Building the Village Hall 1925-1932

The following entries in The Tysoe Church Magazine were written by the Rev. Canon C.T. McNulty and have been extracted by Kevin Wyles.  They relate to the wishes of Tysoe residents in having a Village Institute or Hall, the raising of the funding, the eventual opening of the Hall in 1930, and the subsequent equipping of the rooms up until 1932. The text has been slightly edited from the original with any significant alterations or additions shown in square brackets.

December 1925
I allude to the provision of a suitable club in the village for men and boys. At the meeting on Nov 24th the only debatable point was whether to build a Village Institute containing one large room and a number of small rooms or improve the Old School Rooms.

January 1927
A combined effort has been the attempt to raise the money to build a Village Institute and a Mens Club, an effort that has received so much encouragement through the generosity of Captain Samuels* who kindly offered to defray one third of the total cost.

February 1927
We congratulate Miss Joan Garrard on the great success of the entertainment which she had organized in aid of the Village Institute building fund. [At] each performance held on Jan 1st the school was crowded and as a result the fund benefits to the sum of £25.0.0d.

March 1928
The proposed Village Institute still seems to be somewhat of a vision, the longer I live here the more I am persuaded of the great need in this parish for such a building.

January 1929
The money already raised by the parish for the Village Institute is securely in the bank gaining a little interest and there it will remain until an Institute is built. [Of] course it will never be used for any other purpose.

May 1929
I see no reason why the building should not commence during the course of the summer, for I have good news. The following donations have been promised, the Marquis of Northampton will give £1 for every £4 collected up to a maximum of £250.0.0d.

Viscount Bearsted will give £250.0.0d and an anonymous donation [has been] promised of £250.0.0d. Our balance at present in the bank is £245.0.0d, raised by the village efforts. So now there is nothing to prevent us going ahead. I have asked for rough plans to be made of a building, when these are ready I propose calling a meeting to invite the parishioners to consider the plans.

A building committee should be appointed and only this fact I would impress upon you [is that] this is a public building for the enjoyment of the whole parish. Its managers should be annually elected at a public meeting. These should have the power to hire or rent the rooms.

June 1929
I am calling a public meeting to be held in the School on Friday June 7 at 7.30pm. The business at this meeting will be as follows: first to decide as to the building of such an Institute at once, secondly to discuss and decide upon the plans of such, thirdly to consider the question of a site, [and] fourthly to elect a small building committee to superintend building operations etc.

July 1929
It is now a matter of common knowledge that the building of a Village Institute is to commence this summer in the hope that it will be ready for use during the coming winter.

It was decided to purchase a site offered by Mr Page at a price of £85.0.0d.

The building committee was elected as follows: The Vicar C.T. Bernard McNulty (Chairman), Mrs McNulty, Mrs Chapman, Messrs J. Styles, H Heritage, T. Parish junr, and. D Hancox. The public meeting expressed its appreciation of Mr Quinton’s efforts ever since the idea of an Institute began to take form some years ago, he has gone to much trouble and given up a good deal of time in preparing alternative plans.**  Thus, he has saved us all Architects fees. He was therefore cordially invited to get out his final plans [and the] building committee of the Institute has been placed in his hands.

Everyone in the parish must I know also feel how great is their debt of gratitude to Lord Bearsted and Lord Northampton whose generous donations have made our project possible. £500.0.0d from Lord Bearsted and £200.0.0d from Lord Northampton are indeed munificent gifts. Nor must we forget that Miss Lea has promised £50.0.0d for a Billiard Table [and a] personal friend of mine who gave £80.0.0d. We must remember that this estimated cost of the building does not include the heating, lighting and furnishings.

August 1929
The plans for the Village Institute or Hall (whichever you prefer to call it) have not yet been finally approved by the authorities.

September 1929
Village Hall donations Mr Henry G Ratley £1.0.0d, Mr William Woodfield £1.0.0d. These donors live in Morristown , New Jersey, USA and in their youth were residents in Tysoe.

October 1929
Village Institute building operations are proceeding satisfactorily and if the weather continues favourable it is hoped that the Institute may be ready for use about Christmas. Miss Lea has generously promised a donation of £50. This is given for a special purpose to purchase a Billiard Table. £200.0.0d is still required in order to defray the cost, in addition to this a further sum will be necessary for the furniture etc.

