Wass Village Hall

 

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The History of our Village Hall

In the 1920s villagers decided to raise money to build a hall. The current plot was rented from Captain Wombwell for 1 shilling a year. In 1928 the hall was completed at a cost of 370. However 78 was still required to clear the construction costs. Now, they had a hall to use for raising the money via rabbit pie suppers and dances. In the mid 30s the committee decided to extend the hall by adding a billiard room. In 1944 Captain Wombwell sold the land on which it stands and the purchaser very generously donated it to the village. Renovation in the 1970s by a team of volunteers saw the original pine replaced with stone blocks and the addition of a kitchen and meeting room. The hall also acquired a larger car park.

(Summary of information in The Life and Times of Wass and Byland)

 

 

OUR VILLAGE HALL’S LAMENT (to be sung to the tune of John Reilly)

Push open my old heavy door and listen to my plea.
I’ve watched the people come and go, they are my history.
The bands that played, the crowds that danced and cheered in each New Year,
The echoes and the memories, you’ll find them all in here.

Just eighty years ago they said, ‘a hall is what we need.’
A shilling rent each year, for the land, it was agreed.
With craft fairs, dances and whist drives the money was soon raised,
And they all helped to construct me, the hall was my first phase.

The clack of cue on snooker balls, the Christmas party games,
the cries of ‘It’s behind you,’ the jokes of panto dames,
the jams and cakes and handicrafts, the dazzling flower displays,
the dancing feet and music have brightened all my days.

Now water seeps through every crack, I’m sad with damp and cold.
My once clean walls have flaking paint, they’re covered in black mould.
My roofs they sag, my doors stick tight, they say I’ll soon fall down.
They’re all concerned about my plight but answers have they none.

They meet and talk most earnestly of ways to deal with me.
An architect draws building plans, it costs them quite a fee.
They say that just to take me down will cost them even more.
Advisers come with helpful words but grants are now unsure.

I’ve watched their celebrations through years of peace and strife.
Shared joys and tribulations throughout my long, long life.
But now my days are numbered I’ve gone beyond repair.
Perplexed I see them work on abbey ruins over there.

Linda Hencher
June 2008