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Village Hall

The following text was written by Eileen West in December 1987 and has been taken from the village publication "Walk around Sherington" by Phyllis Loxley-Walton

The Village Hall was built on a plot of land donated by Lieutenant Colonel Frank Edward Allfrey, who once lived at the house in Croft End called The Old House, or The Laurels.

Part of the original deeds read as follows:

This Conveyance is made the fifteenth day of July, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Nine between FRANK EDWARD ALLFREY OF SHERINGTON in the County of Buckingham retired Lieutenant Colonel in His Majesty’s Army (hereinafter called the Donor) of the one part and The Reverend HENRY ARTHUR GILBERT BLOOMFIELD Clerk in Holy Orders and the said FRANK EDWARD ALLFREY, FREDERICK ARTHUR HICKSON Butcher, CLARA HINE the wife of George Hine, Wheelwright, CHARLES JAMES NURSAW Railway Employee, FLORENCE MARY TAYLOR, widow, and JOSEPH PEARSON LESLIE HOBBS, all of Sherington.

Aforesaid (hereinafter called the trustees) of the other part. Whereas the Donor is seised in fee simple in possession free from incumbrances of the piece or parcel of land hereby assured upon which the building hereinafter mentioned has been erected out of money a raised by public subscription and whereas the donor is desirous of assuring the said piece or parcel of land to the Trustees upon trust to permit the same and the buildings thereon to be used for the inhabitants of the Parish Sherington aforesaid as a Village Hall.

NOW this DEED WITNESSETH that for effectuating the said desire the donor as settler hereby conveys into the trustees all that piece or parcel of land situate on the South East side of Church Street in the Parish of Sherington in the County of Buckingham containing in area eight hundred and eleven square yards or thereabouts, together with the buildings erected thereupon as aforesaid. All which said premises are with the abuttal's and boundaries thereof by way of identification and not of limitation delineated on the plan drawn on this deed and thereon coloured pink save and except out of the assurance hereby made a right of way at all times for the donor over and across the footpath leading from Church Street aforesaid to a close of land on the South side of the premises hereby assured, the line of such footpath being approximately shown on them; plain by dotted lines TO HOLD tie same except as aforesaid into the 'trustees in fee simple UPON TRUST nevertheless for the CHARITY hereby constituted and to be administered according to the rules, regulations and provisions hereinafter contained.

Earliest records show that The Trustees met on 7th October l928 to fix charges for the hire of the Village Hall these were:

  • Christmas Whist Drives, etc. (with use of kitchen) - 7s. 6d.
  • Meetings or Entertainment (without use of kitchen) - 5s. 0d
  • Men Club (with use of one fire ) - 3s. 6d
  • Committee meetings (with use of fire) - 2s. 6d.
  • Committee meetings (in small room) - 1s. 6d.

The Village Hall was managed by The Trustees from 1928 until a public meeting was held on 17th March 1942 to elect a Village Hall Committee. At this meeting Mr. T. Goodman was elected Chairman, Mr C Haynes (Snr) Secretary and the remainder of be Committee elected were: Mrs. Field, Mr. S. Wnght, Mr. C. Clare, Mr. Stanley, with Mrs French and Miss Hine being co-opted onto the Committee at a later meeting.

Village Hall Extension

In 1968 the committee was approached with a request to extend the village hall to provide improved changing facilities for the Football Club. An architect was called in to draw plans for the proposed extension this was followed by an enquiry to the Ministry of Education and Science and to the Newport Pagnell R.D.C. to see if any grants were available. At a committee meeting in October 1969 the secretary read a letter from the Advisory Board of Architects turning down the application for a grant, based on the present plans.

The Board submitted a sketch plan of their own design on which the Committee could base its ideas for an extension. This sketch plan eventually accepted and a new set of plans were drawn up.

A building fund was started and an Entertainment Committee was formed (which shortly afterwards became the Village Hall Supporters Committee). This committee is now wound up.

Towards the end of 1969 the Supporters Committee began an extensive programme of events: ‘Pop' dances, Old Tyme dances, dancing classes; Disco's', produce stalls, theatre outings, art shows, socials, cheese and wine evenings, film shows, fish and chip suppers, bonfire evenings, dress sales, jumble sales, coffee evenings, whist drives and regular weekly bingo sessions; a football match with NEWPORT PAGNELL BUNNIES v SHERINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB, and various pantomimes and plays performed by the E.M.M.A Concert Party.

Two outdoor events to be recalled were the Sherington Show and the Funday

Sunday, both of which attracted a large number of people. One other event to be remembered was an exhibition entitled; Our Village - Past & Present, with most families in the Village loaning items of interest including handiwork or souvenirs or interest. Two special items loaned to the exhibition were a white linen sheet reputed to have once belonged to Queen Victoria. The other item was a mirror, one of a pair which Lord Nelson gave to Lady Hamilton

The exhibition was attended by Dr A. C Chibnall, the author of the book entitled Sherington - Fiefs and Fields of a Buckinghamshire Village

After a series of delays and setbacks, the planning application was finally passed and at a public meeting on 4th October 1971 it was agreed to go ahead with the new extension. A grant was promised by the Ministry of Education and Science and the building contractors, Messrs. Kenneth Willson & Co. were instructed to commence work on the 1st November 1971.

The official opening to the new extension took place on 25th March,1972. As part of the opening celebrations, Paul Mann the artist who lived in the village at that time, gave a most interesting painting demonstration. The result was a very attractive painting, which he completed in less than ten minutes - much to the amazement and delight of his audience.

This painting was presented by Paul to the Village Hall Committee and now takes pride of place on the wall of the extension.

In addition to raising funds for the new extension, the Village Hall Supporters' Committee have contributed to many other requirements and improvements to the Village Hall, including a new floor in 1976-a new roof in 1977, gas fires, cooker, decorating, car park lighting and numerous other requirements. By keeping careful control of the expenses involved in the day to day running and maintenance costs, also regularly reviewing the hire charges, the Management Committee are able at the moment to keep the hall running smoothly.

From the middle of August 1986 until May 1987, a number of ‘young offenders’, under the supervision of the Probation Service decorated the hall (inside and out) and sanded and varnished the floor This took place on regular Sunday sessions with Mr Morgan of Hanslope in charge. The actual work was carried out free of charge, but materials and meals had to be provided - sometimes for up to TEN lads! This was quite exhausting at times!

At the moment the hall is used on a regular basis by the Village Pre-School, The New Thursday Group, Parochial Church Council (for their regular auctions, bazaars, etc.),The Youth Club, The Bowls Club, The Lace Group, Keep Fit / Yoga groups. It is also used for private parties, children's parties and numerous other events.

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