I shall be calling upon all parishioners with a request for donations for the building, the sacrifice of a small sum even a few coppers or £1.0.0d. All donors will be published in the magazine, if however anyone should express the wish that their gift should be published anonymously, I shall of course do so.

November 1929
I am delighted to state that so far I have met with a ready response to my appeal for funds.

List of Donations.
Canon and Mrs McNulty, £5.5 .0d.
Grant from Flower Shop, £5.0.0d.
Mr and Mrs H Heritage and Family, £2.10.0d.
Mr and Mrs Horn, £1.1.0d.
Mr Colcott, £1.0.0d
Mr and Mrs W Heritage, £1.0.0d.
Mr Styles, £0.10.0d.
Mr and Mrs F Hancox, £0.10.0d.
Mr and Mrs Tarver, £0.10.0d.
Messrs and Miss Tarver, £0.10.0d.
Mrs Parish senr, £0.5.0d.
Mr W Watts, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs C Heritage, £0.5.0d.
Mrs Chapman, £0.5.0d.
Miss Chapman, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs W Freeman, £0.5.0d.
Mr H T Page, £0.5.0d.
Mrs W Smith, £ 0.2.6d.
Mr J Price, £0.2.6d.
Anonymous, £0.2.6d.
Mrs R Parker, £0.2.6d.
Mr Hoggins, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs Usher, £0.2.6d.
Miss M Chapman, £0.1.0d.
Mr B Smith, £0.0.6d.
A total of £20.7.0d.

In addition to the above the proceeds from the WI stall at the Flower Show realized £4.15.0d. This sum the WI will spend on furniture.

December 1929
I think that the weekly payment of a caretaker whose duty it will be to keep the rooms clean and to attend to the firing and lighting should be £0.10.0d a week. The Mens Club weekly rent I think should be £0.10.0d.

I have purchased a full-sized Billiard Table compete with cues, balls and all accessories for the sum of £65.0.0d. This sum includes the cost of transport and erecting of the table, it is supplied by Messrs Padmore of Birmingham.

I should also like to offer two gifts for the use of the Institute, one a Bagatelle Board and a Wireless instrument with four valves these are from my late mother. The wireless set is a particularly fine one it was purchased a few years ago at the cost of £50.0.0d.

Donation Second List.
Brig-General Sewell DSO, £5.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs Gilks, £1.0.0d.
Mr and Mrs Nicholls, £1.0.0d.
Mrs E Harris, £1.0.0d.
Mr and Mrs Canning, £1.0.0d.
Mrs and Miss Ridler, £1.0.0d.
Mr C Greenway, £0.10.0d.
Mr F J Greenway, £0.10.0d.
Mrs Quinton, 30.10.0d.
Mr and Mrs A Bloxham, £0.10.0d.
Miss V M Heritage £0.10.0d.
Mr Styles senr, £0.10.0d.
Mr and Mrs W B Wells, £0.10.0d.
Mrs Greenway senr, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs J Hancox, £0.5.0d.
Mr A Frost, £0.5.0d
Anon, £0.5.0d.
Mrs A Styles, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs J Harris, £0.5.0d.
Mr F Styles, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs W H Hancox, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs F Gardner, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs Parker, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs J Gardner, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs Clifton, £0,5.0d.
Mr and Mrs F Heritage, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs Butcher, £0.5.0d.
A Friend, £0.5.0d.
Mrs F Bloxham, £0.5.0d.
Mrs Redding, £0.3.6d.
Mr Benham, £0.3.0d.
Mrs Horsley, £0.3.0d.
Mr Marchant, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs W E Heritage, £0.2.6d.
Mt T Garner junr, £0.2.6d.
Mr R F Spencer, £0.2.6d.
Mr D Hancox, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs J Philpott, £0.2.6d.
Miss M A Harris, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Miss Pargeter, £0.2.6d.
Miss E G Webb, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs G J Hancox, £0.2.6d.
Mr G Taylor, £0.2.0d.
Mrs Woodfield, £0.2,0d.
Anon, £0.2.0d.
Anon, £0.2.0d.
Mr and Mrs Hibberd, £0.2.0d.
Mr G Freeman, £0.2.0d.
Mr O Reason, £0.1.0d.
Mrs King, £0.1.0d.
Miss Blackford, £0.1.0d.
Mr A Reason, £0.1.0d.
Mrs A Reason, £0.1.0d.
A total of £20.9.0d.

