The Old Hall
The Parish of Quainton lost 23 of its young men in the 1914-18 war. In remembrance, the villagers raised £800 and chose, as their memorial, a new Assembly Hall in Station Road. The building cost £670 and the land a further £60. There were various other charges including the architect's fee, for a rather simple building, of £25, although the solicitor involved in conveyancing donated his fee to the fund. The seating was provided by the villagers purchasing and donating chairs at five shillings each. The Hall was formally opened in 1924.
In the 1939-45 war, a further 3 men were lost, including Sir John Pigott-Brown from Doddershall House. In memory of these, Sir John's mother, Lady Pigott-Brown paid for a porch extension to be erected which was opened by his son, the young Sir William Pigott-Brown in 1954. A further donation by the late Mrs Philbey allowed a car park to be constructed in 1963.
In 1975 plans were drawn up for enlarging and modernising the hall. Concerns were expressed over the wisdom of such improvements given the underlying poor condition of the existing timber building. Further the costs outweighed available funds. A smaller plan was proceeded with in 1976 whereby a new kitchen was built with the existing being converted to a bar. In 1982 it was reported to the Parish Council that the hall was unlikely to survive much longer and that planners would require a new one to go on a different site due to the lack of parking. The hall was refurbished and redecorated in 1991 at a cost of £6,000. Meantime in the early 1990's the village continued to explore the possibility of a new hall. In January 1995 all plans were once again abandoned in view of the significant land and build costs involved.
In 2000 in spite of regular maintenance the condition of the hall had deteriorated to such an extent that further refurbishment was not economically viable. Rebuild was the only option. Public subscription once again played an important part in raising enough money for the project. The project was also supported by grants from numerous charities and a programme of fund raising events. Building work started in January 2005 and by October a new hall on the site of the original hall was ready for business. It remains a memorial to those who died in military service. The commemoration plaques were reinstated in the new building, whose name remains, ‘Quainton Memorial Hall’
Bucks Herald Saturday 21 June 1924
OPENING OF A PARISH WAR MEMORIAL.
With fitting solemnity, the Memorial Hall erected to the memory of the men of Quainton who fell in the war was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of the County (Lord Cottesloe) on Thursday afternoon week (12 June). The building is situated in Station-road on a site purchased from the trustees of Winwood's Charity. It is of very attractive design and ideal as the social centre of the village. Built of timber and weather boarding, the accommodation comprises a main hall holding about 200 people, ladies and gentlemen’s cloakroom, a committee room, and a kitchen. At the rear of the building in a separate block are lavatories and coal store. The interior of the building is very effective. Ample ventilation has been provided and the hall will be heated by means of a slow combustion stove. In the upper part of the main gable is a panel with the raised gilt lettering "Memorial Hall. 1924." In the interior, over the entrance doors is a carved oak tablet containing the names of the fallen. The floor has been constructed to give sufficient spring for comfortable dancing. The building was designed by Mr. C. H. Wright A.R.I.B.A. of Aylesbury, and the work of erection was carried out by Messrs. Cannon and Grace, of Quainton, with the exception of the roofing which was done by a London firm. The opening ceremony was the culmination of four years work by the War Memorial Committee. They were fortunate in having the Rector (Rev. P. F. L. Cautley) as hon. secretary. He encouraged the parishioners to contribute by subscribing £100 and over £300 has been raised in his grounds by fetes, etc. He had an enthusiastic committee who were no less anxious for the success of the enterprise and they formulated a scheme which from the excellent response to the appeal for funds evidently gained the approval of the whole village. This committee was composed of Messrs. J. Mole (chairman), H. Curtis (vice-chairman). Dr L. H. West, Rev. H. J. Lester, Mrs Mole, Miss Maydon and Messrs. E. Brown, A. Aris, J.Curtis, A. Markham, H. Bradbury, F. Bradbury, W. T. Parry, and C. H. Dean.
