In 1924 enthusiastic villagers aspired to a village hall in Ditcheat, Mrs Merrifield and Mrs
Trim opened a Post Office account as they had started raising money towards their dream of a village hall. Mrs Merrifield’s 12 year-old daughter was a gifted pianist, and together with Charlie Vaughan, Harold Dun and Steven Vincent, all of Ditcheat, they formed a band and played for dances held in a hayloft at Mr Moody’s Farm in Wraxall.
A small enthusiastic but informal group continued to raise funds.
In 1935 a Parish Meeting was called, on April 8th one hundred parishioners attended in the
infants room at the village school. There was much discussion over a site including a Mr
Golledge’s field half way between Ditcheat and Alhampton but it was considered too far out of the village, then out of the blue, Squire Dawe offered to give a site opposite the Church.
Messers TH Golledge, AG Barber and SR Dyke were appointed as Site Trustees.
Mr TH Golledge was elected Chairman of the committee, Mr SR Dyke vice chairman and Mr AG Barber treasurer.
Members of the committee were Mr FG Longman – School Governors, Mr R Hillard – Ancient Order of Foresters, Mr J Cochran – British Legion, Mr F Ward – Skittle Club, Mrs Moody – Mother’s Union, Mr A Trim – Scouts, Mr F Vaux – Methodist Church, Mr SW Golledge – Rural District Council, Mr M Simms – Parish Council, Miss F Longman – Tennis Club, Miss E Corp – Hockey Club, Miss E Merrifield – Girls Friendly Society, J Farrant – Nursing Association.
A site committee was formed, Rev Tripp wished them success and offered to pay the
architect fees. Mr Cochran explained the position of borrowing money from the Carnegie
Trust and the Community Council.
The committee were informed at their meeting in June that the site was invested with The
Charitable Trust. A sketch plan for a hall sixty feet by thirty feet was presented at £1,120
estimated cost, which was more than the committee could face, it was decided to reduce
the width by five feet saving £100. Fence materials were purchase for £20-1s-6d and
erected by volunteer labour.
At the meeting in July, five tenders were received ranging in price from £1,250 to £1,496.
The contract was awarded to the lowest tender submitted by Charlton Builders of
Evercreech. The site and foundations were prepared by men and women volunteers, with
pick axes, shovels and spades, wheel barrows and horse and carts.
The problem of drainage was solved by Frank Burrows, a local builder who suggested connecting to a stone drain in Miss Clark’s adjacent property which emptied down Kyte Lane with all the village drains.
The hall was completed on December 1st 1936 and officially opened by Miss Guest (Master of Foxhounds) at a social and dance on December 22nd, admission was 6d per head, a piano was borrowed….
Historical information courtesy Roger Yeoman – 2018.