History – the early years.

The first official proposal for building a hall (then called a hut) was at a meeting of the committee, presided. over by Mr Henry Trott (the secretary of the meeting being Scott Rowe) on 4th April 1929. The total balance then in the hands of the committee was £72.11s. At a building sub-committee meeting on 3rd, June 1930 3 tenders were received and it was decided to accept the tender of Mitchell & Baley in the sum of £220.00. This tender was confirmed at a meeting of the full committee on 13th June 1930.

The hall was formally opened on 17th September 1930 by Mrs M C Gibb of Old Park at 3.30 pm. There was a public tea at 4.00 pm with sports for the children in the adjoining field at 5.15 pm. A whist drive in the new hall took place at 7.30 pm followed by a dance until midnight. The charges made on that occasion were, for admission to the hall 6d, for the tea 9d, for the whist drive 1s, and for the dance 1s. The total result was, admission charge £1.18, teas £3.7s.6d, whist drive £5.8s, dance £3.3s.1d. The only expense was for the music for the dance of £1.1.0. The treasurer paid to the bank account £19.4.7d.

The first concert held in the hall was on 22nd October 1930. In 1930 there were 21 committee members plus the chairman and secretary. The. first flower and vegetable show was held in the hall on 12th August 1933. The show was in a hired marquee with short concerts held in the hall. The takings for the flower show, whist drive and dance was £15.19s.11d. The expenses for the various events was £15.17s.11d. Leaving a profit of 3d.

The first Harvest Home tea to be held in the hall was on 16th September 1931. At the committee meeting on 4th September 1931 the secretary was instructed to arrange another meeting to discuss the possibility of arranging dancing classes. The committee met again on 24th September 1931 when it was reported that Mrs Dent of Chatton would kindly provide a piano for the hall, the piano to be paid for as and when the  committee could afford to do so. Advertisements were inserted in Papers and a new piano was purchased at £35. The first part repayment of £5 was made to Mrs Dent on 4th April 1933. Elsie McCorkendale (then Elsie Rowe) was appointed hon secretary of the committee at this meeting.

The Harvest Home tea was held in September 1933 with a concert afterwards. The admission charge for the tea and concert was 6d. A further £5 was repaid to Mrs Dent in April 1934.

Skittling was started  in the hall in October 1934. By that time a “Mayor of the Ancient Soke of Woodbury” had been elected and a Mayor’s party was held in the hall on 2nd November 1934. The Mayor (Scott Rowe) arranged another party on 5th March 1935. In May 1935 a further £5 was repaid to Mrs Dent on the piano. The committee decided not to have a flower show in 1935, but the show was revived in August 1936.

Electricity was installed in the hall in November 1935.

Axminster Town Band was engaged for the 1936 flower show at a cost of £4. In that year Mr Tom Mayo was asked to cater for refreshments “on a reasonable guarantee” and provided that the committee could obtain the use of Mr Stuart’s tent. A “revolving horse” was arranged for, the charge being 2d a go. In 1936

the net proceeds of the show, and whist drive held after it, were given to Axminster Cottage Hospital. £3.4s was raised. Various on account payments were made to Mrs Dent in 1937, and she then stated that she wished to waive payment of the balance of £7 then outstanding.

At a meeting of the committee on 14th April 1937 it was reported that Mrs Bull had thoroughly cleaned the halI and it was resolved that she be paid 1s for this. It was also decided that Mrs Bull would clean the hall once a month, and that she be paid 2s6d a month in future. For the 1937 flower show it was agreed that Winsham Band should be hired at £6.10s and also’ “given tea”. At a meeting on 23rd September 1938 the tender of Mitchell & Baley for building an extension to the hall was accepted in the sum of £45.


Last updated: May 12, 2018 at 17:11 pm