Pattingham Village Hall
In the past Pattingham was nicknamed “the Damson Village” after the many damson trees that were grown in the area to produce vegetable dye used in the production of the old paper sugar bags.
At a public meeting held in the Schools in December 1919 a group of gentlemen were asked to form a Committee to deal with the Parish Hall affairs, funds and buildings. This and the Committee meeting which immediately followed could be considered as the beginning of the Village Hall effort.
The Earl of Dartmouth gave the Village Hall site.
The Conveyance specified land of approximately one acre for use by the inhabitants of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Pattingham. The Trustees to be to be responsible for repair of fences. No Beer, wine or spirits to be sold on the premises. A full copy of the Trust deed to be kept in the Church Safe.
The villages rallied by arranging Whist drives, Dances, Tea Parties, Sales of Works, Concerts and Entertainments to raise sufficient funds to build the hall.
In March 1922 the first plans for the hall were submitted to the committee.
In September 1922 it was decided that the property be vested in a body of permanent trustees, the number varying between 2 and 10. The Committee to be a separate body to manage the hall when built, with the Trustees having no voice in the management of the hall. The Committee to be elected at an AGM and open only to residents of the parish.
In May 1925 details of a wooden structure to cost about £500 were given to the Committee. An additional 10 feet in length and a veranda were added bringing the total cost to £700.
Following the Great War there were many large and small Army wooden huts for sale and it was a fatal temptation to invest in one of their structures for the Village Hall. They had been hurriedly built using unseasoned timber, with hindsight it would have been wiser to have waited and been built of brick or stone rather than a wooden structure which proved to be in need of constant repair.
The Hall was opened on 15th December 1926 by Lord and Lady Dartmouth.
THE ORIGINAL HALL
A BIT OF A DO
In March 1929 the Tennis Courts were constructed at a cost of £112 12s 6d
In the village communications began to improve. The telephone service had ten subscribers in 1925, a bus service to Wolverhampton started in 1925, and, in 1931, an electricity supply became available. Piped water came in 1939 and the sewerage system was installed in 1957. But it was not until 1965 that gas mains were laid to parts of the village.
In 1941 the structure of the village hall committee was changed on the basis of representatives of the then organisations in the parish: the Church, Bowling Club, Women’s Institute, Women’s Club, Girl Guides, Mothers Union, Mutual Benefit Society British Legion, Civil Defence Service, Girls' Friendly Society, Nursing Association and Tennis Club.
The old Village Hall did good service but, in 1960, it was thought that it was time that the village had a more up-to-date building.
The money was raised by voluntary effort organised by the then management committee and from local and Government grants.
A large number of people from the Village contributed, either by giving money or time, or both to help raise the finance required. There were two Fun Days organised on Old Perton aerodrome, this was before Perton as we know it today was built. Villagers walked around Wolverhampton with sheep , ducks etc on leads to advertise the event. At the first with Acker Bilk and his band as the lead attraction the committee catered for 2,500 people and 5000 turned up. At the second two years later they catered for 5000 and 10,000 arrived many by a special bus service from Wolverhampton.
In 1966 the present hall was opened.
As a requirement of grants given by local government the new hall had 24 members on the management committee, each representing a village club or group or special interest. Over the years the committee has slimmed down a little but like the first all members are volunteers.
Over the years many people have freely given their time to running the hall as a registered charity with all income going to the running of, and upkeep of the hall. Their combined efforts have ensured it has been maintained to a very high standard, meeting the ever changing legislation for public buildings.
Peter Leigh - Pattingham Local History & Civic Society
Lol Burgess - Committee Member
Extracts From Pattingham by Rev Brighton