Various organisations in Quainton have assisted very materially in raising the money and the. ex-service men too have also supported the scheme whole-heartedly.
Almost the whole of the village attended the opening ceremony and some were unable to gain entrance to the building. Mr. J. Mole (chairman of the Parish Council) presided and was supported on the platform by Lord and Lady Cottesloe, Dr. L. B. West, Revs. P. F. L. Cautley and H. J. Lester, Messrs C. H. Wright (architect) A. Markham (secretary of the British Legion), H. Curtis, J. Curtis, and F. Bradbury. Dr. West briefly introduced Lord Cottesloe after which the Chairman thanked his Lordship for acceding to their request to open the Hall. He also expressed their pleasure that Lady Cottesloe was present. Mr. Mole also extended thanks to Mr C. H. Wright and Messrs. Cannon and Grace. Mentioning the work of the Rector, he said they would not have been the recipients of that hall that day if it had not been for his work, his sacrifice, his financial help and his endeavour. (Applause) Finally on behalf of the War Memorial Committee he thanked all the parishioners who had subscribed to the fund.
The Secretary next proceeded to give a statement concerning the work of the committee. There was one very satisfactory feature about the building of the hall. He had been looking through the accounts and as far as he could make out their assets were £854.11.5 and their liabilities £854.9.9 and the money raised in future would go towards equipping the memorial hall and making it more useful.
Lord Cottesloe in his address said the people of Quainton had indeed a place to be proud of. They had ancient buildings, they had a fine church, they had monuments, and memorials to distinguished people who had inhabited Quainton, a history of distinguished names, some of which were kept alive by the great charitable endowments which they were fortunate enough to possess. They had still living there men of distinction and he felt sure the future of Quainton would be no less distinguished than the past had been. Buckinghamshire was a county of great military tradition and every place in Buckinghamshire, and Quainton among them, sent forth its men in the cause of righteousness, of upright dealing, and of good faith among nations. After speaking of the heroism and unselfish devotion shown by the men who fought in the war he said those who had gone had left behind the(?) work to carry, on a work without which they would have felt that their endeavours had not met with a full reward, the work of securing national safety which was so closely menaced by German aggression and of keeping peace at hone among ourselves. With regard to national safety he would only say that while he, like Dr West, was an earnest advocate of the League of Nations, the League of Nations Union and the movement to induce nations to co-operate for peace and not to be divided, which brought danger of war, that movement could only be one of slow growth, and though the League of Nations had done, and was doing, extraordinarily useful! and remarkable work, we were living today with more armed men in the countries of Europe than there were before the war. It took a long time for a new order of things, new nations, new boundaries, new arrangements to become settled. There was one thing they must all not allow themselves to forget. Had it not been for German scheming, and German aggressiveness we should not now be suffering our present peace time difficulties any more than we should have suffered those years of horror during the war. The ambition of a great empire to conquer and gain more and more of material prosperity, and her jealousy of her successful neighbours, her self-seeking, her unscrupulousness, led Germany into war, and Germany led us into war. England had no alternative but to undergo that terrible trial, and if people thought that by turning their backs on the idea of war they would never fight, he ventured to say they were very much mistaken. They did not want to fight before the late war, any more than they wanted to fight at the present time and the only security for their future peace of the world was that nations should desire peace and not endeavour to attack their neighbours. They might he sure that some day the nations of the world would have developed that standard of national morality which would enable them to live at peace with one another, but that day had hardly come yet. In conclusion his Lordship congratulated, them on the completion of the building which, be said, would be of lasting utility and advantage to the people of Quainton.
