Reminders of a bygone age

Contributed by editor on Mar 09, 2006 - 09:37 PM


Dear  Ed
For many village communities, life revolves around the village hall or the local pub, but what do you do with a traditional village or church hall, when a spanking new state of the art facility is built to cater for the needs of an increasing number of villagers?

Built before or just after the last war, at a time when village communities were more settled and rural than they are today, and in days when entertainment was more `homespun`, I believe the time has come to ask, 'have they a place in modern society?'
For many, letting and the subsequent revenue generated is plummeting.  At the same time more regulations coming into force mean more costs, and with fewer and fewer volunteers coming forward, it makes it very difficult for these community buildings to be viable.
Today we expect more and better facilities like those provided by the newer village and community halls such as those in Hawkinge and Selsted. But we dare not suggest closing them or the outcry from people and organisations who claim they want to use the buildings would be deafening.

In the long term this does not happen, as I believe it is part of the trend which has seen our village pubs and churches close.
We live in a different world from that when these halls were built.

People are not satisfied with facilities which fall short of our modern expectations. And with the modern halls which have been built recently locally, I believe the time has come to address the question of what to do with these reminders of a bygone age.

Colin Tearle
Swingfield Parish Council