The Village Halls

Finmere has had two village halls. 

The Old Village Hall

In 1933, the villagers built a hall on Mere Road, on the now vacant and overgrown plot between Town Close and White Houses. Mr Alfred Lepper donated the land on a twenty-one year lease at a peppercorn rent of one shilling a year. Under the headline ‘Finmere’s Red Letter Day,’ the local newspaper applauded the opening of Finmere’s first village hall.

Seven thousand bricks were laid by voluntary labour and a great deal of carpentering and other manual work was performed by the residents of Finmere in the erection, by subscription, for their village, of an excellently situated village hall, which was declared open, on Friday afternoon, by Miss Ashwell. (Buckingham Advertiser, 29 April 1933)

The new hall, fifty by twenty feet (15 by 6m), was built with a wood frame and asbestos panels on a brick plinth. The cost was more than £153 and funding was raised by social events and subscriptions. This included a competition to guess the name of a ‘beautiful doll’ dressed in yellow, which raised £9, and two performances of an operetta, ‘The Wishing Cap,’ by the school children.

The last event held in the Old Village Hall was the wedding of Joan Gibson (nee Davis). The Hall was cleaned up for the wedding and knocked down the following Monday.

Read more in the Millennium History

The New Village Hall

By the 1970s, the hall on Mere Road was considered too small and was becoming dilapidated. There was also concern about the asbestos used in its construction. Fundraising began for a new hall. In 1983, the site for the new building was marked out at the north edge of the playing fields and the footings dug. A contractor erected the stanchions and roof. Over the next year, the brickwork was laid by a professional bricklayer working at weekends with helpers from the village. The hall was completed in 1985 and used for the first time for refreshments for sponsored walkers and for the August Horticultural Show. On 12 April 1986, Councillor Prestidge, Chairman of Cherwell District Council, officially opened the new hall.
In 2013 extensive refurbishment of the new hall was commenced. The refurbishment was mainly funded through a series of grants from OPES industries, based upon a percentage of landfill taxes paid by OPES. The refurbishment consisted of replacement windows 7 doors, kitchen, toilet facilities, flooring and staging.

Read more in the Millennium History

Old Village Hall in the 1960s Old Village Hall in the 1960s 1971 Sponsored Walk for Old Village Hall Funds Current village hall interior