Down Memory Lane Week 3


Memories of our old WI Hall

THE OLD WI HALL, which was the centre of village activities before it was replaced by our present Village Hall which opened in 2005. The site is now occupied by several attractive small houses.

Photo: From Local History Group archive.


No dancing in hob-nailed boots!

In January 1932, at the Vicar's suggestion, the possibility of erecting a portable wooden building was examined. Eventually an estimate from Walton's of Newark for £550 was accepted with local men supplying the foundations, plumbing, heating, lighting, etc. By this time £400 had been raised, leaving a target of £150 to be raised plus the cost of the furnishings.

In May 1932, the WI Hall was opened, and a dance held in the evening with neighbouring WIs loaning chairs and crockery. An intensive effort now began by the hard-working 50 members to pay off the outstanding debt and to provide the furnishings.

The hall was let for functions with the following rules:

1. No intoxicants.

2. No dancing in hob-nailed boots!

In 1939, with the outbreak of war, the Trustees were asked to help in the evacuation of town children. The first 'billetees' arrived from Leeds and the hall was commandeered for over 100 of them.

A Youth Club was started with members' help. Saturday night dances were arranged attended by troops from Wormald Greeen, Topcliffe and Dishforth and many lasting friendships made. By the end of the war a sum of £800 had accrued and this was divided among serving men and women returning to the village. The hall had truly fulfilled its original purpose as a centre for all.

Since the war members have continued to raise funds for renewals and repairs, the need for which increases as the building gets older.

Extract from Monkton Matters issued by the Village Conservation Society in July 1988.



Do you have memories of attending events, dances and  meetings in the old WI Hall? Some of you, then children, may remember taking part in the panto, and having to scurry over the road from a garage opposite which was used as a dressing room.

If you would like to share any memories or have any old photos please send them to


NEXT WEEK: How we built and paid for our new Village Hall.