West Parley Memorial Hall, a brief history 1937 - 1964
Some twenty-six years ago, in October 1937, a Meeting of the Parishioners of West Parley was held at the
Old Rectory to consider plans for building a Village Hall. Mr S T B Chubb was elected Chairman and the
following resolution was passed: "To build a Hall of brick with tiled roof of 70 ft. x 30 ft. inclusive of stage".
A Committee of seven was also elected and the Meeting gratefully accepted the offer of a site from Colonel
The cost of the Hall was limited to 1,000.
Efforts to purchase first a barn by an annual payment were subsequently given up and it was decided to try
and raise sufficient money to build.
Further Meetings were held on ways and means and the first Fete was held in June, 1939, in the Rectory
garden. The weather was unfavourable and only 155 persons attended, raising £45.
War then broke out and little could be done until the 6th July, 1945, when a Public Meeting was held in the
Parley Cross Garage, with Mr. 0. P. B. Burden, c.c., as Chairman, to consider plans for a war memorial.
Some seventy to eighty persons attended and after various suggestions were considered, it was decided to
revive the Village Hall scheme, As the erection of a permanent hall seemed remote, it was decided to try
and obtain a nissen hut.
This was in due course obtained and its erection as a temporary hall was unanimously agreed to at a well
attended meeting in the Parley Cross Cafe. Pending the building of a permanent Hall Colonel Prideaux
Brune would accept a nominal rent for the site of 2/6 per annum. The public opening of the temporary hall
took place on the l0th July, 1948, the bulk of the cost of the hut having been found by a grant from the
National Council of Social Service.
The position was further consolidated in 1957 when Mr. Phillip Prideaux Brune very kindly conveyed the site
on which the temporary hall stands for a nominal sum, and which the Parish Council have now taken over in
exchange for the present site.
The next few years were ones of constant endeavour to raise funds for a permanent hall. In 1960 a public
appeal raised nearly £700. Fetes, whist drives and splendid help from the West Parley Womens Institute
further increased our cash in hand. Various plans were considered and even drawn up, and the most
promising needs: a new kitchen and store room and improvements to the somewhat primitive toilet
arrangements were duly made.
Despite imperative maintenance, heavy rains and gales increased
deterioration to metal that was not new when purchased and following on the very wise decision of your
Parish Council to purchase the land adjoining the hall, the Committee sought the co-operation of the
Council in an all-out effort to build a permanent hall. The response was immediate and after months of
delay, frustration, meetings and a file of correspondence almost too heavy to carry, the result is before you.
It is quite impossible to mention all those individuals who gave their time and energy
throughout these past years and those who remain to see their ambition completed must be very thankful.
The most generous help has also been so freely given by officials of the various ministries and our local
councils and authorities without whose assistance we should still be in the preliminary stages of negotiation.
This is the story of "Our Hall" and it is now the earnest desire of the Management Committee that local
organisations will have no hesitation in making the West Parley Memorial Hall the venue for all their social