This list was to be continued.

January 1930
The public meeting in connection with the Village Hall which was held on Dec 18 was splendidly attended. Two representatives from each place of worship and from each sports club and organization in the parish had been nominated by their fellow members for election to the management Committee of the Institute for the next twelve months.

The AGM will be held in January 1931.

The names of the Committee now elected are as follows, Mr Parish junr, Mr Clifton, Mr J. Styles junr, Mr Alwyn Styles, Mrs W. Freeman, Mr G. Spencer Gardner, Mr Hancox, Mrs McNulty, Mrs Hibberd, Mr Paxton , Mr Frank Styles, Mr G. F. Gardner, Mr Lomas, Mr Cyril Clark, Mr Leslie Hancox ,Mr Quinton, Mr T. Usher, Mr T. Gardner junr, Miss Ridler, Mr Hibberd, Mr D Hancox, Mr J Styles, Mr H. Heritage, Mr C Reason, Mrs Chapman, Mr S. Gardner, and the Vicar.

Officers: Chairman The Vicar, Hon Sec Mr Quinton, Hon Treasurer Mr J. Styles.

The question of Trusteeship for the Institute was also discussed. It is sometime asked what is the object of having a deed of Trust? The answer is that a Trust Deed secures the use of the building for the whole Village, it also provides for the management by a representative body, it determines how the value of the property should be dealt with in case its use for the purposes of a Village Institute should cease. With the Deed no-one in years to come can secure control over the building. With such a Trust Deed as I have described that could never happen.

The Committee decided upon a date and made arrangements for some form of opening ceremony to take place as soon as possible after the first week in January.

Third List of Donations.
Captain Margesson, M.P, £3.3.0d.
Anon, £1.1.0d.
Mr and Mrs E H Gardner, £1.0.0d
Mr and Mrs Goode, £1.0.0d.
Mr and Mrs Groves, £1.0.0d.
L T Bull and friend, £0.10.0d.
Mr Atkinson, £0.10.6d.
Mr Barber, £0.10.6d.
Mr G Quinton ( Newbold –on-Stour), £0.10.0d.
Mr Frank Bloxham, £0.10.0d.
Mr and Mrs Griffin, £0.7.6d.
Mr and Mrs Blackford, £0.5.0d.
Mr Manlings, £0.5.0d.
Mr Deason, £0.5.0d.
Mr Fortescue,£0 .5.0d.
Mr Perkins, £0.5.0d.
Mr Darlow, £0.5.0d.
Mr Paxton and family, £0.5.0d.
Mrs Setterfield, £0.5.0d.
Mr and Mrs F Lomas, £0.3.0d.
Mr and Mrs Goodman, £0.3.0d.
Mr R Marchant, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs Ivan Wells, £0.2.6d.
Mr D Heritage, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs Moore, £0.2.6d.
Mr Charles Reason, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs Clark Hitchman, £0.2.6d.
Mr Frost, £0.2.6d.
Miss Ivy Quinton, £0.2.6d.
Miss Bessie Quinton, £0.2.6d.
A Friend, £0.2.0d.
Mrs Middleton, £0.2.0d.
Mrs Clarke, £0.2.0d.
Mr and Mrs Burrows, £0.2.0d.
A.L. £0.2.0d.
Mrs Kitchen, £0.1.6d.
Mr Padbury, £0.1.0d.
Mrs Padbury, £0.1.0d.
Mrs Durham, £0.1.0d.
Anon ,£0.1.0d.
A Total of £14.6s.6d.

The total amount collected in the village up to date is £55.2s 6d.

February 1930
Saturday Jan 18th was a red letter day in our parochial history, since on that date the building was formally opened by Lord and Lady Bearsted. This occasion was reported in the local papers the Evesham Journal and Banbury Guardian (I might mention that an excellent photograph of the building has appeared in the Evesham Journal with one of the Committee). What is so eminently satisfactory is the financial side. The entire cost of the building and also the cost of all the extras and furniture is all paid for.

This highly satisfactory state of affairs is due to further generous donations, which have been given since I last wrote to you, for you will see in the subscription list published this month the following items. Ernest Stevens. Esq of Stourbridge. £100.0.0. Lord Bearsted, £100.0.0. and Lord Northampton, £50.0.0. We are indeed grateful to these gentlemen, who have enabled us to be free of debt.

As Lady Bearsted said in her opening speech it can truly be described as our Hall as everyone has done his or her share of the work and fund raising.

Let the Committee of every organization in the village be anxious to pay not as little as possible but as much as possible since the Institute/Hall belongs to all in the village, and may it be so always.

Fourth list of donations.
The Viscount Bearsted, £100.0.0d.
Ernest Stevens Esq, J. P. (Stourbridge), £100.0.0d.
The Marquis of Northampton, £50.0.0d.
Captain Garrard, £2.0.0d.
British Legion (grant for furniture in Mens Club, £2.2.0d.
Mr C.A.Smith, £1.1.0d.
Dr Forty, £1.1.0d.
Mr F.G.Allen (For furniture in Mens Club), £1.1.0d.
Dr Oliver (Leamington), £0.10.6d.
Mr Groves (Oxhill), £0.10.0d.
The Misses Nicholls, £0.15.0d.
Mr and Mrs Spicer, £0.2.6d.
A Friend, £0.2.6d.
Mr and Mrs Gibbs, £0.1.0d.
Mr Cyril Clark, £0.5.0d.
A total of £259.11.6d.

A Concert was appreciated on the opening on the Hall [by] Mr Mayo and his friends who came over from Shipston on Stour, They provided us with a really first class concert and was enjoyed by all.

The Hall Committee organized a highly successful Dance on Jan 20th and £10.0.0. for the fund.

March 1930
Further Donations
Mrs Oliver £0.1.0d.
Football Club (for furniture in Mens Club), £1.0.0d.
Mr S Gardner, £0.2.6d.
Mrs Brache, £0.2.0d.

April 1930
50 additional chairs have been purchased, 3 fire extinguishers, a handsome lamp has been placed over the front entrance, platform curtains also. The Land Tax has been redeemed at a cost of £7.0.0d.

May 1930
We acknowledge a donation of £0.2.6d. from Mr and Mrs F.O. Owen. and a Solitaire Board etc from Mr Parish junr.  Also Mr and Mrs Gibbs of New South Wales for sending a donation of £1.0.0d.

February 1931
Scale of Charges in connection with the hiring of various rooms. The charges are inclusive of all payments to the caretaker for washing china, attendance to kitchen fire etc.

Hall and Kitchen (Whist Drive) £0.11.6d.
Hall, Kitchen and Committee Room £0.15.0d.
Whist Drive and Dance combined £0.17.0d.
Sunday School Parties £0.5.0d (does not include extra to caretaker).
Political Meetings £0.10.0d (extra charges if tea required £0.2.6d).
Private Parties , Receptions [etc] £0.5.0d (extra charge if Kitchen required £0.2.6d).
Theatrical Entertainments, Concerts & etc £0.10.0d.

October 1931.
The space in front of the Hall can now be used for as a parking place for motor vehicles. And if at night the lamp over the front door is lit, it is not necessary to leave motor lamps alight. Lights need only be left on when the hall lamp is not lit. This arrangement has been made with the permission of the Police authorities. At the next meeting of the Parish Council we shall ask their permission for the removal of a grass plot In front of the Hall, so that the parking space may be enlarged.

The Hall has brought all the people together in a marvellous manner and has become the centre of the village life.

February 1932
In response to an application from the Village Hall Committee to the Utility Estate Trustees the Trustees have kindly consented to contribute £1.10.0d. a year towards the cost of keeping the lamp over the entrance to the Hall lit every evening in the weeks during the Winter months. This lamp is now a great boo[n] to the Village. It makes the one at the entrance to the Reading Room (Old School Rooms) somewhat unnecessary. Perhaps now it might be found possible to remove it to some part of the village where it would be more useful.

December 1932
The Mens Club have recently purchased a B.S.A. Air Rifle and Target for the use of its members. Arrangements have been made so that the men can have their shooting range at one end of the big Hall, on evenings when the Hall has not been engaged. In addition to a weekly rent of £0.10.0. which the Club already pays they will pay a further £0.2.6. for the privilege.

* Later Lord Bearsted. The Bearsted Family lived in Upton House
** Mr Quinton was a local architect and builder