Who are we

    The Management Committee is made up of residents of Little Somerford and representatives from some of the groups which regularly use the hall.


    History of the Hall

    Little Somerford Parish Hall is a First World War army hut, first erected on Salisbury Plain in 1918.  The hut was built to one of a number of standard designs, and consists of a wooden framework and floor mounted on brick plinths.  The walls and roof are clad in corrugated iron, and the building is lined throughout with wood.
     
    The site for the Hall was made available from the church by the Revd Lowton Parry, then living in The Rectory next door (now called Pound House).  The Revd Parry also paid the deposit that enabled the villagers to acquire the hut, which was duly transported from the Plain and re-erected here in 1935.  A water supply was brought to the building only in 1953, and for many years there were just bucket toilets, emptied via hatches in the north wall.  The present toilets and kitchen were built in 2000 in a rendered blockwork extension with a composition roof.  Wheelchair ramps were added at the same time.  In 2008, the entire outer skin of the building was renewed in plastic coated corrugated iron, and insulation was fitted between the corrugated iron and the wood lining.  At first, heating was provided by a solid fuel iron stove sited in the middle of the south wall.  This was later replaced by radiant electric heaters slung from the ceiling, and, in 2002, by the present gas-fired heaters.
     
    Though the site belongs to the church, the Hall is owned by a charity administered  for the village by trustees and by committee, and is dedicated to “the affordable use by the inhabitants of Little Somerford and neighbourhood without distinction of political, religious or other moderate opinions….with the object of advancing the education and general leisure-time enjoyment of the aforesaid inhabitants”
     
    Grant aid has always been vital to the upkeep and improvement of the Hall.  In recent years, the kitchen extension and ramps were part paid for by £26,750 from the National Lottery, while the 2008 re-skin was made possible by a grant of £20,500    from Awards for All, a District Council Initiative.  These, and many other smaller grants and donations, are gratefully acknowledged.
     
    Down the years, the Hall has played a vital role in the life of the village.  In the 1930’s it was host to the Men’s Club and the Mother’s Union.  Little Somerford WI has met there continuously since their formation in 1941, and the Hall was used as a schoolroom during World War II for evacuee children billeted in the village.  Apart from that, the Hall has seen innumerable family celebrations, parties, wakes, meetings, lectures, exercise classes, arts groups, dinners, dances and dog-training sessions.

    Currently known Chairmen since 1935 are as follows:

    -          1934 to 1956  ???

    -          1956 to 1966   The Revd. A.F. Lutley

    -          1966                 The Revd. Roy Harrison (Locum)

    -          1967                 Mr Pelham

    -          ??                     Major Sharwood

    -          1974 to 1998   Charles Miles

    -          1998 to 2003   Andrew McDowell    

    -          2004 to 2008   Gordon Sharp

    -          2008 to 2014    Michael Jones

    -           2014 to date   Simon Nuttall


    Donation of the deposit for the purchase of the Hall is believed to have been made in memory of the Revd Lowton Parry’s wife – who is not commemorated anywhere!

    The WW2 evacuees are said to have come from “the Catholic school of Notre Dame de Paris and were mostly French, Italian and Spanish”.

    Any other historical information, or anecdotes, about the Hall would be gratefully received.         

    with thanks to Gordon Sharp, 28/9/2010