hall for the territorial unit training in the
1914-18 war. It remained until 1923-4 when the present village hall was built and it was finally dismantled.’ The first Trustees of the new hall were: Thomas Martin Ashby - Farmer William Wickham, the elder - Labourer Thomas Henry Rayward - Bookseller Charles Booker - Farmer John Comber - Gardener of Highfields Park Thomas Scrace - Gardener of Highfields Park Joseph Collins - Disabled soldier The anonymous leaflet says: ‘These trustees had the power to accept donations, both real and personal estate, for the benefit of the Village Hall Building, and all were almost certainly actively involved with the management of the hall in those early years. ‘It is remembered that a billiard table was donated by Thomas Ashby for use in the hall.’
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