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History of the Hall

A brief history

 

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The Village Hall was given to the Parish by Sarah Hillman in memory of her husband Aubrey. The foundation stone was laid in 1914 and the hall opened one year later with a celebration concert. This was followed, into and through the 1930's with numerous further plays and performances by the "Kingston Players". The Hall was taken over by the Army 1939-45 war; leaving it in need of serious decoration!

 

The Hall was eventually redecorated in 1953 funded by 'social efforts' and some loans and having a television specially installed in time, it is believed, to allow villagers to see the Coronation of our Queen.

 

By the late 1950's the village was beginning to outgrow the Hall and it was also in need of repairs. Its control, however, was in the hands of three trustees of the Church of England with funding unavailable for its upkeep. In 1957 the Parish Council decided not to take any further responsibility for the Hall. Thereafter, it appears to have been run by the Parochial Church Council.

 

At a public meeting in 1964 PCC announced a proposal to put the running of the Hall into the hands the Charity Commission and create a Charitable Trust. The Parish Council took over the formal responsibilities complying with Charity Commission requirements to establish the Trust.

 

On 17th February 1965 the then Rev. Edward Lee Phillips (of this Parish) and others purchased (from the Rural District Council of Chailey) for £75 a parcel of land to the rear of the Hall.

 

The Charitable Trust was eventually established on 22nd March 1965. The Constitution was made up of Representative Members for each for the Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council and, with their strong history of involvement in the management and development of the Parish Hall throughout its entire existence, the Women's Institute. Management would be by five 'annually elected' Members consisting of the Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Booking Secretary. All members would each become Trustees of the Hall as required by the Charity Commission.

 

The next major development; with the help of loans that were acquired, extensions to the Hall were completed in 1968 that included toilets at the front, a kitchen on the side and a new back room.

 

In 1978 the Parish Council helped with further development, including structural repairs to the roof.

 

Benefactions followed - a new low no-maintenance ceiling with roof insulation was installed in 1984 in memory of Gwen McLellan and in 1987 a new Maplewood floor by Bill Knight in memory of his wife Joyce. This was followed by renovation of the kitchen in May 1997 by the late Cyril Hurst in memory of his wife Mary.

 

Today, in addition to providing facilities for local clubs and associations it has become the home for Kingston Pre-school, who, themselves, have funded various additional features to benefit their enjoyment of the facilities offered.

 

The Parish Hall is regularly used for keep fit and dance activities, Bridge Club, Brownies, available to all residents of Kingston for private functions and others that bring supporting activities to our village. The stage and its lighting options provide for entertainment and performance activities. In more recent years audio visual equipment has been installed.

 

But, other than lighting, electricity for power and heating remains a meter payment and where is the Broadband facility? Just two examples of where further development is necessary to enable a secure future for a Parish Hall that fulfils Community needs.