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History of the Hall

1817 – Lanner Hill Bible Christian Chapel was built by the followers of John Boyle, an itinerant preacher and then taken over by the Bible Christians who were known as Bryonites and had united with Boyles’ followers.


1844 – By this time the chapel had been rebuilt twice but only altered marginally from the original shape of the building.


1866 – It was rebuilt again but this time as large as the ground would allow, 50 feet by 38 feet and 24 feet from floor to ceiling.


1891 – £150 was raised at a Harvest Festival, wood sale and bazaar for an extensive renovation project including a new choir vestry with two vestries underneath.


1904 – The schoolroom was added along with heating, a furnace house, a chamber for apparatus and two earth closets at a cost of £400.


1907 – Another amalgamation took place with the United Free Church when it became the place of worship for the United Methodists.


1912 – There were 21 teachers, 51 adult scholars, 52 infants and 36 scripture scholars.


1939-45 – During the war it was closed by the Methodist Connection and later commandeered by the Ministry of Food. The gallery was used as a store and collection depot for egg boxes and the Sunday School room was used as a school for Roman Catholic evacuees and a drill hall headquarters for the local Home Guard.


1940 – Regular church services stopped.


1945 – One last service was held to celebrate the return of Charlie Job from a Japanese PO.W camp. At a later date Mr Job and Mr Charles Andrew, home from a German PO.W camp, were presented with cheques from a fund set up in the village by Mr and Mrs Brennen landlord and landlady of Lanner Inn.


1946 – The Village Hall was born when 30 villagers contributed £10 each to buy the chapel for £301 13s 9d. A suspended ceiling was installed to seal off the gallery, the wall dividing the chapel from the schoolroom was demolished and a new stage added. The first production by the newly-formed Lanner Amateur Dramatic Society was performed in the Village Hall.


1956 – After the inaugural dance/social event in 1946 with Mr F M. Trethowan as compare, dances were held regularly with an entrance fee of about 2 shillings. Skiffle groups were all the rage. The first group formed in Lanner in 1956 were “The Vikings” and their first concert in the hall was a great success.


1957 – Redecorated with new front doors fitted and re-opened by Joy Simpson and F G. Parr.


1958 – The annual Horticultural Show was started and continued as one of the best village shows in the county until 1979.


1962 – The Men’s Institute moved to the Village Hall. The present institute occupies the original site of the chapel, the Village Hall that of the schoolroom. Due to its origins it is forbidden to sell or consume alcohol on the premises.


1965-92 – Some reflections on inflation – prize of cosmetics given to the value of 3/-, raffle tickets sold at 21/2P each or lOp a book, charge for heating the main hall 75p, for hiring same £2.50, rent for Men’s Institute £33p.a. and 5 pairs of blackout curtains £108.25.


1970 – The kitchen was moved from a very small room “backstage” to the opposite end of the hall with a generous contribution from the WI.


1977 – Weekly markets selling good as new clothes, books, bric-a-brac and toys etc. were started to raise money to maintain the hall by Alice Opie, Sylvia Pooley, Kath Richards, Gill Hancock, Mary Job and Daisy Moyle. Sylvia, Gill and Mary are all still active volunteers after more than 30 years.


1978 – Renovation by Manpower Services Commission at a labour-only cost of £9,949.89 included interior and exterior redecoration, stage removed and replaced by mobile units, doorway to basement blocked up and electrical rewiring. To qualify the trustees had to pay the costs of all materials at £2716.89, a sum of money that took, 2 years to recoup.


1983-91 – The community fair was held annually but, being a victim of its own success, outgrew the hall and moved to Lanner CP School. It is hoped the fair will return to its original venue at the Village Hall in October 2009.


1990 – £6000 was raised by grants, interest free loans and gifts to repair the roof damaged by a storm.


1991 – Repairs, adjustments and refinements were made to the kitchen for £1859.

2008  £250,000 awarded by The Big Lottery with additional support pledged by other agencies to refurbish and internally remodel the hall including disabled access to all areas. The kitchen and toilets relocated and improved. An extension of the first floor into a previously unused space creating two rooms, one of which will be the permanent meeting room for the Lanner Parish Council. A new roof and reinstated windows, which have been boarded up for a number of years, will greatly improve the external appearance of the building.

Over the years many people have worked hard to devote their time and raise money to maintain the Village Hall, Charlie and Mary Job, “Gerty” