100 Years

Village halls Week 2021

“The village hall! That abiding icon of associativeness, conviviality and the volunteering ethic; of ‘community’; a physical, if usually humble, focus of much of the traditional, ‘unofficial’ life of a village and its hinterland” *

* Ray, in Brown, The Role of a Community Building, 2003

Village halls have been at the core of rural communities for years. Over one hundred, in fact. This year celebrates their establishment across England after World War One. There are now 10,000 village halls across the country and 80,000 volunteers who help run them.

A pillar of the community, the village hall is a base for education, entertainment, art, sport and among other things, support and camaraderie. This last year is no exception. Though, doors have largely remained shut, halls around the country, our network included, have reached out in times of hardship, showing determination to provide support for the vulnerable. Alongside ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), NRTF and other rural touring schemes, not only are we celebrating 100 years of village halls this Village Halls Week, we are shining a light on their recent demonstration of resilience, endurance and vitality.

Village Halls are good for your health

Yes, really!

Village halls have been tackling isolation and loneliness since the 1920s. From ballroom dancing to bingo; cinema screenings to coffee mornings; art to music to theatre, village halls, their committees and dedicated volunteers are always on the look out for new ways to engage with residents who live alone or feel the effects of being rurally isolated. We hope village halls can once again operate to their full capacity and glory soon, but while doors have been closed, people have shown continual commitment to helping their community in any way they can. You can see what our volunteers have been up to below.

Village Halls and Live & Local

Since Live & Local’s humble beginnings in the 1980s in Warwickshire, we have grown to currently work with over 280 village halls and other community venues across the East and West Midlands. They, and the people that run them, are vital to our Community Touring Scheme that takes professional performances to, mostly rural, villages and towns.

We hope our wonderful LivingRoom projects that took place through lockdown between artists and communities can be shared once it’s safe to do so. Baddesley Ensor plan to have a screening of their film, ‘It Gets Lighter From Here’ and other community groups, like Wren Hall, are hoping to book the artist they were paired with for a live performance.

Historic Halls

While some halls are turning 100 this year, many in our network are, in fact, much older. While these buildings may not have started as life as village halls – Alcester Town Hall used to be a prison! – they have become equally vital to communities – just as are parish rooms, reading rooms and community centres of all kinds.

Aston Cantlow Village Hall, in Warwickshire, which is on our Moving Pictures Scheme, is an ancient, timber-framed Tudor building, with part of it being a 16th Century Guild Hall. Some halls on our live and film schemes are former Victorian Schools – Austrey Village hall, Sherbourne Village Hall, Wren Hall and Shrawley Village Hall.

Helping Hands Through lockdown

Our vast network of volunteer promoters have have shared some of the ways in which they, their village hall and committee has pulled together and shown resilience in order to provide continued and heightened support for residents.

  • Regular hirers of Tansley Village Hall in Derbyshire have taken their classes online with Zoom and members of the committee have been involved with a new voluntary group to help the vulnerable.
  • Yoxall Village Hall and Long Marston Village Halls have both set up to host food banks for their communities.
  • Hoton Village Hall is a hub for community support. They have been doing lots of virtual and socially distanced events including a successful VE day. They communicate with the community over email and social media.

Tansley Village Hall

Long Marston Village Hall food bank

  • Before Christmas, Wren Hall, in Wroxall, Warwickshire received a grant from the Heart of England Community Foundation to spread some festive cheer. The funds were used to create 32 beautiful hampers filled with tasty treats (including cakes made by residents who regularly bake for Wren Hall Sunday Teas), a coaster made by a local artist and a poinsettia plant that were delivered around the parish by volunteers.
Three pictures of boxes filled with poinsettia, drinks, cakes wrapped in bows. Wren Hall Wroxall Logo and Heart of England Community Foundation logo.

Here’s to 100 years

Of course, this is just a fraction of the story. Many of the village halls and volunteer promoters we work with are committed to helping their communities through this difficult time in all sorts of ways and deserve to be lauded and applauded for this.

So a shout-out and three ‘hips’ to all those keeping village halls going, to those lending a hand and keeping communities spirits high; volunteers and village halls, community centres, parish halls, schools and everyone in between.

Thank you for 100 years and here’s to 100 more.


