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Hall History

Introduction

We would like to paint a picture of our hall and the condition it was in when a group of volunteers stepped in to ensure the hall, which was built in 1950, was in a position to accommodate the needs of the community in the 21st Century.

In 1999 the hall was used by several groups including a Playgroup and Ballet school who battled with the hardships of running groups for the community in a facility that was not fit for purpose.  It would certainly fail any health and safety inspection in today’s standards.

The hall was very cold with thin metal windows and wooden misfitting doors.  The hard concrete floor did nothing to help that.  Heating was provided by gas heaters, four of them, one in each corner of the hall, 10 feet high on the walls.  The heaters were lit by a wooden poll with a candle on the end, which was lit and held up to the gas until it lit with a bang.  As the heaters where so far up, the heat went up into the ceiling so didn’t act as a very efficient heating system.  The hall was very cold indeed.

The leaking roof was another problem area, and many buckets were required to stop the water from spreading all over the hall.  Every morning, the 5 or 6 buckets would be emptied and made ready to be placed again in the evening.

The kitchen was outdated and lacking several health and safety requirements along with an update of facilities.  The toilets where in a similar poor condition with broken and chipped furniture along with a desperate need of painting and decorating and the heating and lighting required upgrading.

Overall, it was in a very poor state.  A small group of volunteers offered to take over the responsibility for the management and maintenance of the Hall. With the aim of updating the facilities and to bring it back to life and provide a warm, welcoming environment for children and adults to enjoy. At this time the Hall was managed by a committee from the Church Parochial Council from St. Mary’s.

Step One – The Founding Committee Members.

In 2002 a group of volunteers set up a committee for the purpose to raise the hall to an acceptable standard in modern day.  Although this facility was part of the Church of England portfolio, it was made very clear that the Church was not keen or able to improve the facility, as at this time the Church was not allowed to register as a charity.

The church then started to base their main Prestbury activities in the new hall at Wymans Brook/Swindon Village, which is approximately 2 miles from the centre of Prestbury and not walkable for any of the residents.

There were many meetings between the Church and the committee, who now had the name of Prestbury Hall Users Group, to secure an operating structure for the hall which would allow the committee to attain grants and register as a charity to help secure funds for the enormous amount of updating needed in the hall.

Cyril Beer - Prestbury Village Hall

Cyril Beer

Chairman

Member of St Mary’s Church and resident of Prestbury.  Cyril was very active in the church and would organise the Easter Procession through the village and would always be at the hall for DIY projects along with monitoring the bookings.  Cyril was also the local Father Christmas for the Playgroup each year.

John Petchley - Prestbury Village Hall

John Petchey

Member of St Mary’s Church and resident of Prestbury for many years, raising his family in Finchcroft Lane.  John is now a retired but remains an active Hall Trustee and with his knowledge of building is always on hand to complete and organise the many building projects required by the Hall.

Richard Mason - Prestbury Village Hall

Richard Mason

At the time Richard was the Village Warden for the Prestbury Memorial Trust caring for the elderly in the village of Prestbury.

Linda Dove - Prestbury Village Hall

Linda Dove

Playgroup Owner

Linda ran Prestbury Playmates Pre-school for 12 years and was very instrumental in making changes to the hall to ensure it was a pleasant environment for the children in her care and the staff that worked with her. Linda is a resident of Prestbury who attended Prestbury School as a child where her children followed years later.

Linda is still an active Trustee with PHUG.

Bob Lyle - Prestbury Village Hall

Bob Lyle

Step Two – Prestbury Hall Users Group confirmed Charity status.

On the 1st of March 2005 the Charity Commission wrote to Reverend Canon Stephen Gregory confirming that the Dioses of Gloucester has the power to lease to another body as long as the trustees comply with the provisions of section 36 of the Charities Act 1993.  It was confirmed that the Church Hall would be leased at a reduced rent to the trustees.  

On the 4th of March 2005, the hall was registered with the Charity Commission and the charity name Prestbury Hall Users Group was confirmed. 

Our Constitution was adopted, and we were now able to move forward working with our aims and objectives as follows:

To manage and maintain the property known as Prestbury Hall, Bouncers Lane, in the district of Prestbury, in the county of Gloucestershire, for the purpose of a village hall for the use of the church and the inhabitants of Prestbury and the neighbourhood, without distinction of sex, race or political, religious or other opinions including use for meetings, lectures and classes and for other forms of recreational and leisure time occupation with he object of improving the conditions of life for the inhabitants. The hall was very well used by the local organisations, and it was felt that an important asset should be maintained.

Step Three – Refurbishments through Grant aid.

This was the beginning of the many applications for grants from many organisations, which was painstakingly slow and took up many man hours. During this period, David Storey became Treasurer and his support was appreciated at a busy time.  The list below shows the alterations carried out and how the projects were financed

YearProviderGrantRequirement
2005National Lottery (providing for Children)Urgent repairs to roof felt.
2005National Lottery (providing for Children)Painting and Decoration of interior.
2006National Lottery (providing for Children)£15000
2007Gloucestershire Environmental Trust£35000New Roof
2007Cheltenham Borough Council£7000New Toilets and Disabled facilities
2008Gloucestershire Environment TrustWindows and Doors Replaced
2008Gloucestershire Environment TrustRefurbishment of Kitchen Severn Trent
2012Prestbury United CharitiesHeating
2013Gloucestershire Environment Trust, Prestbury United Charities, Helen Gills School of Ballet£7000Floor refurbishment
2013Summerfield Trust£3000Tables & Chairs
2018Side Extension
2018Racking for Cutlery
2019Gloucestershire County Council£5000New lights in main hall
2022£2100New Gates, Front and Side

With the help of the above grants, the roof has been recovered with heat retaining materials, the heating system has been replaced, and all the windows and doors have been replaced to give greatly improved heat retention. An extension built on the side of the hall.

The kitchen has been updated and the hall has been redecorated inside and out twice.  Gates at front and side of the building have been modernised and made secure.  The side and rear gardens have had paths added and landscaping in place.  To make the hall safe and carpark secure, new fencing and barriers have been added along with signage.

Current Volunteer Trustees.

In addition to John Petchey and Linda Dove Our current volunteer Trustees (October 2022) are:

Chris Horswell
Chris Horswell
Maurice Newman
Maurice Newman
Simon Dove
Simon Dove
Paul Banks
Paul Banks
Jon Whitlock
Jon Whitlock

Hold An Event

Prestbury Hall is available for hire day or evening. Accommodating up to 199 standing or 120 seated, it is ideal for adult or childrens birthday parties, dances, weddings and more!

Join A Social Club

From quiz nights to wine tastings, Prestbury Hall hosts a fantastic selection of community events, open to all. Choose one that takes your fancy, and see for yourself.

View Our Calendar

We make it easy for you to know when our hall is free and when it is pre booked by another party. Please feel free to take a look at our up to date calendar below.