Ramsbury Memorial Hall | Registered Charity Number 272112
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Ramsbury Memorial Hall
A history of the Hall
The citizens of Ramsbury decided, in April 1919, to build a War Memorial in memory of the men from the parish who lost their lives in the Great War. It would take the form of a Village Institute and Club. The Committee consisted of five people:-
Chairman - A.Wellesley (Vicar),
Vice Chairman – George Wilson
Treasurer – H.R. Chamberlin
Joint Secretaries – T.E. Hobbs and J.H. Lawrence
Mr. George Wilson offered to present Church House in the High Street for this purpose, and at a meeting of parishioners on March 24th 1919 it was unanimously decided to accept the offer. The house would be converted to house a Library and Reading Room, Billiard Room, Dining and Tea Room, Ladies’ Room, Committee Room, Baths, and accommodation for a resident caretaker. Added to the house would be a Hall sufficiently large enough for gymnastics, concerts, cinema shows and public meetings.
To carry out the scheme in its entirety the cost was estimated at £3,000. This was not considered difficult as during the war the Parish had contributed over £1,100 a year for the Red Cross Society, Prisoners of War and other charities.
Seven years later, on March 24th 1926 the Hall was opened and remained in constant use until 1987. Sadly then Church House, which still housed the
Library, kitchen, meeting rooms and toilets required extensive restoration, and repairs were in the region of £100,000. At that time the Memorial Hall had very little funds. Coupled with the more demanding requirements of Local Authorities for the licensing of places for public meetings and entertainment, in 1987 the licence renewal was refused, so the Hall had to be closed. Proposals by the Charity Commission to sell the whole site for re-development were strongly opposed by the village, and there was overwhelming support to save the Memorial Hall at a public meeting on 22nd November 1993. It took a committee of volunteers two years to complete a scheme to refurbish the existing hall with the addition of new kitchen and toilets, and four extra meeting rooms. It was officially re-opened by Mrs. S Eliot Cohen on 15th March 1997.
Hires for the Hall continued to increase and in mid 2007, when the adjoining Lychgate Office Building was for sale the Trustees agreed to purchase it. This provided four more rooms for hire, with additional kitchen and toilets.
Situated in the middle of the village the Memorial Hall has a wide range of regular hirers. It is also extensively used for meetings, coffee mornings, parties, wedding receptions, village shows, plays, fund raising events, live music, discos and anniversaries.