Village Hall

Long Buckby Wharf Village Hall
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © JThomas – geograph.org.uk/p/3907663

The Wharf Village Hall was built in 1931 by George Townley of West Haddon, and presented by him to the people of the Wharf. The official opening took place on Monday 3 August 1931 with Captain Gerald Soames doing the honours. Gerald then opened the celebratory fete in the grounds of Surney Farm, lent by Mr and Mrs Ashby. The Long Buckby Band headed a procession which included the fancy dress competitors and the Queen of the Carnival, Miss Edie Thresher. There was a sports event, produce stalls, and fairground games, a whist drive, skittles, and even fortune teller Mrs Hunter of Daventry. (Northampton Mercury 1931 Friday 7 August)

Surprisingly though, as soon as the Hall was officially opened, it was locked up again. For over 15 months it remained closed and of no use to the residents.

Northampton Mercury 1932 Friday 4 November

Apparently the reason the hall has never been thrown open for the use of the villagers for whom it was built, is that the trustees considered the expense would be too great for such a small place….

…The cost of running the hall is not very high, but it is the initial outlay which has provided the committee with its greatest problem. There is little furniture in the hall, and no crockery or other utensils necessary for refreshment purposes. These would have to be obtained and water would also have to be laid on.

Northampton Mercury 1932 Friday 4 November

Reverend F P Thornton, Captain Coe, Mrs Boyes, Mrs F Dickens, Mr A Tooby, Mr W Sanders, Mr A Corbett and Mr E Warner formed a committee to persuade the trustees to hand over the workings of the hall to them. They planned to rent the hall out to the Women’s Social Circle, a Men’s Club, and various juvenile organisations in order to fund the upkeep of the building. They also intended to organise whist drives, dances, and socials but there was a potential problem in that a clause in the deeds may prohibit card games.

By 1933 the committee was in charge of the hall and there was a Braunston British Legion Concert Party held in May to raise funds to aid the Hall. The potential whist drive problem was solved and there were many whist drives and dances held over the years, raising funds for several different causes. The people of the Wharf seemed to like a good social event with several held every year. Money was raised for the upkeep of the Hall and for the annual children’s Christmas party, the Wharf Boys Club and Cricket Club. They also fundraised for Northampton General Hospital and the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby.

As the Second World War progressed, fundraising efforts reflected that with money being given to the Long Buckby British Legion, the wool fund for HM Armed Forces, and the Prisoners of War Fund.

Since the Hall reopened at the start of 1933 it has been an integral part of the Wharf community, providing entertainment and social events, allowing residents to come together, and raising a considerable sum of money over the years for a variety of local causes. Even now, the Village Hall is managed by local residents and is a registered charity.

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