Cosgrove Village Hall


The people of Cosgrove began to identify the need for a community hall when increasing leisure time led to groups and clubs meeting informally in the Old School building on the Green.

In 1898 there was a Parochial lending library in the Old School Building. Although Cosgrove Church was powerful and active in those days it was not common for churches to be the community buildings they are today.

Sunday schools and various clubs came and went in this building. Once the new school opened in 1912 the old building was used for many years as a meeting room for youth groups. We know that there was a “Girls’ Friendly Society” which may have met there.

During both World Wars clubs and societies became more commonplace and during the Second World War Cosgrove identified the need for a permanent community meeting place for the village.

In 1945 a memorable fund raising event was held, to build a “Victory Hall” in Cosgrove.


Cosgrove Victory Hall

The Victory Hall was built on Bridge Road in Cosgrove, the work starting shortly after the Second World War in 1946. It was intended as a general meeting place and village amenity for local people, needed because the previous community building, the Old School, was no longer suitable.

The land used was donated by Captain P Y Atkinson of the Priory, who was known for his philanthropic attitude towards the village and its people. The project was seen as a phoenix project reconstructing peaceful village life after the Second World War. It was built largely through voluntary labour by the people of Cosgrove.


Wolverton Express 3rd November 1944

A Public Hall for Cosgrove Village?  Generous Offers to Appeal

Cosgrove village is to have a Public Hall.  This was stated at a public meeting held in the Mission Hall on Friday last.  An appeal to the people of Cosgrove in the form of a printed leaflet stated: “or many years the lack of a public hall in Cosgrove has been a very great drawback to the social life of the village.  A committee has been formed with the object of obtaining a building when meetings, socials, dances, etc. can be held.  But without the co-operation of the community as a whole, progress will be extremely slow; so, with the hope of recruiting the interest of all concerned, this appeal is being circulated.”

We understand that captain PY Atkinson has generously offered the ground on which to build, and also offered £100, whilst two more residents, Miss Wells and Miss Balfour, have jointly promised a further £100.

All well connected with the village agree that such a hall is a necessity for the social life of the community, but a number of persons feel that the working committee should have been formed at a public meeting.


Wolverton Express 12th January 1945

Victory Club, Cosgrove.  Donations Approaching £400

A number of generous donations have been received to the post-war project of building a Victory Club at Cosgrove.  Three cheques of £100 each have been donated by Captain and Mrs. P Y Atkinson, Miss Balfour and Miss Wells, Mr. and Mrs. G H Winterbottom.  Other donors and amounts are: Mrs. Heap £20, Mr. and Mrs. Davies £10, and Mrs. Elder £5.  The organizing committee, under the chairmanship of Norman Goodridge, have organized dances and competitions which have raised nearly £30.  The funds therefore, stands at over £350.  On Whit Monday a garden fete is to be held at Cosgrove Hall, organized by Mrs. Winterbottom, the proceeds being towards the fund.


Wolverton Express 9th February 1945

Victory Club Cosgrove

The splendid sum of £36 was raised for the Victory Club Fund, Cosgrove by a jumble sale and auction held in the Mission Hall on Friday last.  The organized were Mrs. J. Henderson, Mrs. J Lovesey, Mrs. W. Clarke and Mrs. C. Harris, who are to be congratulated on a successful effort, especially as the collection of goods was made under the worst possible weather conditions.  The “Two Jacks” did excellent in auctioneering the goods and articles, and were well supported by a generous buyers.  Other helpers were Mr. N Goodridge, Mr C. Harris, Mrs. G Kightley, Mrs. M. Cummings, and Mrs. S. Johnson.  Special thanks to all who so generously supported the efforts and made possible the raising of so excellent a sum.


Wolverton Express 25th May 1945

Queen of Albania Visits Cosgrove Hall

“Victory Hall” Garden Party

Several thousand people visited the spacious grounds of Cosgrove Hall, the home of Mr and Mrs G H Winterbottom on Whit-Monday, when the attractive young Queen of Albania, Queen Geraldine, accompanied by Princess Teri and Princess Danush, opened a garden fête in aid of Cosgrove’s Victory Hall Fund. Had it not been for half-an-hour’s heavy rain just at the appointed opening time, the attendance would have been much greater. As it was the number present must have been a record for a similar function held in this immediate locality.

A fete in May 1945 to raise money for the rebuilding of the old village hall in Cosgrove was opened by Queen Geraldine of Albania, the beautiful young Hungarian who married King Zog. The six little children are dressed as bride and groom, and attendants. Robin Winterbottom presented a bouquet of dark red carnations bound with taffeta bows of black and red the Albanian colours.

Left to right: Lady-in-waiting, Mrs Penelope Winterbottom, Queen Geraldine, a Princess.
,
Children: Sylvia Wickham, Brenda Goodridge, Pat Bushell, Pauline Pollard, Robin Winterbottom, Frances, daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles Sweeney.

Much hard work was put into the arrangements, in which Mrs Winterbottom played a large share, and it is gratifying that the large sum of at least £200 will go towards the fund for the erection of a village hall.

Queen Geraldine, who was a Hungarian Countess in her own right before her marriage to King Zog, made a charming picture in a nigger brown costume and hat to match.

Mr and Mrs Winterbottom’s house party included, together with the Queen and Princesses, the princess Royal of Albania (lady-in-waiting), His Excellency Martini, Court Minister, Professor Nushi, Sir Orme Rowan Hamilton, former Governor of Bermuda, and a former Lord Chief Justice, Capt. R D Boulton, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire, and Mrs Boulton, Capt. G Hovdenak, Royal Norwegian Navy, Mrs Margaret Sweeney, famous society beauty, and Capt, Edgerton, RN.

Picturesque Opening Ceremony

It was a picturesque setting for the opening ceremony which took place at the far end of the large lawn. A happy party of six children representing a wedding-party, with bride (Miss Frances Sweeney) and bridegroom (Master Robin Winterbottom, the adopted son of Mr and Mrs G H Winterbottom), and retinue, Pauline Pollard, Brenda Goodridge, Sylvia Wickham, and Pat Bushell, all four being Cosgrove children. They were prettily attired in white frocks. Following the opening ceremony Frances Sweeney handed to Her Majesty a bouquet of choice crimson carnations whilst Robin Winterbottom presented the Queen with a silver time-piece suitably inscribed, from Mr and Mrs Winterbottom. The young “maids” each handed Queen Geraldine a floral bouquet which Capt. Boulton auctioned and made good prices.

Cosgrove Church Over 1100 Years Old

Sir Orme Rowan Hamilton made an able chairman and before calling upon Her Majesty spoke of the kindness of the Queen in coming to Cosgrove, and for Mr and Mrs Winterbottom’s ever-readiness to assist in good causes for the community. The village of Cosgrove was very old, he said, the church having been built 1100 years ago. Referring to Queen Geraldine, he said he hoped the time would soon come when she would be welcomed to her own country, from which she had been driven by brutality and inhumanity.

Cosgrove – “One of England’s Loveliest Villages”

“This is one of England’s loveliest villages, and I have seen many lovely places in this island of yours”, said Queen Geraldine.

She went on to refer to the purpose of the fête – to raise funds for a village hall – and said every village needed a happy communal life and a place in which people could enjoy all kinds of simple and healthy pleasures.

“When you have your hall” she said, “I hope you will remember all that you sacrificed in this war to get it, and I hope you will enjoy there pleasures with your loved ones, for these have been long years of separation.”

Fancy Dress Awards

The Queen and Princesses judged those in fancy costume and made the following awards: Ladies – 1 Eileen Tapp, Old Stratford (Coal Black Mammy); men – 1 Mrs N C Boreham, Stony Stratford (Scarecrow); girls – 1 Joyce Pack, Cosgrove (Britannia); boys – 1 Tony Lavington, Cosgrove (Louis XIV).

Stallholders

The stalls and sideshows were supervised as follows: L Hill, R Williams, Miss Gladys Loughrey, Miss Cynthia Tompkins, Mr G Beasley, Mrs W Giles, Mrs D Davies, A Loughrey, Mrs J Kightley, Miss M Brown, F Andrews, Mrs Bailey (Wolverton); pony rides, John Laughrey and Robin Winterbottom; marionettes, Ernest Elliott. Mrs Winterbottom had charge of the general stall.

The Committee were as follows: Mr N Goodridge (Chairman), Mr J Hebson (Secretary), Mr L Giles (Treasurer). Messrs A Loughrey, G Beasley, H Cummings, P Lyman, P Whiting, S Bushell, E Hillyer, F Tustain and C Harris.

The Rhythm Aces played selections during the afternoon under the conductorship of Mr Douglas Dytham.

Mr F Andrews, of Stony Stratford, handed in the large sum of over £28, raised from his three games.


Wolverton Express 21st December 1945

Cosgrove Victory Club and Hall Fund reaches £1000: Bazaar and Auction

“We shall make our “thousand runs” tonight,” said Mr. G H Winterbottom at Cosgrove Hall on Friday last, when a bazaar and auction was held there for the funds to erect a Victory Club and Hall in the village.

Mrs. Winterbottom is well known over a wide area of North Bucks and South Northants for her willingness at all times to open functions in connection with charitable, religious bodies, and most especially the Northampton General Hospital; but when she opened this bazaar it was a unique ceremony, being the first occasion she had done so in her own home.

Mr. and Mrs. Winterbottom’s kind gesture is to be commended, as they threw open the spacious drawing room and billiards room to all comers, and by 7.30 pm, the opening ceremony time, the rooms were packed, visitors coming from Stony Stratford, Wolverton, Hanslope, and many of the surrounding villages.

Already Raised £898 – First Anniversary of Fund

The opening ceremony was performed in the drawing room.  Mr. Jack Hebson, hon. Secretary of the Victory Club and Hall committee, told the audience that this Christmas was the first anniversary of the commencement to raise funds for a proposed village hall in Cosgrove.  On behalf of the committee he wished to thank the following generous donors:

Lieutenant Colonel P Y Atkinson, JP, for his gift of £100 and also the land on which to build the hall;

Mr. and Mrs. G H Winterbottom, £50 each;

Miss Wells £50

Miss Balfour £50;

Mrs. Heap £20;

Squadron Leader and Mrs. Davies £10;

Mr. and Mrs. C R Whiting, 20 guineas.

Their thanks were also due to the people of Cosgrove who had worked hard for all their efforts and given generously.

He wished to give special thanks to Mrs. Winterbottom for her outstanding effort in her grounds on Whit Monday, when Her Majesty the Queen of Albania opened the garden fete, from which the magnificent sum of £308 resulted.  They wished to thank Mrs. Winterbottom for her hard work, kindness, and generosity as well as personal discomfort in making the bazaar possible.  There total so far raised amounted to the large sum of £898.  The Secretary concluded with thanks to that evening’s stall holders, and Colonel L. Parratt, who was to conduct an auction of useful gifts.

Town Hall Idea Might Spread

Mr. F S Woollard, in welcoming the gathering, said that’s the idea to provide a village hall might spread, as neither Wolverton nor Stony Stratford had a town hall.  It looked as if Cosgrove was going to realise its ambition before its neighbouring towns; the idea might encourage those in the urban area.

Village Life Very Important

Mrs. Winterbottom, in declaring the bazaar open, said it was a great pleasure to have the unique honour of opening the function in her own house, and more pleasure because it was to raise funds for their village hall, which was a sadly needed want - a building where the people of Cosgrove could dance, hold concerts and wedding receptions, without having to make the long journey toStony Stratford and Wolverton.  “Village life is very important, and anything to bring the residents together should be encouraged and helped, and that is why I ask for your generous help tonight.  Make it your thanksgiving for all our blessings and a great victory,” appealed Mrs. Winterbottom.

Continuing, she said Xmas was near; it was the first Christmas so many children had really known, and there were many gifts on the stores which would make the children happy.  Mr. Hebson, the committee’s hard working Secretary, had told them of the large amount already raised, and she (Mrs. Winterbottom) hoped everyone presents that evening would be present when the hall was opened, when she promised them the best show in this neighbourhood for years.  She wished to thank her very kind friends for all the lovely gifts sent along, and the committee who had worked hard in order to make the bazar a success.

A gift from the committee, a flowering plant in basket, was handed Mrs Winterbottom by Master Robin Winterbottom.

In addition to the income previously given, the following psalms had been raised: Jumble sale by Mrs. W. Clarke, Mrs. H Harris, Mrs. J Hebson and Mrs. J Lovesey £36; Christmas draw run by the committee £20; village dances by the committee £34; bicycle draw £30; whist drives organized by Mrs. J. Johnson £42 16s 3d; Guides efforts Miss Luker and youth movement efforts (Mrs. M E Jelley) £24 9s; concert by the committee £13 10s; Women’s Institute £4 16s.

Brisk business was transacted at the stalls, the good things on the homemade sweet stall being quickly sold out, also the ice cream served by Master Robin Winterbottom.  In the drawing room there was stalls containing made issues and gifts of all kinds, those superintending being: Mrs. H C Clarke Stony Stratford, Mrs. I. Reiner, Miss Pamela Haig, a member of that well-known family of that name, Mrs. G H Winterbottom, Mrs. F S Woollard, and Mrs. G. Davis, wife of Squadron Leader Davis.  In the billiards room or the articles were made by Cosgrove residents and friends, and comprised a wide variety of children’s gifts and useful presents.  In charge were Mrs. G. Beasley, Mrs. H. Cummings, Miss Luker, Mrs. A Loughrey, Mrs. T Kightley, Mrs. Brockway, Mrs. L. Giles, Mrs. R. Davis, Mrs. J Hebson, and Mrs. J Lovesey.

Refreshments were served from the conservatory by Mrs. A. Whittaker, Mrs. W Castle, and Mrs. W. Clarke.  General assistance was given by Messrs. L. Giles (hon treasurer), P Lyman, A Cummings, A Loughrey, P Whiting, R Williams, F. Tustain, and Mr. S Bushell (chairman).  Colonel L Parratt, of Beachampton, conducted a sale of gifts in humorous manner and good prizes were made for poultry, eggs, cakes, and other articles and over £30 was realized.  The whole effort brought in about £115.


A Committee was formed to manage the Hall which was opened in 1948.
The first Village Hall committee at Cosgrove, 1948. The ground for the hall was given by Capt. P.Y. Atkinson of the Priory.
Back row, left to right: Arthur Loughrey, George Hickford, Bob Gallop, Dick Lavington, Fred Tustain, Tom Kightley.
Front row: Harry Cummings, Reg Whiting, Frank Hillier, Jack Hebson, Joe Janes, Olive Johnson, Jack Johnson.

Wolverton Express 12th November 1948

Temporary Hall for Cosgrove – Erection in New Year

A temporary village hall is to be erected at Cosgrove in the New Year at an approximate cost of £2000 by Messrs Betts and Faulkner, builders and contractors, of Stony Stratford. This welcome news was given at the fourth annual general meeting of the Victory Club and Hall, held in the Mission Hall on Tuesday 126th October. Mr G H Winterbottom (president) and Mrs Winterbottom were present.

The financial position of the fund revealed it to be very strong, there being a balance in hand of £1295 12s 7d.

Mr J Hebson (hon secretary) voiced appreciation to Mrs A Loughrey and Mrs J Johnson for their efforts in raising £60 by means of whist drives during the past twelve months.

It was disclosed that Cosgrove and Naseby were the two fortunate villages to be granted a temporary hall out of the 78 applications in Northamptonshire.

Thanks were expressed to Mr G S Macwhirter (secretary of the County branch of the Rural Community Council) for his help and advice: also to Mrs Winterbottom, who has been responsible for raising more than half of the total income. Mrs Winterbottom informed the Secretary that she is organising a carnival ball at her home, Cosgrove Hall, to raise money with which to furnish the temporary hall. This generous gesture is appreciated by the Committee,

The site of the hall is in Bridge Row, opposite the Barge Inn, and the land has been given by Capt and Mrs P Y Atkinson of Cosgrove Priory. Sir John Brown, the architect, has drawn the plans. Capt Atkinson has been most helpful as regards legal matters and will represent the Parochial Church Council on the Hall Committee.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 21 January 1949

Dig First Sod on Hall Site

On Sunday afternoon the whole site at Cosgrove was the scene of enthusiastic activity, with male members of the community busily engaged on preliminary arrangements for the erection of the hall.  In the presence of many villagers and friends Mr. and Mrs. Winterbottom removed the first sod on the Hall site.  The company included the Hon Major Fermor-Hesketh and Mrs. Hesketh, Lord Hesketh of Easton Neston, Towcester, Mr. Kenneth Macwhirter, Captain Hyde Upward, Mr. F S Woollard JP and Mrs. Woollard, and Mr. and Mrs. E D Lawrence, of Stony Stratford.  Mr. and Mrs. Winterbottom left for their future home at Sunningdale, Berkshire on Monday last.

On the site of the future Cosgrove Church Hall, Mr and Mrs G. H. Winterbottom turn the first sod before their departure to live at Sunningdale.
Behind them are seen the new owners of Cosgrove Hall, Major the Hon John and Mrs Fermor Hesketh and Lord Hesketh.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 18 February 1949

TEMPORARY VILLAGE HALLS ON LOAN

…..the National Council of Social Service and the Ministry of Education had agreed to issue two standard huts to be used as temporary village halls for Cosgrove and Naseby. In the case of Cosgrove he said that the building had actually started.


Wolverton Express 5th August 1949

Saturday was “Red Letter Day” for Cosgrove - Opening of Victory Club and Hall

Saturday last was a red letter day for the residents of Cosgrove, as a five year dream came true when Captain P Y Atkinson of the Priory declared open a spacious Victory Club and Hall, the first brick and mortar building to be erected since the war under the auspices of the Northamptonshire Rural Community Council.  The initial cost is in the vicinity of £2000 which is mainly provided for by the Community Council, and the hall is loaned Cosgrove at a nominal rent of 5s per week.  It is described as a temporary building, but speakers thought it would be standing for many years.

The building is situate on a plot of ground generously given by Captain P Y and Mrs. Atkinson, in Bridge Row, and there is space for other amenities.  There are two pathway entrances constructed of concrete which was the work of the organising committee.  The overall dimensions of the hall are 68 feet by 24 feet, with the main hall 54 feet long by 24 feet.  The erection by Messrs. Betts and Faulkner of Stony Stratford was a speedy one, the work having been started in March last.  Amenities of the hall comprise a stage, electric light, double exit doors to each side of the hall, ladies and gentlemen’s cloakrooms, electric clock given by Mr. C Eglesfield, bath and three showers, central heating with overhead pipes, kitchen and committee room.  All the electrical work was carried out by the staff of H H Lampitt, Wolverton.

The idea of starting a fund for a village hall was conceived following the cessation of the home guard, and during the five years that efforts are being made the large sum of £1450 has been raised towards that total.  Mrs. G H Winterbottom formerly of Cosgrove Hall, and now of Sunningdale, and the late Mr. Winterbottom gave generously and were instrumental in raising a substantial amount.  It was unfortunate that they were not present to see the project brought to our most successful conclusion.

Villagers Respond Invitation

Cosgrove is indebted to the Community Council for the interest it has taken, and especially to its Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Macwhirter, for assistance by way of the information he has continually provided for the Cosgrove Committee.  All villagers were invited to the opening ceremony and they responded in a large number.

Great Day for the Life of the Village

Mr F. Hillyer, chairman of the Hall committee, presided at the opening ceremony, supported by Captain P Y and Mrs. Atkinson, Mr. Manningham Buller, MP for the Division, Hon. John Fermor-Hesketh, Cosgrove Hall, Mr. K Macwhirter, Mr. J Hebson Hall Secretary Mr. J. Jones Hall treasurer and Mr. W N Montgomery JP CC Deanshanger.  The Rev. J S Benson, Rector of Cosgrove, and his wife, were present.

Mr. MacWhirter said it was not only a great day for the life of Cosgrove, but in the life of the Rural Community Council, because it was the first village hall to be built of bricks and mortar in Northamptonshire since the war.  That was not saying so much for the Rural Community Council as it was for the people of Cosgrove and the Hall Committee. Theirs was a community that had raised just over £1400 towards the building of a permanent hall, and the scheme of providing a temporary hall enabled them to retain a lot of the money towards a permanent hall, and was giving them a hall in which to raise more money.  He was quite sure that we the existing costs a permanent all would cost not less than £6000.

Erected in Record Time Thanks to Builders

They were able to have that hall not only because the committee had worked hard but because as soon as the starting date was fixed they could go ahead because of the generosity of Captain Atkinson in offering them the site upon which the hall now stood.  P Mr. Mcwhirter, could not conclude without giving words of praise to the builders Messrs. Betts and Faulkner of Stony Stratford.

“You are lucky in having a firm of builders which has taken an interest in village life for the wellbeing of the village people.  There has been no delay.  There are other halls being built in other parts of the country, but I think this one has been built in record time, and all because of the interest that the members of the firm had taken in the project” said the speaker.

“This is Cosgrove’s Village Hall for so long as you need a hall of this kind and until you can build a permanent one as you can visualise” he concluded.

Everyone’s Happy Day

Captain PY Atkinson began “This is a very happy day for me and a happy day for everyone in Cosgrove.” He recounted how, following the lay down of arms by the Home Guard, he was asked to give his support to the projects of commencing a fund for a village hall.  He felt that the day was an historical one in the life of Cosgrove and that some record should be kept of it, because something had been accomplished that had been needed for a very long time.  It was a magnificent hall, with all the necessary facilities.  Captain Atkinson records that Mr. Goodridge was the chairman of the first committee; then they were told that Mr. Macwhirter and his council would come forward and help, which gave them renewed vigour, and organizing went on wonderfully.

Combined Operations

Later arrangements were handed over to what he would term “Combined Operations”, the ladies being brought in and many other people came on the job under the able management of Mr. Hillyer.  Many times he had seen chaps in their shirtsleeves working hard on the job and it was a credit to them, and he was sure the village was grateful to them.  Cosgrove could live and be merry now in their own hall, said Captain Atkinson in declaring the hall opened.  Mrs. Atkinson was handed a floral gift by Sheila Brown.

Wished Hall Like it in Every Village

Mr. Manningham Buller in congratulating all concerned on the achievement, said Cosgrove was a fortunate village and he only wished there was a Hall like it in every village in the Daventry and Towcester division, then the life of village people would be improved.

Major John Fermor-Hesketh the Hall president, he said he was present when the first sod was cut and it was marvellous that the Hall had been erected in such a short time.  It was a magnificent building.

Mr. Jack Henson, Hall Secretary, said he had waited five years for that day.  He wished to thank Mr. Macwhirter and his counsel for the great assistance given them, and to Mr. Betts for his interest.

Mr. Hillyer, in concluding the happy ceremony, called for the support of the village in enabling the committee to run the organisation successfully.  He thanked all present for their cooperation.

All the schoolchildren of the village that city provided by the committee and friends.  Mrs. J. Johnson was assisted by willing helpers in the tea arrangements.  In the evening there was a film show, and a concert by Mr. Leo Bostock, Mr J. Poole, Mr T. Clarke and the “Odd spots”, Ron Green and Jim Chaytor.  Dancing concluded a most successful event with music by the Night Riders band of Newport Pagnell.

Gifts included - 10 chairs and cream tea pot (Mrs. Bushell); mirror for gentlemen’s cloakroom (Mr. E J Wickins); electric time piece for main hall (Mr. C Eglesfield); armchair for chairman (Mrs. Brown in memory of her son killed in the war); electric iron (H H Lampitt, Wolverton); and flag and pole by Messrs. Betts and Faulkner, Stony Stratford.

The Hall Committee comprises Messrs. F. Hillyer (chairman), J Hebson (Secretary), J. Jones (treasurer), P Whiting, A Tompkins, A Cummings, S Bushell, H Smith, B Gallop, F. Tustain, G Hickford, D Lavington, C Harris, Mr. and Mrs. J. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. A Loughrey, and Mr. and Mrs. T Kightley.


5th August 1949

SATURDAY WAS “RED LETTER” DAY FOR COSGROVE

Opening of Victory Club and Hall

First “Brick and Mortar” Hall Erected in Northamptonshire

Saturday last was a “red letter” day for Cosgrove, as a five year dream came true when Captain P Y Atkinson of the Priory declared open a spacious Victory Club and Hall, the first brick-mortar building to be erected since the war under the auspices of the Northamptonshire  Rural Community Council. The initial cost is in the vicinity of £2000 which is mainly provided for by the Community Council and the hall is loaned to Cosgrove at the nominal rent of 5s per week. It is described as a temporary building, but speakers thought it would be standing for many years.

The building is situate on a plot of ground generously given by Captain PY and Mrs Atkinson, and there is space for other amenities. There are entrances constructed of concrete which was the work of the organising committee. The overall dimensions of the hall are: 68 feet by 24 feet with the main hall 54 feet long by 24 feet. The erection, by Messrs Betts and Faulkner, of Stony Stratford, was a speedy one, the work having been started in March last. Amenities of the hall comprise a stage, electric light, double exit doors to each side of the hall, ladies and gentlemen’s cloakrooms, electric clock (given by Mr C Eglesfield), bath and three showers, central heating with overhead pipes, kitchen and committee room. All the electrical work was carried out by the staff of H H Lampitt, Wolverton.

The idea of starting a fund for a Village Hall was conceived following the cessation of the Home Guard, and during the five years that efforts have been made, the large sum of £1,450 has been raised. Toward that total Mrs G H Winterbottom, formerly of Cosgrove Hall and now of Sunningdale, and the late Mr Winterbottom gave generously and were instrumental in raising a substantial amount. It was unfortunate that they were not present to see the project brought to a most successful conclusion.

Villagers Respond to Invitation

Cosgrove is indebted to the Community Council for the interest it has taken and especially to its secretary, Mr Kenneth McWhirter, for assistance by way of information he has continually provided for the Cosgrove Committee. All the villagers were invited to the opening ceremony and they responded in a large number.

Great Day for the Life of the Village

Wolverton Express 17th March 1950

Cosgrove Victory Hall Dinner –

“Foster Friendship and Goodwill” - Major Hesketh

Committee “Had Really Done Things” - Mr. Macwhirter

Cosgrove Victory Hall Committee celebrated the first year of the erection of its spacious building with a dinner and smoking concert, and a distinguished company supported the function.  Mr. G S Macwhirter, who did great things for the provision of the Hall, is retiring from the responsible post of Secretary of the Northamptonshire Rural Community Council, and he was heartily thanked for his good offices.  Major Fermor-Hesketh, president, spoke of the advantage of such a hall and hoped the committee would go on doing their best to foster friendship and goodwill.

Supporting the president were Mrs Fermor Hesketh, Mr. F Hillyer, chairman of committee, Mr. and Mrs. R Whiting, Colonel and Mrs. P Y Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. M E Jelley, Mr. and Mrs. W Crowder, the Rev. J S Benson (trustees), Mr. and Mrs. G S Macwhirter, and Mr. J Hebson, hon. Secretary.  The toast of “The President” was given by Col. Atkinson, who said they were fortunate in having such a good friend in the village.  Major Hesketh acknowledged with the remarks stated above.

The Secretary was called upon to give a resume of the social life of the village, and Mr. Hebson said it was 14 years ago that he had his first experience of Cosgrove and he wished to thank Mr. Malcolm Jelley for the opportunity he then gave him.  Since that time he had had several red letter days which culminated with the opening of the village hall last year.

“I have heard some people say”, said Mr. Hebson,” We’ve got the village hall, why bother to raise more funds?” Well in the first place we have to find at least £3 a week to meet the upkeep, secondly, to give satisfaction to all organisations, we require another building.  I should like to see - and I hope the committee are of the same mind - a building where young people can learn and play billiards and games, and a reading room for the older folk.”

Giving an indication of the full use that is being made of the hall, the Secretary said that at present the committee was restricted to one Tuesday a month for a meeting.  The British Legion, Women’s Institute and Pig Club, were forced to hold their committee meetings elsewhere, and they could not supply dates for a show required by the talented producer, Mr. L Feil.  Since the opening, eight months ago, the hall had become an essential part of Cosgrove, said Mr. Hebson.  It had fostered friendship, not only in the village but in the adjacent villages of Castlethorpe, Hanslope, and Yardley Gobion, whose organisations had availed themselves of the use of the hall.

“Trying to satisfy the needs and wishes of the village is a big task and there have been some misunderstandings on several occasions as to dates, otherwise everything has run smoothly,” said Mr. Hebson, who added thanks to the committee for their good work and cooperation.

Cosgrove “Indeed Fortunate” - Mr. Macwhirter

Referring to the loss Cosgrove Victory Hall committee would sustain by the retirement of Mr. Macwhirter, Secretary said they would be losing a very good friend.  He had helped them considerably and must have a soft spot for Cosgrove, because his advice and help during the early days was valuable and appreciated by them all.  He was sure they all wished him, his wife, and children every happiness in the future, and they hoped he would not forget where Cosgrove was on the map.  In submitting the toast of “The Victory Club and Hall”, the Secretary hoped it would be the means of making many new friends and keeping the old.

In reply, Mr. Macwhirter said that function was his last public engagement as Secretary of the organisation.  Cosgrove, he said, was indeed fortunate in having the first hall in Northamptonshire under the Rural Council Community Scheme, and only one more hall was to be erected in the County before the scheme was closed by the Government.  Cosgrove had a committee which had really done things; if every village had been so energetic, then his task would have been easier.  He would carry with him many happy memories of Cosgrove and hoped to visit them again.  He was more than pleased in the manner they were sharing their good fortune with other villages, and he had heard good reports of the advice they had given to other similar committees.  The most gratifying thing was that the hall was fulfilling a need for the social life of their village and others.

Thanks to the visitors were voiced by Mr. W Crowder and Mrs. M E Jelley.  An excellent concert programme was contributed to by Mr. Fred Dunleavy (baritone), Mr. Tommy Claridge, and party.


Wolverton Express 24th March 1950

Cosgrove Arrange “Over Seventies” Party

Cosgrove Women’s Institute met on 7 March in the Village Hall, with Mrs. W. Brockway presiding.  The monthly letter was read, and after business arising had been dealt with, the Over Seventies party was discussed, and members with spare points were asked to let either Mrs. Brockway or Mrs Jelley have them, so they could be lodged in the same manner as last year.  The party was arranged for 18 April.

Miss Makepeace was asked to give a talk on the County Library, of which she is librarian, and she gave an interesting account on how the Library is run.  She was thanked by Mrs. Proudfoot.  Miss Makepeace then judged the competition for not less than four lines of original verses on Cosgrove WI.  There were six entries, and each were awarded an equal number of points.

A beetle drive, run by Mrs. F W Castle, for the social half hour, at the following winners: Miss C. Tompkins and Mrs. N Crowder.  Tea hostesses were Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Johnson, and Miss Williams.


Wolverton Express 7th April 1950

Concert Party Visits Cosgrove

A successful concert was given in the Victory Hall, Cosgrove, on 28 March, arranged by the Women’s Institute in aid of the maintenance fund of the Northamptonshire Blind.  The programme was presented by the Follies Concert Party and a well filled Hall showed that Cosgrove people were willing to help the cause and also enjoy themselves.  The proceeds, amounting to £21, were handed to Mr. C Smith, produce and compere of the show.  Mr. Jackson, Secretary of the Northants Blind, was unable to be present owing to illness.  Mrs. Brockway, WI president, thanked the Follies for the entertaining evening they had provided.


Wolverton Express 19th May 1950

Coming of Age Party of Miss Cynthia Tompkins, Cosgrove

A party to celebrate the coming of age of their daughter, Cynthia, was given by Mr. and Mrs. A. Tompkins, of 10 Bridge Road, Cosgrove, in the Victory Hall, on 6 May.  A company numbering 70 was welcomed by Mr. Tompkins, and among the guests were Colonel and Mrs. Hedley, Grafton Regis, Major and Mrs. Salter, Wicken, Mr. and Mrs. J. Burnham, Stony Stratford, Mr. and Mrs. H F Keller, Wolverton, Mr. and Mrs. A H. Jones, New Bradwell, and Mr. A Smith.  Mrs. Tompkins is employed by “Donnies” Mr. and Mrs. Burnham, confectioners, and in charge of their Wolverton branch shop.

An excellent spread was served.  Mr. Tomkins was the recipient of nearly 40 presents, which included a handbag from Captain P Y and Mrs Atkinson, of Cosgrove Priory, her former employers, a gold wristlet watch from her parents, and a pink nylon mesh nightdress from Mr. and Mrs. Burnham.  The remainder of the evening was spent in dancing and games organized by Mr H. Jones and Mr J. Burnham.  Music was rendered by Ted Warren and his Alfresco Band.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 04 August 1950

Victory Club & Hall, Cosgrove.

A GRAND DARTS TOURNAMENT

To be held in the above Hall on

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12, 1950,

Commencing 6.30 a.m.

FERMOR HESKETH CUP and 15 Guineas in Prizes.

Cup be presented by Major The Hon. John Fermor-Hesketh. Team of Four Players. Entrance Fee 10s. per Team. Closing Date Wednesday, August 9. Send Entries to J Hebson, 7, Yardley-road. Cosgrove. Wolverton, Bucks Rules sent on request.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 09 April 1954

A Cosgrove delegate said they had a stove which heated six radiators in the village hall. The original cost was approximately £250. The average weekly bill for coke throughout the year was about 11s.


Northampton Mercury - Friday 08 October 1954

MISSIONARY FESTIVAL

A Deanery Missionary Festival was held at Cosgrove. Tea was provided in the Victory Hall; and a film show, Flower of Tibet was given. The preacher was the Right Rev. F Houghton, a former Bishop in West China.


Wolverton Express 4th December 1959

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR AT COSGROVE

The annual Christmas Bazaar of Cosgrove Church was held in the Victory Hall last Friday evening and raised £80 for Church funds. Mrs C R Whiting of Old Wolverton opened the bazaar and was thanked by Capt P Y Atkinson. Miss Diane Stewart presented flowers to Mrs Whiting, who was introduced by Mr P Lambert, people’s warden.

Stallholders and helpers were Mesdames P Y Atkinson, F Hillyer, Hickford, W Brodkway, C Brockway, D Chown, Beasley, E Lambert, Harris, Hebson, G Feil, Stubbs and Barton, Misses Marlow, Hillyer and M Feil, Mr G Feil, Mr E Lambert and Mr J Wootton (treasurer) and Mr K Stubbs (secretary).


Wolverton Express 9th December 1963


Wolverton Express 9th December 1963


Wolverton Express 10th December 1964

COSGROVE WHIST

Cosgrove Village Hall funds have benefited by £23, the sum raised at a recent whist drive. Prizewinners included: Mrs. R. Humphreys. Mrs. E. Booth, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Lane, Mrs. A. Loughrey, Mrs. Cooper, Mr. A. Rogoff, Mr. D. Hancock, Mr. J. Pollard, Mr. A. Pratt, Mrs. Walker, Mrs. L. Reynolds and Mrs. C. Matthews.


Wolverton Express 13th November 1970

FIREWORKS IN SAFETY AT COSGROVE

A grand Village Bonfire held at the Victory Hall Cosgrove on Guy Fawkes' Night marked the beginning of the winter's programme for the village. Coffee, hot dogs etc were served in the hall, and committee members lit fireworks, which were handed to them by villagers, in a roped off area of safety.

The £4 profit will go to help provide a Christmas party on December 12 when Deanshanger School choir and an amateur folk group from Stony Stratford will entertain Cosgrove pensioners. Another entertainment for pensioners is to be provided by the "regulars" of the Barley Mow on December 5, when a film show will be lubricated with beer!

After a most successful nine months' work the Cosgrove Playgroup is to hold an Open Morning on November 19, combined with a Christmas Bazaar to raise funds for equipment. etc.

Another opportunity for present buying will be the customary Church Bazaar on November 27.

Two teenaged girls. Julie Holman and Jackie Hall, with the support of parents, have begun a Youth Club in the Victory Halt The members play table-tennis, snooker, listen to records. etc., on alternate Tuesday evenings, and the club is entirely self-supporting.


Wolverton Express 21st December 1970

Sixty Cosgrove pensioners were entertained in the Victory Hall on Saturday. Deanshanger Secondary School choir sang carols and songs, and there was folk music by the Poachers. The evening was organised for the first time for many years by the Victory Hall committee and catering was in the hands of Mrs. Rickaby and Mrs. O. Johnson. Financial assistance came from Mrs. Rickaby. Mr. Jack Lovesey. on behalf of the pensioners proposed the vote of thanks and hoped that there would be many such events in the future.


Wolverton Express 7th May 1971

Cosgrove concert

A number of villagers joined an invited audience of senior citizens in the Victory Hall, Cosgrove to listen to the Orphean Singers of Hanslope. Under their conductor. Mr. Ron Faulkner and with Mrs. Curtis pianist, the programme included “The way you look tonight'. `Rock – a my Soul", “The Mexican Hat Dance" and ended with "Goodnight, Goodnight, Beloved”. Solo performances were given by Mrs. Jacqueline Hardy, Mr. John Osborn. Mr David Marshall and Mr Frank Williams, accompanied by Mr George Webb. Presenting the singers with a donation for their funds, Mr Bill Castle thanked them on behalf of the Victory Hall committee and the audience. Refreshments were provided by the Victory Hall Committee.


Wolverton Express 12th November 1971

BONFIRE

Despite of the unpleasant weather, many people watched the fireworks around the bonfire, built by the Youth Club, at the Victory Hall, Cosgrove last Friday. Hot soup, rolls and other refreshments provided by members of the committee were on sale and £6 was raised for Victory Hall funds.


Wolverton Express 17th December 1971

Keystone Cops at Cosgrove

Vintage comedy films were shown to 35 senior citizens in Cosgrove Victory Hall last week. Funds for the evening were raised by the Horticultural Society and the Hall committee provided refreshments. Donations for raffles were made by Mr S Eglesfield and Mr A Tustain and were won by Mrs. A Smith, Mrs Hooton, Mr. Tooley. Mrs. H Smith, Mrs. Holman, Mr. Lovesey, Mr. Freestone, Mr. Whittaker, Mrs. Lovesey. Mr. Colton, Mr. Chown, Mrs. Colton, Mr. Lyman, Mr. Holman, Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Spokes, Mrs. Watkins, Mr. Spokes, Mr. Tomkins, Mrs. Jelly, Mrs. Gayton, Mrs. Hillyer and Mr. Jelley.


Wolverton Express 3rd March 1972

Senior club for Cosgrove

COSGROVE to get a Senior Citizens Club. At a meeting on Wednesday of last week a committee was formed, the first meeting fixed for April 13 in the Victory Hall, and all over 60s invited to attend. Mrs. Phyllis Holman welcomed Mrs. Battle of the Northamptonshire Association for the Elderly and Mrs. Woodstock of the W.R.V.S. to tell the meeting of the need for such clubs. They combated loneliness and could obtain grants, foods and help for elderly people. Mrs. Holman offered to hold the first money-raising effort — a coffee morning on March 16. She agreed to join the committee with Mrs. E. Chown, Mrs. O. Lambert, Mr. and Mrs. Hill, Mr. J. Lovesey and Mr. Coulson. Club meetings will be held every second Thursday in the month.


Wolverton Express 21st April 1972

Golden Hour club

ABOUT 30 elderly people met in Cosgrove last week to form a new village club. The club, which is to be called the "Golden Hour" will meet on the second Thursday in each month, and the leader will be Mrs. P. Holman, with Mrs. O. Lambert as treasurer. The first meeting was attended by Mrs. J. Battle, Organising Secretary of the Northamptonshire Association for the Elderly with which the new club is to be linked. A number of local people have offered to form a team of helpers.