The Hon. Secretary handed the title deeds and keys of the building to the Chairman of the Parish Council. Miss Winnie Curtis, the only girl in Quainton whose father was killed in the war, presented a bouquet to Lady Cottesloe, and Master John Bradbury, the only boy in the village whose father made the great sacrifice, was presented to his Lordship, wearing his father's decorations. After the singing of the hymn 'O God our help in ages past' his Lordship unveiled the tablet containing the names of the fallen and Rev. H. J. Lester briefly addressed the gathering and read the names. These were as follows:- Frank Bailey, Ernest Bradbury, John Brion, Frederick Cannnon, Frank Casemore, William Casemore, Warwick Curtis, William Edmonds, Benjamin Franklin, William Grace, Philip Hill, Joseph Keinch, Alfred Read, Ernest Read, Frank. Read, William Rhodes. Mark Royce, Emest Saunders, Geo.Saunders, D.C.M., William Stockley, Fred Ward, Daniel Warner, Henry Wheeler, M.M.. Prayers by the Rector and the singing of the National Anthem brought the service to a close.
A small sale was afterwards conducted in the hall and in the evening the members of the Waddesdon Choral Society gave a concert, at the close of which a whist drive and dance was held in the New Schools in aid of the Memorial Hall fund.
Under Mrs Dickins a number of ladies provided refreshments at the New Schools, afternoon and evening.
During the day a total of £50.7.1 was raised for the Memorial Hall Fund, £22.4.0 being realised from teas and the whist drive and dance; £11 from the concert; £12.7.7 from stalls; and £4.15.6 from bowling for a pig.
PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES EXTRACTS. (prepared by G Rodwell)
10.3.1919 P.Meeting. 46 persons present. Peace commemoration. Rev Prob Cautley, Sec of Quainton General War Committee. War Committee to investigate building of Hall.
25.8.1919 War Memorial. From Memorial Sub-Committee apptd by Q.Gen. War Comm. Recommended that the War Memorial take the form of a Public Hall which would supply a great need [etc].
18.11.1919 With reference to the Parish War Memorial in the form of a Reading Room, a proposal that in the new scheme the Winwood Trustees be allowed to hand over the Old Infant School and site to the Parish as a Recreation Room. That the new scheme for the Saye & Sele allow the Trustees to use a capital sum for enlarging and adapting the Old Infant School for the purpose of a Reading Room.
24.7.1923 Parish War Memorial Hall. Plans and specifications, to be in the Almshouse Farm Yard situate in Station Road belonging to the Winwood Charity. The Old Infant School and Cottage was costly and did not meet with the approval of the ex-service men. About £800 has been collected over three years and little more can be expected. The building will be of wood as insufficient funds are available for brick.
17.6.1923 Memorial Hall was presented to the Council by the War Memorial Committee on June 12th. Management Committee set up with Parish Council Chairman as ex-officio Chairman.[Memorial Hall takes place of Reading Room, Chairs paid for by villagers at 5/- each. Oral.]
2.4.1963 Car Park. Copy of Sale of Land next to Memorial Hall to be lodged with BCC for the two thirds Grant which was promised. Memorial Hall. The Hall to be put under a Day to Day Management Committee consisting of the Parish Council and three members of different Organisations in the village which would act as a Sub-Committee to the Parish Council.
2.7.1963 Car Park. Mr Bone of Lower St requested permission to have an access to a garage (to be erected in his garden) through the Car Park. Agreed. Charge £5 per year.
1.10.1963 Memorial Hall granted Charitable Status by the Ministry of Education, and Inland Revenue Authorities have been informed.
4.11.1963 Car Park. Tender of £451.19.0. accepted to lay out.
30.1.1975 Memorial Hall. Chairman introduced a plan prepared by the District Architect for the improvement of the Hall. It was proposed to enlarge the present building and included new bar facilities and enlarged kitchen, two committee rooms and a small flat for a resident caretaker. Estimated cost £28,000.
13.3.75 Memorial Hall improvements plan was introduced by Mr Faircloth. The first plan had been produced by the RDC. This plan had been produced by Mr Tooms. The Day to Day committee had accepted it in principal. The work could be carried out in stages. The total cost would be about £28000. On a vote for proceeding with the scheme, 27 voted for, and 4 against.
