On this page you’ll find research done into the history of Milnsbridge Village Hall.
Origins of the Village Hall
The Village Hall was originally constructed as a military building in Halifax. During World War II it was transported to the current site in Milnsbridge overnight and used as a convalescent facility for military personnel. It was, after this, used by The Salvation Army.
Official opening of the Village Hall
The official opening of The Village Hall was held on the 3rd of December 1977.
Councillor Mrs Newbould performed the opening ceremony. This was followed by a buffet and a dance. Special guests included representatives from local churches and businesses.
Here are key events over the first few years of the Village Hall.
1975– Ownership transferred to Kirklees Council
- 29th September
- 22nd October
- 29th October
- 2nd December
- 19th December
The ownership of the hall was transferred to Kirklees Council.
The decisions made at a public meeting addressed by The Deputy Director of Kirklees Leisure Services in September are recorded as:
- Kirklees Council would rent the premises to Milnsbridge Community Trust for a nominal sum;
- A grant of £500 from the Council would be available to help with the cost of putting the premises in order and additional funding would be available for furniture;
- The outside of the building and the structure would be maintained by The Council but internal decoration, maintenance, heating, lighting and fire doors would be the responsibility of The Community Trust;
- The Trust’s Management Committee would be responsible for hall lettings and the funds raised would be used to cover expenses incurred for running the hall. It would be possible to apply for a grant from Kirklees if expenditure exceeded income.
The constitution of Milnsbridge Community Trust was presented and agreed.
The public meeting was followed by a meeting of The Management Committee. Those present agreed to:
- Open a bank account;
- Ask Kirklees Council for assistance to make the hall habitable;
- Convene a meeting of the Social Committee.
The Management Committee addressed the following items:
- Arrangements for a carnival starting at Crow Lane School with stalls in the school grounds. A donation had been received from The Queen Inn, Manchester Road.
- Furniture to be requested from Kirklees Council. An on-site meeting with The Council was needed to discuss the structural alterations required in order to enable the Hall to become functional.
- The requirements for a play group needed to be considered;
- The Social Committee were organising a fund-raising dance at Milnsbridge Social Club, a Christmas raffle, carol singing and an Easter Bonnet Parade.
The items detailed above were confirmed at The Management Group meeting. The Kirklees representative was waiting to receive a key for The Hall and would arrange an on-site meeting when it was available.
The Management Group reported that:
- The dance at Liberal Club raised £9.16. A further dance had been arranged for Shrove Tuesday, the 3rd March 1976. The Christmas raffle to be postponed to Easter. Arrangements for carol singing were progressing.
An on-site meeting at The Hall was held with Mr Pearson, the Kirklees Council representative, fire officers and planning engineers. The estimated time for the completion of the required work was about two months.
The carols singing, accompanied by Paddock Civic Youth Club Band, raised £23.60.
- 6th January
- 25th January
- 6th February
- 17th February
- 2nd March
- 16th March
- 30th March
- 5th July
The Management Committee provided reports on the events held on 19th December and made arrangements for future fundraising activities, including the carnival, a raffle, dance and a disco. The funds stood at £1180.
The Management Committee meeting focused on:
- Arrangements for a further meeting with Kirklees Council as work on The Hall had not started.
- A request from the Playgroup for a hut to store their equipment. Following discussions, it was agreed that temporary storage could be provided in The Hall pending an application for a grant from Kirklees.
- Arrangements for the carnival.
A report on the meeting with Kirklees Council was provided.
- The Hall required re-wiring, heating, fire doors, water heaters in the toilets and attention to wet rot. The re-wiring and electrical work would be completed by the 5th March and The Gas Board could start work on the 17th March. The total cost would be £3880.
- The fire officer would permit a maximum of 200 people in the building at one time.
- The Committee agreed that items for the kitchen should be a priority and furniture for The Hall would be purchased as funds allowed.
- An application for a Music and Dance Licence could be made when the building had been altered from a religious purpose building.
- If a caretaker was needed, their wages would need to be paid from The Hall funds.
- An application for an occasional Liquor Licence needed to be considered.
- Two to four trustees to be elected by The Management Committee.
The Management Committee:
- continued to discuss the arrangements for the carnival; and
- arrangements were made to arrange a pathway to The Hall.
A dance held at Milnsbridge Liberal Club raised £21.30.
The Management Committee continued discussions about arrangements for the carnival and provided the information that the electrical work at The Hall had been completed and joinery work had been started. Financial assets now stood at £1700.
In addition to further discussions about the carnival The Management Committee reported that work on The Hall was progressing. The male toilets had been completed, doors had been fitted to the bottom of the stage and a new side door had been fitted. These items were followed up at a meeting on 28th April, 18th, May 24th, 15th May, 23rd May and 29th June. Work on The Hall continued to progress.
The Management Committee reviewed the carnival and reported that work on the kitchen and floor covering at The Hall had been completed. The Hall was now ready to be decorated,
On the 19th July the Management Committee held their first meeting in The Hall. A decorating group was organised.
- 25th January
- 1st February
- 11th February
- 17th February
- 13th June
- 13th July
- 10th August
- 28th September
- 12th October
The Annual General Meeting was held on 25th January.
A statement of accounts was presented by The Treasurer. The cost of renovating The Hall had been £4995. The total financial assets currently stood at £1989.42.
The Chair reported that a lot of work still needed to be undertaken in The Hall. This should be completed by April at the latest, Thanks were given to everyone who had helped with the renovation and fundraising.
