Small Beginnings

From Small Beginnings (How the hall was built)

The Vision

In 2005 the New Village Hall was completed on time, on budget and with NO debt! This fantastic achievement was in no small part thanks to the vision and foresight of a group of Villagers who saw the opportunity to bring to life the ambitions of four previous decades of enthusiastic and committed local people.

Where it all started

At the end of the 19th century a village football club was formed and acquired their current football pitch and adjacent land on which the Village Hall now stands. After the First World War the ladies of Shipham were granted land in Hollow Road by George Thierry in Trust for a nominal sum and a redundant wartime hut was erected on the land by 1926 for use as a WI Hall and as a centre for other village activities.

The village continued to expand with growing numbers of clubs and youth organisations seeking space and storage for their activities. In 1973 the Primary School moved to its new site. After consultations the Shipham Village Hall Trust was formed in 1975 to buy the old school building, sited opposite the WI Hall, and convert it into a community hall to meet the growing needs of the village. By 2002 Shipham’s population was more than 1,000 and the buildings were proving expensive to maintain and were not meeting the needs of the Village.

Rising to the challenge

A steering group, funded by a grant from the national levy on quarrying, was set up to find options to solve the problem. Under the auspices of the Trust this group negotiated the purchase of the land from the Football Club, visited recently built halls, conducted a village survey, finalised specifications, and obtained planning approval. The plans were approved in 2004 following a presentation to the village.

The estimated cost of the Village Hall was £550k. The Trust and ladies of the village sold their halls to provide an initial funding of c. £400k. The balance of £150k needed to cover the remaining costs of the land, building and initial equipment was covered by grants and fund raising.

The rebuilding insurance value on completion was £600K. The Trust met its promise to owe no-one money at the opening of the Hall and has continued to meet the primary policy of the Trust to stay debt free.

Building the Hall

Local contractor Colin Jones built the hall with the voluntary assistance of committee member Paul Edwards as the co-ordinating project manager. Building started in December 2004 and the Hall was officially opened at the beginning of August 2005.

The building is constructed with rendered blockwork, a steel frame for the central hall, and timber truss roofing with cement tiles. All internal walls are rendered blockwork. The main hall floor is concrete beam, covered with sprung wood and the remainder are solid floors.

A storage extension was added in 2013 for £41K with further grant assistance of £13K. This increased the total internal floor area to almost 500 sq. Metres.

The Trust seeks to take advantage of as many established energy saving schemes as possible. The whole building was well insulated during its construction. Since then 12KW of solar panels have been added and lighting has been changed to LED throughout the hall. Management of the hall is assessed every 3 years under the nationwide “Hallmark Scheme” for community buildings and the trust maintains the top assessment of 3 stars.

Site before building

Old path to village

New path to village

Hall taking shape

Erection completed

Almost ready