11.9.1975 Mem. Hall. Mr Tooms, the Councils consultant Architect,presented a revised plan. It was agreed that he had done well to incorporate so many of the suggestions, although this would increase the cost to £26-30,000.
9.10.75 Mem. Hall. Discussion on the advisability of extending the present Hall. The original idea was just to improve the kitchen. Grants are hard to obtain. P.M. to be held on 4 November.
4.11.1975 P.Meeting. 80 persons present. Memorial Hall. Plans for enlarging and modernising by Mr P.Tooms, partner in T.R.Drought and Partners. The Parish Council, with the exception of Mr Winfield, favoured the present scheme which involves lengthening the main Hall, building a new kitchen, bar, cloakroom, committee room and toilets. If a Loan was raised - - -the capital and interest would be repaid by the District Council so that the Parish would repay only a very small part.
Mr Winfield was opposed to the scheme because he thought that the Hall was not structurally sound. The cost of the work would be £26000 to £30000.
Mr Faircloth said a new Hall could be built for £40000 but doubted whether the money would be available. Further a new Hall would require a new site, as the planners would require a larger car park if the Hall was rebuilt.
Much discussion took place with regard to the availability of the money, the age and state of repair of the Hall and the possibility of a new building now or in the future. In the end a proposal that the scheme should be pursued was heavily defeated.
6.11.1975 Mem. Hall. The P.M. had decided against improvement of the Hall and therefore the balance of the Architects fee would not be required. Proposed that application for Grant of £1780 be made.
4.12.1975 Mem. Hall. Agreed to shelve plans for improvement. Day to Day to appoint a fund raising Committee for improvements to the existing Hall. QYC offered to join with other organisations to provide redecorations.
11.3.1975 A.P.Meeting. 23 persons present. Memorial Hall. Many questions were raised as regards the future of the Hall. It was generally agreed that a meeting should be called to decide what to do and how to raise the money. Provision of a new kitchen seemed to have priority.
A lengthy discussion took place about membership of the Day to Day Management Committee. After a vote, the representatives were W.I. British Legion, Youth Club and Drama Group.
4.11.1976 M.Hall Extension. Mr Rodwell circulated plans of the proposed extension. He estimated that sufficient funds were now available to build the walls and roof. Colour scheme for decoration of Hall was approved. [Blue and grey]
8.5.1978 Memorial Hall. Mr Faircloth thanked Mr Rodwell and his committee for what they have done with the small amount of money available.
30.4.1979 The Hall Restoration fund raising committee had completed the building of a new kitchen and the conversion of the old kitchen into a bar.
26.4.1982 Memorial Hall. Mr Faircloth said it was unlikely the Hall would survive for many more years, but a new one would have to be on a different site because there was insufficient car park space.
19.10.1989 Village Hall. AVDC advise that PC do not have any powers to compulsorily purchase land for a village hall, the DC could do so on their behalf.
23.8.1990 Memorial Hall. Brown & Merry suggest that the site could accomodate 5 two bedroom terrace units, value £100,000. Building costs estimated at £500 per sq metre. Hall is 21m X 12m, add extension becomes 28m X 15m, or 420 sq m. equiv to £210,000. PC not to proceed with this matter. [AVDC confirm value, November.]
28.4.1994 Memorial Hall Car Park. Cost of resurfacing £4000, an offer of a grant of £1000 had been given. It was agreed to delay until decisions [on the future of the Hall] had been taken.
8.12.1994 New Memorial Hall. BCC advise that due to difficult access it was unlikely that permission for a Hall would be granted, further any land sold would have to be at full commercial value. [Gomms Farm Site]
5.1.1995 New Village Hall. PC to abandon plans for rebuilding. Reasons were cost of purchasing a larger site, proposed site unlikely to get planning consent, projected income unlikely to cover loan repayments. Agreed to consider improvements to existing Hall.
Further info Management Comm in large file