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Jubilee of Quorn Village Hall and proposed share issue 1939

Loughborough Echo - 16th June 1939

Mr W E B J Farnham's work in foundation

Chequered History

According to the memorial stones on the west end of the Quorn Village Hall, the present year witnesses the jubilee of its erection, and it may be that a few facts concerning the genesis of that stately edifice may not be unwelcome to a public that has made use of it in various ways during the fifty years of its existence.

On the 17th December, 1888, a meeting, convened by Mr W E B J Farnham, of Quorn House, was held, to consider the desirability of building a village hall, and to consider, once again, whether or not to go forward with such a scheme. Apparently a previous meeting had been held, but of this the minute book of the Quorn Village Hall Company has no record.

The proposed meeting was duly held, and Mr Farnham himself presided, the following being present: the Rev R C Faithfull (vicar of Quorn), Messrs J D Cradock (known to posterity as "J.D.", of the Quorn Hunt), P Wright (of Messrs M Wright and Sons), J Bolesworth, T North, W Richardson, Oliver Brown, G Cooke and George White.

After discussion, it was decided to form a limited company, with a capital of 1,000 in 2,000 shares of 10/- each. Mr White was instructed to prepare a circular letter outlining the scheme, to be sent to all persons likely to become shareholders.

The chairman offered a site, adjoining Charnwood House, and to take the purchase price in shares, and Mr George North was asked to prepare plans.

At the next meeting Mr White stated that he had sent out 120 circulars, together with a copy of Mr North's plan, and, as a result, 1,332 shares would be taken up at once. The plans, providing for a hall with a seating capacity of 400 were accepted, and Mr North was asked to prepare specifications, and to secure tenders for the building of the hall.

Mr Farnham's offer of land was accepted, and a conveyance prepared at his expense. The Mountsorrel Granite Company offered sufficient granite at half the usual price, exclusive of carting, and Mr White was appointed secretary to the company.

At a meeting held in May, 1889, the tender of Messrs B Fewkes, Son and Saunders for 742 15s was accepted, Mr Fewkes expressing his hope that the building would be complete by the end of September 1889.

Mr White produced the memorandum of the association of the proposed company, which was approved and signed by Messrs W E B J Farnham, P Wright, T North, J Hawkes Woodward, A Sault, the Rev R C Faithfull, and Mr Tom Firr. On June 21st 1889, it was agreed that there be nine directors of the company, three to form a quorum, and the following were then elected: Mr W E B J Farnham (chairman), Messrs J D Cradock, J Hawkes Woodward, T North, P Wright, Tom Firr, A Sault, Capt W P Warner and the Rev R C Faithfull.

Memorial Stones Laid
It was decided that memorial stones be laid by persons holding not less than 20 shares, and the following names were agreed on: Miss Lilian Farnham, 50 shares; Miss Marjory Wright, Master Hubert Hole and Master Hubert Woodward, 20 shares each.

These stones were laid on 29th July, 1889, when there was a luncheon, the Loughborough Rifle Volunteer Band and the Barrow Brass Band being engaged. Mr Farnham presented silver trowels to the layers of stones, and the entire arrangements were carried out by a subcommittee consisting of the Rev R C Faithfull, Mr Wright and Mr Sault.

The full capital was soon taken up, and on 26th October, 1889, Mr Farnham declared the Hall open, a public tea being held, and a concert given by the Quorn Choral Society.

In the following December a bazaar was held to defray the expense of interior furnishing, the event realising the sum of 140 8s 7d.

The addition of tennis courts, dressing rooms, etc., made it necessary to increase the capital of the company to 1,500, and this was done. Messrs Sault and Cuffling presented a clock for the interior of the Hall, and Mr White was given 25 for his services in the year 1889. A dividend of 5% on the original share capital was declared, and a skittle alley was opened with a supper.

The third annual report showed a balance in hand of 38 11s 2d., and in 1893 part of the premises was let to the Rawlins Trust as a school-room, at a rental of 40 per annum.

In 1908 it was agreed to let the hall be used for roller skating purposes, providing metal rollers were not used.

Hall given to village
Prosperity does not seem to have continued, for the minutes about this time show that it was decided to change the company's bankers if the appeals for a reduction of the overdraft did not cease, and on 12th April, 1911, it was agreed to mark the Coronation of H.M. King George V by presenting the Hall to the Quorn Urban District Council, all the large shareholders agreeing to surrender their shares, except a few who compounded for 5/- per share.

On 1st July, 1912, Mr White handed his final account to the company, and was given the sum of 25, all the books, accounts and documents being then handed to the Quorn Urban District Council, who administered the Hall until they ceased to exist, since when the Parish Council have carried on the management.
Since the disbanding of the company various improvements have been made to the Hall, including a better stage curtain, a maple wood floor, and the instalment of electric light. In 1936, after some acute controversy, the yew tree, which blocked the way to the side entrance, and which had originally stood in the garden on which the Hall was built, was hewn down.

Since the building of the Men's Institute, the Church Room and the Farnham Memorial Hall, the Village Hall has gradually ceased to fill its original place in the village; but it is still useful for large gatherings such as elections, infant welfare, stage plays, large public meetings, air raid precautions, etc in all of which it is managed for the village by the Parish Council who have not yet had to make it a charge on the rates.

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The PDF below relates to a proposed share issue for building Quorn Village Hall. An interesting document published in 1889 requesting shares to be bought in a company set up to fund the building of the village hall. The floor plan inside the document makes no reference to the construction of the modern day kitchen or toilets.

 download PDF This artefact is a PDF document
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 Submitted on: 2009-07-13
 Updated on: 2009-07-24
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 209

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