"Many congratulations to David Weston and all those involved in raising the money for the improvements to the hall - and then seeing the work through to completion. It is now fit for the 21st century."
Opening the new building, Sir George said that Upper Clatford Village Hall was now even more important to the community than it had been when it was first built exactly 50 years ago.
"Communities are more fragile now than they were then - we tend to live in our own little boxes.A thriving and vibrant village hall can help bind communities together."
Sir George said he had enjoyed attending function in the old village hall - mentioning the Hog the Limelight productions. "With the new porch, improved landscaping and features to make the building friendlier for disabled people, the new village hall has a great future."
The Village planned a celebratory weekend to mark the re-opening of the hall; a barn dance was held on Saturday evening; nine village gardens were opened on the Sunday, and there was a toy sale organised by children in the village after the official opening.
In the picture from left to right County Councillor Michael Woodhall, David Weston (Chairman, King Edward VII Memorial Hall) Deputy Mayoress Maria Neal, GY, Deputy Mayor Cllr Jim Neal, Sylia Kennedy (Committee Member) Cllr Margot Townsend, Gabrielle Preedy and Cllr Arthur Peters.
A Brief History of the Village Hall
Why is the Village Hall dedicated to the memory of King
Edward VII? After all, the king died in 1910 and the Hall
was not built until the 1950’s!
The history starts in 1911 when shortly after the King’s death, All Saint’s Church bought a piece of land in the centre of the village with the idea of building a church hail in his memory but it proved difficult to raise enough funds and therefore the building never started.
With the church hall remaining a dream, the Women’s Institute built a hall on the site for their use. During World War II this hall was used as school accommodation after the school in Goodworth Clatford was destroyed by enemy action. In 1965 the hall was dismantled and the land sold at auction.
In 1952, the Parish Council acquired some more land on which to build a village hall. On 18th June 1954, a meeting was held in Winchester attended by all interested parties and this resulted in the resources from both the church and the Parish Council being combined. Work could now start on building the King Edward VII Memorial Hall on its present site.
The Hall was opened on 20th July 1955 by Councillor John Norris, the Mayor of Andover, and has been at the heart of our community hosting a variety of village activities for 50 years. It has seen countless performances and been a central meeting place for many local clubs and organisations.
During this time the committee room was built on as an extension, the roof was replaced in 1988 and more land was purchased to provide the extended car park in 1999. In the latest programme of works, we have added facilities for the disabled and built a large porch to the front which is sympathetic to the village architecture of Upper Clafford.
The hall is a registered charity managed by an enthusiastic and
hardworking group of Trustees all of whom are volunteers.