sign Hempstead


Hempstead Village Hall History
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The Street, Hempstead, Holt, NR25 6TL
Registered Charity No. 211776

Village Hall

Hempstead Village Hall is available for hire

Facilities include tables, chairs, plates and cutlery for up to 80 covers. The hall has a good kitchen, a stage and indoor toilets. Also available is an overhead projector with computer connections.
Bookings contact: Richard Roy - 01263 715851

The village hall was bought as a sectionised prefabricated building supplied by Boulton & Paul of Norwich and was erected in 1926. The Hall originally enjoyed a 99 year lease from Captain Mee of Hempstead Lodge and his trustees.
In 2021 the lease was bought out before its expiry by the Village Hall Trustees, who now hold the freehold.

2nd May 1950: Estimates for the installation of electric light were obtained from Mr Randall, North Walsham;
Mr Cooke, Holt and the Eastern Electricity Board.
31st May 1950: The estimate for the installation of electric light in the Hall was accepted from Mr L Clarke of Holt Sept 1950: The accounts show a charge of £17.00 for ‘electric light wiring’.

1975: The usage of the hall had dwindled so far that abandonment was suggested. The building was sound, though the roof leaked and the buckets [toilets!] smelt.

1976: The building was rewired and electric heaters replaced the coke fed stove. The roof had been repaired and flush toilets installed

August 1980: Newsletter item reports that “Despite the horrific weather, the Village Hall now has half a new roof as planned. More money must be raised before the other half can be attacked." The team include John Coe, Jack Parfitt, Alfred Roberts, Cyril King, Stan Sewell and David Durst.
An Auction is planned for October in aid of church and hall funds .
April Cheque stub for April indicates J Coe was paid £10.00 for ‘roof work’ and another in July shows £208 was spent on ‘roof material’.

Sept 1982: An estimate was received from Jewson for the supply of 24 gauge galvanized sheets (used for cladding the hall) at a cost of £287. A supply was ordered on the 1st October, and delivered at the beginning of December. The final invoiced cost was £370.62.

January 1983: A pencil note indicates that a different profile was delivered to that ordered. Jewson agreed to collect excess. A Credit of £87.27 was received. An invoice for 2 x dressed chickens purchased from Mr R. Picken (£9.75) is endorsed “gratuities to J. Coe & J. Parfitt for Hall roof work”.

1988: The rotten windows were replaced - £454.00

At one point Church_Farm Barn was used as the Village Hall and some meetings and gatherings were staged there.

May 1935
Silver Jubilee celebrations for King George V and Queen Mary - May 1935

Nativity play - December 1935 Nativity play - December 1935
Alfred Roy holding the baby and Sarah Roy on the right - December 1935
Nativity play - December 1935

The ceremony of the planting of a red chestnut tree from Scotland to commemorate the Coronation at Hempstead took place on Tuesday. Mr. J. H. Hagen (chairman of the local Coronation Commitee) holds the tree while Mrs. J. Watson-Cook (committee secretary) covers the roots with soil. The Rev. Charles Toft, of Cley, then blessed the tree.
Eastern Daily Press - 1953

horse chestnut
The red horse chestnut was planted on the grass between the village hall and the road. Sadly it had to be removed in 2018 after it had become severely rotten internally and was in danger of collapsing. However, some of its offspring are still alive in the village.

Tea party 1995
Tea party on the grass below the Village Hall to welcome
the Bishop of Norwich, Peter Knott - 1995
front centre - Corinne Youngs; man in purple - the Right Reverend Peter Knott
man in blue shirt behind the Bishop - Ian Keymer
lady at back holding baby - Jo Sanders
The Bishop of Norwich, Peter Nott, spent a year from 1995-1996 travelling around the diocese to mark the 900 years of the diocese of Norwich. - the Bishop's Pilgrimage.

1935 Village Hall painting - 2001
left - right: J Green, L Doy, G Doy, F Power, Roger Doy
The Village Hall Committee Minutes record that the village hall was repainted in readiness for the May 1953 Coronation festivities for a sum of £69 8s 2½d
Village Hall painting - 2001

1937 Coronation Sign 8th November 2021
1937 Coronation Sign
8th November 2021

It seems ironical that after years of trying, and finally achieving to secure the future of the Hall for the village, Corona virus and Lockdown come along and prevent any practical use of the hall at this time.
So, no wild celebrations, no fireworks, we did at least fly the flag! and plant two trees!
Today I can report that following completion of the Village Hall's freehold purchase (26th May 2020), the Land Registry have now confirmed (12 Jan 2021) that the Hempstead Village Hall Trust are now proud owners of the Hall.
With celebrations put on hold there is still work to be done. The original trust that held the 99 year lease with its board of trustees and constitution are now out of date. Now owners of the freehold, the Trust needs a new constitution and board of trustees appointed.
It is hoped by April at the time of the Management Committee's AGM these new arrangements can be confirmed.
Like most villages in Norfolk Hempstead relies on the goodwill of villagers to involve themselves in the community and keep “ the show on the road” we need new blood to keep this going we would be pleased to hear from you if you would like to help, serving on the management committee or becoming a trustee.
Let us know if you are interested.

Mike Thody, Chair of the Management Committee - 12th January 2021

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. Please or telephone 07836 675369

Website copyright © Jonathan Neville 2022
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