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Four miles from anywhere and on the top of a hill is where the good folk of Heightington have erected their Village Hall". So began the report in the Kidderminster Times of 7 March, 1923, of the official opening ceremony of the former hall which was described as 'a handsome building, formerly an Army Hut with a corrugated tin roof and three large anterooms, the interior being picked out in effective but lasting colours'. The Hall was opened by Oliver Baldwin, son of the then M.P. for Bewdley, Stanley Baldwin, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer at that time (later Prime Minister) and was unable to be present because he was 'busy preparing his Budget'.

 

The idea for the Hall was first suggested at Christmastime 1922, and within three months, 92 subscribers had given £242 - the equivalent of more than £50,000 today, to buy the building which was erected on land given by George Frederick Pratt of Chapel Farm, whose aim was 'that it should do good to the greatest number'.

 

There are no written records which tell us where the Army Hut originated, but older residents of our hamlet remember that it was transported by lorry from 'somewhere on the Ombersley side of Worcester' where it had housed army personnel during the First World War. But we do know that it weighed 16 tons, and that villagers used 2 cwts. of nails in re-erecting it - no wonder it remained standing against the elements for nearly 68 years!!

 

There are no written records of the next 40 years, but the hall undoubtedly satisfied a need, for many living today, fondly remember social occasions such as the regular Saturday night sixpenny hops and Fancy Dress Parades when there wasn't even standing room, and all this in a building where there was no running water, and so, no flush toilets, and which was lit by oil lamps and heated by two coke stoves.


During the Second World War, when many children were evacuated from London and Clacton to Heightington, the hall was used as a school. ln the late 1940's electricity was brought to the village. Power to the hall before then had been supplied by a generator worked by an old Fordson tractor specially adapted by a local farmer.

 

For the three years prior to 1967, the Committee worked hard to raise money to alter the reading room and servery into a kitchen with sinks, and also to build a new brick built toilet block which cost about £1000.


ln 1976 the Committee began negotiations to purchase land for parking cars, and in the following year after buying the land for £300, spent £1220 making up the car park and the entrances to it.

 

Two years later the BBC hired the hall for £2O to shoot a scene in the TV series "God's Wonderful Railway"'. The Hall was seen 'looking like a '1940 Dance Hall' in one of the episodes.

 

But by the early 1980s the Committee was discussing the closure of the building because of the increasing cost of satisfying legal requirements for public buildings. A new committee took over, including some of the former members and went about the task of raising money to replace the existing building.

Heightington Village Hall is run by a management committee on behalf of the Hall's trustees. The present hall, replacing the original army hut, was constructed in 1991 and had its official opening on 28th December of that year. It was funded by charitable and county council grants, individual donations and fundraising by villagers, committee members and trustees.

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