Village hall sees a century of service

Village hall sees a century of service

Tony and Ann Allsworth with the village hall birthday cake

Tony Allsworth as a child, pictured with a girl outside the village hall, listening to Fiddler Brookes play

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

IT OPENED the year the First World War began and has proudly served its community for 100 years.

A century later South Hinksey’s Village Hall in Manor Road is still doing its job as residents threw a birthday party there.

In the 1940s, villagers raised the money to buy the former village Baptist chapel and make it their own.

At one time, there was a rule that no alcohol could be consumed on the premises, but that has been relaxed in recent years.

Nowadays it hosts the September village fete, Halloween and Christmas parties and South Hinksey Parish Council meetings.

Among those at Friday’s party was lifelong village resident Tony Allsworth. His dad Albert was a chairman of the village hall committee and the parish council, and mum Florence served on the committee.

Mr Allsworth, 82, a former supervisor at the Cowley car works, said: “It has done a good job over the years and it has been a big part of my life.”

After the Second World War, Mr Allsworth was part of a group of village children who collected paper and rags to raise money for the hall.

They sold their rags to a rag and bone shop in St Ebbe’s, Oxford.

With the money they raised, the village bought a cottage two doors down from the village hall for £190 in 1949. When that was sold the proceeds paid for the hall.

In his childhood, Mr Allsworth remembered the hall hosted magic lantern shows put on by Harold Atkins, who ran a paper shop in Abingdon Road, Oxford.

The hall also used to host woodwork classes, making boats and other models out of matchsticks.

Mr Allsworth’s wife, Ann, is continuing the Allsworth family tradition having served on the village hall committee for 22 years.

At Friday’s party, the husband and wife cut a 100th birthday cake for the village institution.

Committee chairman Peter Rawcliffe said: “This was a very significant milestone, the hall is a real centre of community activity and it is flourishing.”

Also at the party was Hilary Burr, of Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action, who is helping the hall to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), which will mean committee members are less legally liable for the hall.

Mr Rawcliffe said he hopes this will encourage more people to join the committee.

  • Our top stories:

Update: Pensioner killed in crash with Ford Focus on A4183 near Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

5:32pm Wednesday 26th November 2014

A PENSIONER died last night after a crash in Abingdon.

Oxford-born author PD James dies aged 94

Oxford Mail:

1:46pm Thursday 27th November 2014

PD James, the acclaimed author famous for her series of detective novels, has died aged 94.

Care home residents are going animal crackers

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 27th November 2014

CARE home residents could hardly believe their eyes when their home was invaded by farmyard animals.

Emerald Isle’s Riverdance rolls in for twentieth anniversary gig

Oxford Mail:

5:40pm Thursday 27th November 2014

IRELAND’S famous Riverdance show is in Oxford to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Police performance rated good on new website

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

5:30pm Thursday 27th November 2014

THAMES Valley Police has been rated “good” for effectiveness and efficiency on a new website the public can inspect.

Baby was ‘at home with dad when he stopped breathing’

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Thursday 27th November 2014

AN 11-week-old baby whose death police are treating as suspicious has been named as Jayden Saxton.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree