Ilsington Village Hall was built in 1962 to provide a venue for meetings and social events for the use of the local community. The hall is owned by the Parish Council, and managed by a committee of volunteers that include four trustees, currently Rob Parkinson, Penny Young, Liz Butler and Erica Williams. Phil Gibson, a long-standing resident of Ilsington, remembers the opening ceremony, and has shared his memories below.
In 2012 we added a meeting room and community shop, and have more recently redeveloped the children’s play area. Most recently, we installed a defibrillator outside the main entrance for emergency use.
History of Ilsington village hall
contributed by Philip Gibson
The origins of the Hall started with a meeting to discuss how a debt of £100 incurred by the War Memorial committee could be cleared. It was suggested that Sheep Dog Trials would be a good idea to raise money and in 1950 the first trials were held which were a great success .Not only was the £100 debt repaid but £50 went to start up a Village Hall building fund, £50 to the Sports Society which organised the Sheepdog Trials and a small sum was given to the Parochial Church Council. In 1956 the Building Committee were offered the land on which the hall now stands. The Committee had borrowed £800 and jumped at the chance of buying the land. The overall cost of building the hall was £7,213 with a grant of £3606 from the Ministry and loans from personal guarantors the amount the Committee had to find was £2625.
This was found by donations from the Sports Association, Lt.Col. Pitman, Mrs.H.Yelf, the Haytor Drama Group and the Northcott Trust, plus interest on investments. Accepting the keys and Hall Deeds, Mr.Hawkins said that Mr.Smith, the Parish Clerk, had made a casket which contained counterfoils received in payment for bricks, which the Committee had sold at 1s.6d (old money) each and raised £15 for the funds. These counterfoils with any press cuttings about the hall would be put into the casket and buried in the foundations.
The Hall was actually opened by Mrs.L.C.Pitman who was introduced by her husband, Lt.Col.Pitman. Lt.Col.Pitman who was blind, said he had ‘waited a long time for Ilsington to have a Hall,’ which he said would ‘prove a great way in improving village community life.’
The hall took nine or ten months to build by the contractors J.H. & W.R. Bovey and Sons of Newton Abbot. The architect was Mr.S.B. Higgot. The Hall measures 52 ft. 6in long x 26ft wide and can hold 200 people. It is built of concrete blocks and reformite with sprung maple flooring.