Before the appearance of the Village Hall, organisations met in either the School Hall or the Adult Education room at the school – the room nowadays used by Pre-school. At least one organisation met for a while in the Music Room at the back of Sunrhyl until that room became unsuitable.
In 1976 the Festival Committee stated an aim to build a village hall. This committee had been going for several years even then. Eventually this committee was disbanded and the Community Association was born. When a legacy of £15K was donated, it was an enormous boost to our fund. Fund raising intensified, the Village Festival was revived – for the first few years it was a full week of events on the field with different organisations taking responsibility for a particular evening’s events with all monies going to the Village Hall fund. Then one year we decided to finish off the week with A Big Band Night on the Saturday. It was an amazing evening – more people than we ever imagined turned up and it was a fantastic success. So the Music Festival came about because the following year and from then on, two days of music proved to be the winning formula.
The building of a hall was not popular with everybody and there was great opposition from some sources. Because of the number of service people living in the village, it was a transient village and the understandable fear was that the newcomers would build a hall then move on leaving the village to pay for it.
The Parish Council of the day was very supportive of the project and worked very hard to win people round. A committee was formed of Councillors and Community Association representatives to get the scheme off the ground on a very tight budget – and the rest is history.
Now 20+ years on, it is hoped that our Village Hall has justified its existence. It has enabled youth organisations to thrive, provided facilites for new and different activities to be introduced for all ages and provides a venue in the centre of the village for any parishioner to hire for that special occasion.
The Village Hall is a Charitable Trust run by volunteers for the benefit of the villagers of Holywell-cum-Needingworth.