Down Memory Lane Week 4

WORK IN PROGRESS:  The main hall takes shape.

A super human DIY project

This week it is just 13 years since our then new Village Hall was opened. The day was 29th of January 2005.

Everyone was there - well almost everyone!  Nobody wanted to miss this very special occasion, and to say 'thank you' to Mervyn  Beecroft and a team of village volunteers who had worked tirelessly to plan, help build, decorate and fit out this wonderful new village facility.

An amazing £450,000 was raised to enable the job to be completed, with special thanks going to our Women's Institute who contributed most of the proceeds from the sale of their old WI Hall.

Beyond recognising the huge amount of work put in by Mervyn, Alan Vickers, Eddie Bowes and Ernest Wilson also did a large amount of work. It would be wrong to attempt to list all the other residents who worked on this amazing DIY project. Suffice to say that present day and future residents owe them all a huge debt of gratitude.

If you were involved, or attended the opening ceremony, and have any special memories of that super human effort, please send them to so they may be shared on this website.


Do you remember this day?

FLASHBACK to Saturday, 29 January 2005 when our then new Village Hall was officially opened by The Mayor of Harrogate. Richard Houseman is speaking and with him on stage are  villagers who were then on the steering Committee (can anyone name them left to right?).

 Mervyn welcomes The Mayor.  Alan Vickers (left) meets the Mayor.

Opening day photos: Richard Field

 Getting there step by step 

Keen to be in at the start.
Cutting the first sod.

Work gets under way. 

Girders are fitted.


The roof goes on.


Exterior nearing completion.

One of  the dozens of volunteers.
Mervyn on the job.
Alan Vickers works on the stage.

Ladies do a clean up.


WI hand over a big cheque.


A well deserved plaque.

                        The above photos showing the Village hall being built      
                        were taken by the late Eddie Bowes (pictured right) 
                        and we are indebted to Florence for allowing us
                        to reproduce them here.



Not put off when Lottery grant failed

The 9.6 acre site was donated to the Parish Council in 1995 by a local farmer for the creation of a new village hall and adjoining playing fields.When our bid for a Lottery grant failed, the community opted to raise the £400,000 themselves, with much of the layout of the playing fields and building of the hall being undertaken by dedicated local volunteers.

Cricket and football were moved to the newly-created playing fields and a top-class bowling green was opened in 2004. The new Village Hall, with full disabled access, opened in 2005.Since then areas for croquet, tennis, a MUGA and a children’s play area have been added. 

The hall has also had an extension added, and a large tarmacadamed car park created. The grounds have been landscaped.The hall and playing fields are run by an active and enthusiastic management committee. Today both facilities are in constant use and are the pride of the area.

Extract from Fields in Trust site.



How and why I started the village website

I remember the day well.  Before the opening day I received a flyer through my letterbox asking recipients to say if they could suggest any voluntary work they were prepared to undertake to support the new hall and playing field.

Being recently retired after a lifetime in newspapers, I suggested I could edit a village website if they wanted one. They said 'yes please' and I was not put off by someone who told me 'I wouldn't bother. You'll never find enough to put in it, and besides nobody will want their name or photo on it'.

Anyway I attended the opening, took some photos, wrote a report and had it posted on the worldwide web within two hours of the opening ceremony.

I was delighted next morning to see from the stat counter that over 100 people (including someone in Australia) had seen report.

Since then I have run the website, and now reckon to update it soon after 6am each day.  The number of visits to the site since that day now stands at nearly 450,000!  I have used three computers, worn out six keyboards, published over 1,000 photographs and probably written a million words in that time (although Martin may question my figures!). 

So I think I was right to discount the Dismal Desmond who warned me off doing it!

- Richard Field, Editor BMToday

More Feedback about the Village Hall and Playing Fields

   would be welcomed. Send them to



The panto season is round the corner. Oh no isn't. Oh yes it is!

So the next two in our Down Memory Lane series will be devoted to pantos and how our Entertainments Group has staged many memorable shows over the years.

We will have details and photos of the Cinderella they put on in 1978 and also publish a number of photos of various pantos over the years and also ask readers to identify those shown in the photos and send any other memories they have of of these shows.