Burpham Village Hall

Moira McQuaide Hall’s history of Burpham

The Village Hall is an important part of any community, a place to meet people, to organise events, or to raise funds through lettings.

Norman Hamilton wrote that it was “built in 1922 from surplus war materials auctioned at Thursley Camp”. The Burpham vicar at the time heard about the sale of a building that would be suitable for use as a village hall. It had been a wooden hospital ward, with a dispensary attached, imported to take Canadian casualties, but had never been used. The vicar, and local farmer George Gatley, arranged for it to be brought over to Burpham to be erected next to the Church Room on Burpham Lane. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, the transport lorry got stuck in the muddy grass and for several months the pieces of the building lay on the grass before it could be put together.

The land was leased from the Duke of Sutherland for one shilling a year and Mrs Marshman was employed as a caretaker, earning nine shillings a week. Minor maintenance was carried out by members of the committee. Heating was provided by two tortoise stoves, but electricity was not installed until 1935, after the Women’s Institute held a jumble sale to help pay for the new facilities. The Trustees for the Village Hall in 1923 included two Mr Binsteds, Mr Kerr, Revd Storr and Mr Gatley. Mr Bidwell was Honorary Secretary.

The Burpham vicar at the time heard about the sale of a building that would be suitable for use as a village hall. It had been a wooden hospital ward, with a dispensary attached, imported to take Canadian casualties.

Circa 1947: Children of Burpham Primary School (including evacuees) outside the Village Hall.

In 1940 the lease was extended for a further 99 years, but the rent stayed at one shilling per annum. Over the years there have been further developments to the hall, which now includes a large room and a small room, modern fitted kitchen, toilets and parking.

In the early days there were Friday Whist Drives, which were very popular before the advent of television. The Women’s Institute and Mothers’ Union held their meetings there and it was a venue for weddings and parties – though they had to overcome the convention that strong drink should not be consumed in the hall. During World War Two it was used for Mrs Stock’s mother and baby clinic, and pupils from Burpham Primary School had their lunches there. These days it provides a very popular venue, with users including the Gardening Club, WI, and a number of other organisations. U3A holds many of its group meetings in the two halls, across a wide range of subjects, including languages, engineering, arts & crafts and history.

For hire of Burpham Village Hall contact Dave Jepson on 07752 549313.

If you are willing to share your memories and/or photos to tell us more about Burpham then please contact Moira MacQuaide Hall, either by e-mail (moira.macquaide@gmail.com) or by phone or text (07963 756543). My two books (‘The History of Burpham Primary School’ and ‘Burpham – A Gateway to Guildford’) are still available from me for £10 (free delivery locally) or on Amazon.

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