Wolverton Express 5th May 1972

Parents keep busy

WHILE Cosgrove Playgroup mothers were enjoying themselves in a lingerie party on Friday evening. the fathers were busy laying foundations for a long awaited play area at the Victory Hall. The mothers raised £10.70 thanks to the hospitality of Mrs Jean Ford and this will pay for a Wendy House and more equipment. Mrs. P. Fowlds won a telephone index, Mrs. H. Tanner a paper knife and Mrs. I. Collins and Mrs. C. Hickford tights in raffle competitions. The fathers were again busy on Saturday morning laying six tons of tarmac to cover an area of 110 square yards on which the children hope to play at Tuesday morning’s session.


Wolverton Express 9th June 1972

Funds bid

Cosgrove Victory Hall Committee have decided to launch an all-out effort to raise funds for a new floor for the hall. Their first function will be a coffee morning on June 29 at Little Orchard, the home of Mrs. Lesley Clark. Among future plans arc a sponsored "knit-in" m the autumn.


The following article recalling the Victory Hall appeared in the Old Mail in 1988:

“On Saturday July 30th 1949 the Victory Hall was officially opened, amid great celebrations. Present at the opening were Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, MP for the area, and his wife, Captain Atkinson of The Priory, who had given the land, Major Hesketh, the Hall president, and of course, the Hall Committee (Chairman Mr Hillyer) and many of the villagers.

A party for the children of the village of Cosgrove at the opening of the first Village Hall, c.1949.
Aren't they spellbound watching the magic lantern show!

The rear of the group includes Jim Holman, Dolly Williams, Mrs Nora Horton, Vera Stewart, Susan Coles, Tony Lavington, Sylvia Wickham, Louie Gascoigne, Jessie Stewart, Sheila Brown, Rosemary Hebson. The front includes Jo Hebson, Ivor Hickford, Carol Prater, Pauline Bushell, Julie Longman, Jill Tustain, Jill Hebson, Sue Tustain and June Smith.

All the children sat down to a tea party organised by Mrs O Johnson and helpers, and this was followed by a film show, concert, and dancing.

The Union Jack was flown from the Hall roof. The Victory Hall was built as a “temporary” structure whilst funds were raised for a permanent building, for which planning permission was sought in 1948. Over the five years up to 1949 £1400 had been raised. The present Hall was funded by a 100% grant from the National Council of Social Services and rented to Cosgrove at 5/- (five shillings) per week.

It was built by Messrs Betts and Faulkner of Stony Stratford, aided by much voluntary labour including Mr Dick Lavington, Mr Joe Jones, Mr A Laughrey, Mr J Johnson, Mr J Hebson and Mr G Beasley. The first sod was turned by Mr and Mrs Winterbottom of Cosgrove Hall in January 1949. They had been active in the fundraising and had held a garden party at the Hall attended by Queen Geraldine of Albania, which raised £200.

Left to right: Jack Johnson, Howard Smith

Jack Hebson, Mr. & Mrs. Winterbottom, Sid Bushell, Robin Winterbottom (boy)

Mr. & Mrs. Winterbottom turning the first sod for the Victory Hall in January 1949.

How many faces do you recognise?


Old age pensioners in Cosrove Victory Hall, c.1949.

Back row, left to right: Sam Williams, ?, Bert Gascoine, ?, Bob Pettifer, Ernie Lambert, ?,.

Middle row: Mr. Hinton, Mrs Hinton, Mrs Valentine, Mr Valentine, Joe Castle, Mrs Castle, ?, Mrs Bushell.

Front row: Mrs Pettifer, Mrs Eglesfield snr, ?, Frank Hillyer, Mrs Hillyer, Mercy Clark, ?, Mrs Alderton, Mr Alderton.

A new Village Hall was needed by the late 1980s. It was planned to be built alongside the original Victory Hall, to enable the Victory Hall to continue in use whilst the new hall was built.

The Victory Hall before demolition.

Memories of the Victory Hall – Old Mail 1991

For over 41 years the Victory Hall served Cosgrove well. Two of the original cherry trees in front of the Victory Hall were planted in memory of Chris Whittaker, who lived in Bridge Road.

Wendy Maycock remembers her father helping to build brick steps in front of the hall and a wall along the road. There was also a flagpole on a dais. The bricks used for the wall and steps were damaged by frost and crumbled. After this the area was grassed. John Holman recalls digging holes in 1949 for the boundary fence posts.

Ted Lambert remembered that the Cosgrove Village produce Association dug the front garden and planted shrubs, annuals and the trees. They held annual flower shows with open and closed entries. There were lots of members, many using the allotments on the Colmwood House land. They bought seeds, etc., in bulk, including 20 trays of seed potatoes to supply local farmers. Weighouts were held at the Barge Inn run by the Eglesfield (spelling?) Family.

Mrs Kath Jones remembers Gran Bushell bought a butler’s cupboard from Cosgrove Hall and gave it, full of crocks. She also donated 10 wooden chairs with ATB on the back. Other people also gave chairs and cupboards and gradually built up the stocks needed for the Hall.

The Victory Hall was well used and Saturday night bookings in particular were at a premium. Weddings and parties, British legion Dinners, dances and dancing classes were held there. The dances would sometimes attract 200 people and were held regularly on Saturday nights to raise funds.

Music included Joe Lovesey’s Old Time Dance Band, the Rhythm Aces, Harold Battison and the Tommy Claridge Trio. Terry Carol from Yardley would play the organ.

Old Time Classes were given by Mr and Mrs Gibbs and the Lovells from Yardley would hold dances with records. Mrs Hebson remembers the “Cuckoo Waltz”.

Whist Drives were held on Mondays, Domino Evenings on Thursdays and at one time Tom Bushell used to run a film show on Friday nights. The Harvest Festival Auction was held annually in the Hall and run by Jack Johnson. Later, the Vicar was the auctioneer.

Mrs Hebson remembers rehearsing with the WI choir in the Hall with Mrs Magnus (Dorah Clarke’s mother), and can still render “All in an April Evening”. Plays were also performed.

A Football Club flourished, playing on the filed behind the Hall and using the Hall showers (luxury) and changing rooms. Mr Longman remembers playing in goal in the Towcester League matches.

The original Committee consisted of Frank Hillyer, Arthur Loughrey, George Hickford, Bob Gallup, Dick Lavington, Fred Tustain, Tom Kightley, Harry Cummings, Reg Whiting, Jack Hebson, Joe Jones and Olive and Jack Johnson.

Lots of work went into the Hall but a lot of fun has been had over the years. I did hear one tale of folks having to be transported home in wheelbarrows and look-outs being sent over the Bridge first!



