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Village Hall History

Ashmansworth and Crux Easton Village Hall

Ashmansworth Newbury RG20 9SJ

Recent History

Village residents built the existing village hall in the 1950s.  With pebble-dashed breeze block walls and metal framed windows, although the building served its purpose for over 50 years, it did nothing to enhance the architectural environment of the village!

After a series of public meetings in 2007-8 it was decided that refurbishment of the old hall would be uneconomical.  Instead, it was decided that the village should seek to develop a new hall, which should be an attractive building to enhance the prominent position of the building within the village conservation area.

A number of possible designs for the hall were explored, seeking to provide a building of adequate size on the narrow site yet in scale with adjacent properties.  Planning permission was obtained in late 2008 for a design similar to that shown in the artist’s impression below, a building which we hoped to finance and build within the next 2 years at a cost of about £190,000. Village events raised over £20,000 but, in the financial climate, it proved very difficult to obtain the grants necessary to bring the total to nearly £200,000, so the committee decided after all to refurbish the building to make it look more attractive and to extend its life by at least ten years - hopefully the financial climate will have improved by then!

Our revised plan was to replace the windows and entry doors and to clad the exterior walls with timber featherboarding. We also planned to do up the interior walls and floor and, if funds permit, to replace the ceiling and kitchen! This would all look very smart and make the hall much more attractive for a range of functions. Unfortunately, we found we needed planning permission for the exterior work so this was applied for and granted. We have replaced the windows and entrance doors, which now look very attractive. We have now also fitted the featherboarding to the front of the hall and the rear. Internally, we have completely updated it with new ceilings, wall panelling, electric lights and sockets, flooring, blinds, projector screen and lobby mat, together with repainting throughout.  We also completely renewed the toilets, which were in sore need of modernisation.

The hall was re-opened by Sir George Young, MP and was blessed by our rector, the revd. Christine Dale, at a ceremony on Sunday 3rd April 2011. The opening was well attended and enjoyed by all.

Since then, we have raised further funds and have not only built a new patio, tidying up the rear garden, but also completely refurbished the kitchen, with new cupboards, worksurface, cooker, fridge, dishwasher, plumbing and electrics. It all looks very smart and was opened with the Harvest Lunch on 14th October 2012. Our refurbishment work has now been completed, with an additional store room, having 75 very comfortable new chairs and a fence round the garden, to make it safer for children to play.

The main hall is around 13.5m x 5.9m, or nearly 80 square metres (44' x 19'). There are also a fine kitchen, two store rooms (around 7 sq m each) and toilets.