Village Halls in the Live & Local Network

Abbots Bromley Village Hall
Acton Trussell Community Centre
Admaston Village Hall
Alford Corn Exchange
All Hallows Halls Lady Bay, West Bridgford
All Saints Church (Sherbourne)
All Saints Church, Bradbourne
All Saints Church, Chebsey
All Saints Church, West Ashby
Allington Village Hall
Alrewas Village Hall
Alstonefield Memorial Hall
Anslow Village Hall
Ashby de la Launde Village Hall
Austrey Village Hall
Baddesley Ensor Village Hall
Baginton Royal British Legion Club
Barnacle Village Hall
Barnby in the Willows Village Hall
Barrowden Village Hall
Barton under Needwood Village Hall
Beeston Methodist Church
Belper Rugby Club
Belton Village Hall
Biddulph Moor Village Hall
Biggin Village Hall
Billingborough Village Hall
Billinghay Village Hall
Bilsthorpe Miners Welfare Social Club
Bishops Wood Centre, Crossway Green
Blidworth Community Leisure Centre
Bockleton Parish Hall
Bonington Theatre, Arnold
Bourton, Draycote & Frankton Village Hall, Bourton-on-Dunsmore
Braceborough Village Hall
Brackenfield Church
Brackenfield Church Hall
Brailsford & Ednaston Village Institute
Bramshall Parish Hall
Braunston and Brooke Village Hall, Braunston-in-Rutland
Breadsall Memorial Hall
Brimington Community Centre
Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby
Broughton Parish Room, Wetwood
Bubbenhall Village Hall
Bulkington Community & Conference Centre
Burton Joyce Village Hall
Caistor Town Hall
Calton St Mary’s Memorial Hall
Castlemorton Parish Hall
Caunton Dean Hole Community Centre
Caythorpe & Frieston Village Hall, Caythorpe
Caythorpe Memorial Village Hall
Century Theatre, Coalville
Century Theatre, Coalville
Chapel-en-le-Frith Town Hall
Chase Meadow Community Centre, Warwick
Chebsey Parish Hall
Chilwell Arts Theatre, Chilwell School
Chinley Community Centre
Church Eaton Village Institute
Church Lench Village Hall
Claverdon Church Centre
Clent Parish Hall
Clifton Campville Village Hall
Coddington Community Centre
Coddington Village Hall
Coleshill Cricket Club
Coleshill Town Hall
Collingham Youth & Community Centre
Colston Bassett Village Hall
Coronation Hall, Wainfleet
Cosby Community Library
Cotes Heath & Standon Village Hall, Cotes Heath
Cottesmore Village Hall
Countesthorpe College Theatre
Countesthorpe Cricket Club
Countesthorpe Village Hall
Create Theatre
Creswell Social Centre
Crich Glebe Field Centre, Crich
Crowland Abbey
Dalbury Lees Millennium Hall
Desford Village Hall
Digby War Memorial Hall
Dixie Grammar School Hall, Market Bosworth
Doe Lea Resource Centre
Draycott-in-the-Clay Village Hall
Dronfield Hall Barn
Dunchurch and Thurlaston W.I. Hall
Dunham & District Village Hall
Dunston Village Hall
East Bridgford Village Hall
East Markham Village Hall
Eathorpe Village Hall
Enderby Civic Centre
Ewerby Reading Room
Fairfield Village Hall
Feckenham Village Hall

Fillongley Social Club
Fillongley Village Hall
Flintham Village Hall
Florence Nightingale Memorial Hall, Holloway
Foundry Wood, Leamington Spa
Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
Foxt Village Hall
Frampton Village Hall
Friesland Performing Arts Centre, Sandiacre
Fulstow Village Hall
Grand Central, Skegness
Grange Hall, Radcliffe-on-Trent
Great Carlton Village Hall
Great Longstone Village Hall
Grimston Village Hall
Gringley on the Hill Community Centre
Gunthorpe Village Hall
Hammond Hall, Bassingham
Harmston Memorial Hall
Hartlebury Parish Hall
Harworth & Bircotes Town Hall
Heanor Baptist Church
Heightington Village Hall
Hemingby Village Hall
Henry Sandon Hall, Worcester
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
Heydour Parish Village Hall, Aisby
Hickling Village Hall
Hill Ridware Village Hall
Hollingwood Hub
Holy Trinity Church
Hoton, Cotes & Prestwold Village Hall, Hoton
Humphrey Perkins Community Centre, Barrow-upon-Soar
Hurley Village Hall
Ingham & Cammeringham Village Hall, Ingham
Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa
Jubilee Centre, Alcester
Jubilee Centre, Balsall Common
Kegworth Village Hall
Kenilworth Books
Kineton Sports & Social Club
Kings Bromley Village Hall
Kingston on Soar Village Hall
Kirk Langley Village Hall
Ladbroke Village Hall
Langrick Village Hall
Leicester Forest East Parish Hall
Little Witley Village Hall
Little Wolford Village Hall
Live & Local – Derbyshire (Venue Tbc)
Live & Local – Great Carlton Village Hall
Long Whatton Community Centre
Lyddington Village Hall
Malvern Cube
Malvern Vale Community Centre
Manton St Mary’s Church
Manton Village Hall
Maplebeck Village Hall
Marchington Village Hall
Mareham Le Fen Community Centre
Market Bosworth Festival (Parish Field)
Market Bosworth Parish Hall
Market House, Long Sutton
Market Rasen Festival Hall
Marshlands Community Centre
Martley Memorial Hall
Marton War Memorial Hall
Mary Clowes Village Hall, Roston
Maxstoke Church
Melbourne Assembly Rooms
Meriden Village Hall
Millennium Community Centre, Moreton
Minting Village Hall
Morton C of E Primary School
Morton Village Hall
Mountsorrel Memorial Centre
Needwood Primary School, Newborough
Nettleton Village Hall
New Meeting Unitarian Church, Kidderminster
Newton Village Hall
Normanton on Trent Village Hall
North & South Wheatley Village Hall, South Wheatley
North Muskham Rural Community Centre
North Thoresby Village Hall
North Wheatley Primary School
North Wingfield Resource Centre
Northwick Arms Hall
Northwick Arms Hall, Ketton
Number 8 Arts Centre, Pershore
Ordsall Parish Hall
Orston Village Hall
Owen Street Community Arts Centre, Atherstone
Oxton Village Hall
Pailton Village Hall
Pattingham Village Hall
Queniborough Village Hall
Quorn Village Hall
Reepham & Cherry Willingham Village Hall, Reepham
Rempstone Village Hall
Retford Town Hall