The Management Committee addressed the following items:
- A sum of £360.73 was allocated to replacing the flooring in the main hall, the passage and the toilets;
- The Playgroup raised funds for their activities by holding a jumble sale;
- Fundraising-to have an Easter Raffle and another carnival;
In addition to planning the carnival The Management Committee decided to proceed with an application to The Common Good Trust for a grant of £3000 to provide flooring, curtains, tables, chairs, crockery, committee room furniture, a vacuum cleaner and a floor polisher.
A site meeting with Kirklees Leisure Services to discuss improved access to The Hall and outside work had been arranged for the 17th February.
The outcomes off the meeting with Kirklees Leisure Services were:
- A ramp should be constructed at the front of The Hall;
- A paved area will be constructed at the front of The Hall; and
- Flag stones had been laid near the kitchen entrance.
The Management Committee held meetings on the 16th March, 20th April, 11th May, 1st June, 15th June and 19th June to plan the carnival.
A meeting was held with The Common Good Trust to discuss the grant application for furnishings and other items for The Hall. The outcome was that a grant of £500 was secured with an invitation to contact The Trust again in 1978.
At the Management Committee meeting The Treasurer reported that the monies paid in so far, from the carnival were £532.87. Another carnival was to be organised for 1978. A further estimate for laying the internal floors to be obtained as renewing the floors had been postponed until the decorating had been finished.
The Management Committee decided:
- To accept the estimate of £45 obtained from Gee and Baxter for laying the floor and the quotation from Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation for unlined curtains (£452.81);
- To contact Kirklees Leisure Services to request a form to register the Trustees, Deeds of Trust and the Lease Document;
- To follow up charitable status.
Items on the Management Committee recorded were:
- Thanks for the work that volunteers had carried out to seal and polish the floors;
- Plans for a ramp from Hope Street to the Hall’s entrance had been received. The plans were not accepted due the cost of £800 and because the inclusion of steps would limit accessibility for people with disabilities. An additional consideration was the poor condition of Hope Street which would also limit accessibility. It was decided that an application should be made to social services for a ramp from Armitage Road;
- Applications for a Public Liability Insurance and a Contents Insurance to be completed;
- An official opening for the Hall was planned for the 3rd December.
The Management Committee meeting included arrangements for the official opening and the possibility of a grant for the ramp from The Area Health Authority and Social Services. The arrangements for the opening were continued during the following meeting on 16th November.
2002 – 25th Anniversary text – The Hut on the Hill
In 2002, Leonard Wright, Chair and John Lewis a Committee Member wrote the following text, The Hut on the Hill , to celebrate the Hall’s 25th Anniversary:
“After closing as a Salvation Army Citadel, Kirklees took over the building, and this was to become the home of the Milnsbridge Community Trust (The Village Hall).
Kirklees were responsible for the up keep of the building and the Trust responsible for the inside and the running of the Hall. Open the doors and look into the warm and friendly Hall. The Hall is used by a mothers and toddlers’ playgroup, yoga groups, social dancing classes and for private bookings. Kirklees use the Hall for area meetings and ladies’ groups i.e. Compass and Woman Space.
The Hall has excellent facilities consisting of a main hall, a well- furnished meeting room and a newly fitted kitchen with grants from The Common Good Trust and Kirklees.
We will always be grateful, as a Committee, for the work done by early members who worked so hard to build a foundation which we are able to work on today.
The community has one affordable Hall to be proud of.
Kirklees suggested changes to our constitution. One of these was to encourage regular Hall users to become part of the Committee and give them a say in how the Hall should be run.
The last few years have seen progression in the Hall. One of the dance groups offered their services to decorate the inside of the Hall, amongst their group were professional decorators so the job was first class. Kirklees were the next to offer help; they replaced the roof and gutters, fitting insulation into the roof. We don’t have to dance around buckets and bowls anymore.
Each year we set a Chairman’s task and for two years this task was a new kitchen. The cost was quite daunting, we heard about the wonderful work being done by The Common Good Trust. After contacting them they supplied us with a large amount of funding and once again with Kirklees’ help the Chairman’s task was complete.
We spent months sanding and replacing old timbers and repainting the outside of the Hall, not completed yet due to bad weather. The meeting room has been decorated, new carpets, units and work tops. This work was carried out by the Committee.
Work carried forward from our ten-year celebration -levelling and flagging the rear of the Hall-was completed.
The Hall went through a time of change and we lost a large section of the original Committee, this put us in the position to hold smaller fund-raising events efforts due to shortage of help. We were able to keep our heads above water, but times were not easy. We had to do more of the Hall maintenance ourselves. We had a set back when woodworm was discovered in a large part of the floor but Kirklees stepped in and gave us all of the money required for repairs.
A Tuesday work session was started and it was decided to build a retaining wall on the flagged area at the rear of the Hall. This was done a few feet every week and to finish the job we erected a six- foot safety fence. This enabled the playgroup to play out in safety and gave us security.
We next built a sand pit as this was a playgroup requirement and also made the alarm system more efficient because of break ins, fitting sensors to all windows. During this time the Hall was progressing and the user groups were doing quite well, but the Silver Threads one of our groups from the early days began to struggle and later closed.
We still hold our Remembrance Day service unbroken since 1982 and well attended.
The projects for next year, Kirklees are to upgrade invalid access and a toilet for disabled people. Our Chairman’s project is the upgrading of toilet facilities.
This has been an encouraging year as we have been able to accommodate many new groups.Please continue to support your Hall in the coming years.”