THE VICTORY HALL 1949 - 1991

On Saturday, July 30th, 1949, the Victory Hall, Cosgrove was officially opened amid great celebrations.

At the opening were Sir Reginald Manning-Buller, M.P. Captain Atkinson of the Priory, who had given the land, Major Hesketh, the Hall a, the Hall Committee (chairman Mr Hillyer) and many of the villagers.

All the children sat down to a tea-party organised by Mrs O. Johnson and helpers, followed by a film-show, concert and dancing. The Union Jack was flown from the Hall Roof.

The Hall was built as a temporary structure whilst funds were raised for a more permanent building, for which planning permission had been sought in 1948. Over the 5 years up to 1949 £1400 had been raised.

It was funded by a 100% grant from the National Council of Social Services and rented to Cosgrove at 5/- a wk.

The builders were Messrs Betts & Faulkner of Stony Stratford, aided by volunteer labourers including Mr Dick Lavington, Mr Joe Jones, Mr A Laughrey, Mr J. Johnson, Mr J. Hebson and Mr G. Beasley.

 The first sod was turned by Mr & Mrs Winterbottom of Cosgove in January 1949. They had been active in the fund raising and had held a garden party at the Hall attended by Queen Geraldine of Albania.

The Victory Hall served the village well for over 40 years until the spring of 1991.


The New Village Hall

A BBC Northampton Live Broadcast
24th May 1993

Bob Entwistle

The building of the new village hall is recorded from contemporaneous articles in the village newsletter – the Old Mail.

January 1st 1988


Old Mail May 1988

Planning permission for the replacement hall was applied for on 25th February and we are hopeful of securing a leading place in the queue for the available grants and obtaining planning permission in the near future.

The new Village Hall Committee has embarked on a further campaign of fundraising with a target of raising a further £15,000 prior to the commencement of construction of the new hall. A special Fabric Fund high interest account has been opened to ensure a good return on the monies raised.

The first fundraising event by the new Committee was a 1960s Disco held on March 26th. This saw the Village Hall (Victory Hall) filled to capacity. Jason Hart of Cosgrove ran the disco “Hart-Beat”. The evening was a great success and featured a “real” fish and chip supper.

This event was followed by the opening of Cosgrove Hall gardens on Easter Sunday, which together raised just over £450. Also local business people have recently kindly donated £650 to the fund for which we are very grateful.


Old Mail March 1990

At last the replacement Village Hall for Cosgrove looks like becoming a reality.

Verbal notification was received from South Northants District Council in December that formal approval of the 70% grant towards the building costs would be given in January. This formal notification has now been given and the working drawings are now being prepared, in anticipation of building tenders being invited in March.

It is hoped that the building works will commence on site in April. It is hoped that the new Hall, with its Badminton court will provide scope for the introduction of new village activities, together with being a community centre that the village can be proud of.

                                                                                                                            P M Sadler


Old Mail December 1990

A Contract was placed with Newport Pagnell Construction in early October for the construction of the new Village Hall and construction commenced on site on 15th October.

We are pleased to report that progress, as you can see, is currently to programme and it is hoped that the construction will be weathertight by Christmas and completion is scheduled for May 1991.

A number of fundraising activities are scheduled, the first of which will be a Christmas evening with Mulled Wine, Carols, Tombola, Raffle and Blue Peter Stall, on Wednesday 19th December at 7.30 pm.

                                                                                                Peter Sadler and Richard Thomas


Old Mail May 1991

Work has now started on the connection of drainage and water services as residents of lower Cosgrove can testify. This has involved traffic lights in Bridge Road and Main Street throughout most of April.

The Fundraising for tables and chairs has gone well, with £1940 currently raised.

The new Hall will officially be opened on Saturday 8th June, with a children’s Sports and Tea Party in the afternoon and a Barbeque and Disco in the evening.


Old Mail June 1991

The new Hall will be opening officially on June 8th at 3 pm by Mr H Wreschner, Chairman of South Northants District Council.

The sun almost broke through the clouds for the official opening of the New Village Hall on Saturday 8th June 1991. At least it didn’t rain whilst the speeches were made in front of the Hall.

Mr Richard Thomas, Chairman of the Management Committee, welcomed the following official guests:

Mr and Mrs H Wreschner, (Chairman of SNDC), Councillor Ford, Chairman of Community Services Committee, Mrs S Baker, District Councillor, Mr R Hall, Assistant Environmental Health and Housing Officer, Mr J Corbey, Architect, and Mr Deane and his staff from Newport Pagnell Construction, builders of the Hall.

Mr B Compton, Chairman of the Trustees, spoke, giving a brief history of the events during the past six years leading to the building of the new Hall. He gave thanks to all the organisations and people who had contributed to the fundraising.

Mr H Wreschner then officially opened the Village Hall by unveiling the sign on the front of the Hall and cutting the ribbon on the front door.

There then followed various activities, produce, tombola and raffle stalls in the Hall. Cream teas were served at a frantic pace, with much activity in the kitchen from Mrs Phyllis Holman and helpers. A beautiful cake, made by Mrs Brenda Clarke, modelled on the new Hall, was on display for its weight to be guessed (well done to three of our official guests who were nearest). The Cake was later cut by Mr Wreschner and slices put on sale. The “Porch” which was left over went to the Golden Hour Club on the following Thursday. The Cosgrove Cook Book was also on sale following several weeks of frantic editorial activity fro Gill Phillips and Katie Thomas to meet the deadline.

Children were entertained with fun races, pony rides with Wendy Maycock and Pirrjo Higson, and welly wanging. There were also indoor sports activities provided by Com-Sport in the Old Hall. There was much interest by villagers in the indoor sports activities, especially Short Mat Bowls. It is hoped that these activities will flourish in the New Hall. However, we do need people to run these activities with help from SNDC to help us get started.

The Woadworks Morris Dancers, who practise in the Village Hall, then performed some of their dances, before the rain returned and provided music in the Hall whilst the teas continued, contributing to the rural atmosphere.

The children then sat down to a Tea Party organised by Gill Phillips, thus finishing the afternoon’s activities. In the evening the celebrations continued with a Barbeque and Disco into the early hours.

Thus the New Village Hall was christened with a day of celebrations. Many thanks to the many, many helpers who made the day so enjoyable and raised £1500 towards Village Hall funds.

                                                                                                                                   Richard Thomas


The Village Hall story continued into the 21st century with this article in the Old Mail of November 2000.

It has been a long time in the planning, but soon we hope to be able to start work on more alterations to the Village Hall. We will be adding a new meeting room, which will be slightly bigger than the existing meeting room. The existing kitchen and meeting room will then be combined to provide a bigger kitchen.

Typically, for Cosgrove, by the following year this invitation appeared :