Rolleston Club, Rolleston on Dove
Rolleston Village Hall
Rous Lench Village Hall
Rowney Green Village Hall
Rutland County Museum, Oakham
Sacred Heart Church, Tamworth
Salt Festival, Droitwich
Salt Village Hall
Scopwick & Kirkby Green Village Hall, Scopwick
Sherbourne Village Hall
Shilton Village Hall
Shirebrook Village Hall
Sir John Moore Foundation, Appleby Magna
Skegness Grammar School
Skirbeck St Nicholas Community Hall, Boston
Snitterfield Village Hall
South Clifton Coronation Hall
South Clifton Coronation Hall
South Luffenham Village Hall
South Scarle Community Centre
Southwell Bramley Centre
Spring Bank Arts Centre, New Mills
St Andrew’s Church, Countesthorpe
St Andrews Church, Shilton
St Augustine Church, Flintham
St Edithas Church, Tamworth
St Francis Church, Leyfields, Tamworth
St George’s Church, Barbourne, Worcester
St George’s Church, Kidderminster
St George’s Hall, Bewdley
St Helen’s Parish Church, Stapleford
St James’ Church, Welland
St Leonards Mission Church, Spital
St Martin’s Church, Welton le Wold
St Mary’s Church, Manton
St Matthew’s Church, Skegness
St Michael’s Church, Church Broughton
St Michaels Village Hall, Tenbury Wells
St Paul’s Baptist Church Hall, Skegness
St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Belchford
St Peter’s Church, Cowleigh, Malvern
St Swithun’s Hall, Trinity, Worcester
Stoke Golding Village Hall
Stratford Playhouse
Stretton on Dunsmore Village Hall
Stretton under Fosse Village Hall
Sturton by Stow Village Hall
Sturton le Steeple Village Hall
Sutton on the Hill Village Hall
Swayfield Village Hall
Swythamley & Heaton Community Centre, Swythamley
Syston Town Council Community Centre
Taddington Village Institute
Tallington Village Hall
Tansley Village Hall
Terry O’Toole Theatre, North Hykeham
The Bridge Church Memorial Hall, Redditch
The Bridge Church, Redditch
The Burton Institute, Winster
The Crown, Martley
The Factory Kitchen, Ilkeston
The Fleece Inn, Bretforton
The Hill Centre, Upton-upon-Severn
The Kenilworth Centre
The New Inn, Norton Lindsey
The Oak
The Old School, Cropwell Bishop
The Old Town Hall, Bourne
The Palace Community Centre, Ibstock
The Peel Centre, Dronfield
The Storehouse, Skegness
The Venture Theatre, Ashby-de-la Zouch
The Verney Institute, Pleasley
The Village Hall at Heage
Theatre at FSC, Tideswell
Thorpe Astley Community Centre
Thringstone House
Thurlaston Village Hall
Toynton Village Hall
Tutbury Village Hall
Twyford Village Hall
University of Worcester: St John’s Campus, Worcester
Upper Broughton Village Hall
Waingroves Community Centre
Waterfall Parochial Hall
Welland Village Hall
West Deeping Village Hall
Westborough Village Hall
Weston under Wetherley Village Hall
Whitwell Community Centre
Willoughby Village Hall
Wing Village Hall
Winthorpe Community Centre
Witham on the Hill Parish Hall
Wren Hall, Wroxall
Wymeswold Memorial Hall
Wymondham Village Hall
Wyre Piddle Village Hall
Wysall & Thorpe in the Glebe Village Hall
Yoxall Parish Hall

2 thoughts on “100 Years

  1. I attended Austrey Victorian C of E school, as it then was, when classes went right through to school leaving age of 14. Our headmistress was a Miss Tissington, who dressed in long black robes, sat in her desk with a picture of Queen Victoria behind her. She actually taught two generations of village children, and ruled with a rod of iron, with the cane being used rather less than sparingly.
    Classes then were arranged in lines of desks, with the occupants being in what were called standards. Miss Tissington patrolled up and down those lines of desks, showing little patience for those not applying themselves with good intent.
    During my time at school there we had a number of evacuees within our classes who were living in Austrey during and after WW11. Lots of wonderful memories.

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