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Pitney Village Hall

History of the Village Hall

Here is an historical account of Pitney Village Hall. We've come a long way since then - yes we've even got rather nice loos (male & female) inside the hall now! Since this report was written we have also had an extension built, we have refloored and reroofed the hall, we have a fully equipped kitchen and, very importantly, our very own bar. At the current time, we don't know who wrote the account below - if anyone recognises it, please get in touch so that we can credit the author! 

In 1874 a Church School was built on land belonging to the Duke of Devonshire and was finally opened for 90 children on 1st May 1876.  Hours of work to be 9am – 12 noon and 2pm – 4.30pm. 


“For the children of farmers 4 pence a week, for the children of the working classes 2 pence a week, if more than 4 in one family 6 pence a week to cover all of them”!


I did not know anything about the school until 1932 when my mother was appointed the Correspondent to the School Managers. By that time it was known as the Pitney C of E School under the Ministry of Education. I have just found a letter stating that electricity would be laid on in the two school rooms, allowing for separate heating points in both rooms for the sum of £8 – 3 – 0d in 1934; also one for the installation of a ‘tortoise stove’ for £12 – 5 – 0 Fire Insurance Policy cost 8/6 a year.

Sadly the school closed in 1962, the land and building reverting to the Duke of Devonshire who presented it to the Pitney Parish Church. It was decided by the village that the building should be turned into a Village Hall, but in order to qualify for a grant from the Min of Ed the property had to belong to the village, so through the Ecclesiastical Commissioners Church and Charity it was leased to the Village for 99 years (in the year 2061 the village will have a problem to solve!).


After a two year battle and the documents being lost at the Ministry, a grant for £1,000 was received.The WI gave £250 for the furnishing of the kitchen, the village made £250 from various fundraising events, a grant was received from Langport District Council for £250, a further £250 was raised by a penny rate from the Village over two years.

So £2,000 was produced to pay the Cots Bros of Long Sutton for converting an old Victorian building into a modern Village Hall. The old raftered ceiling was filled in for warmth, and gas central heating installed and the electricity re-wired but the loos are still at the other end of the old Playground. The present Village Hall Committee are hoping to build new ones onto the hall at a cost of £5,000!!


Through the last 120 years this building has been a centre of village activity first as a school, though the number of children in 1962 was only thirteen (today it would be over 40!) and now as the centre for all social events in the Village. I am sure the Rector, Churchwardens and members of the PPC in those early days would be pleased to see how their building has prospered and been appreciated.


Those of us who have lived in the Village long enough will remember the excellent Youth Clubs that have flourished and wained during the last fifty years, also the wonderful parties that have taken place in the hall, of Mrs Th . . .  Walrond’s New Year’s Eve Parties, of WI plays in the 1950s, the old Whist Drives of Rhoda Cox, now there is another team of Drama Producers, an annual Barbecue and Christmas Dances, a Community Shop, a Play Group, but no Youth Club – perhaps the Play Group will turn into that given time.  Long Live the Village Hall!

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