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:
9:30am Friday 31st October 2014
NATIONAL treasure Stephen Fry met fans in the Bodleian Library for a “hackathon”.
8:40am Friday 31st October 2014
A MAN left with a £631 phone bill after a relationship with a woman he met on a dating website is warning others to be wary.
8:30am Friday 31st October 2014
DANCE group Body Politic took Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre by storm as it rolled into town as part of its UK tour.
8:30am Friday 31st October 2014
A MOTHER who lost her 15-year-old daughter after she took Ecstasy urged MPs to review drug laws yesterday.
8:00am Friday 31st October 2014
DEVELOPERS behind the planned Botley regeneration have revealed they will fund £10m towards community benefits if the controversial scheme goes ahead.
7:00am Friday 31st October 2014
UNIVERSITY bosses have put forward plans to screen a student flats development by Port Meadow with trees but ruled out reducing its height.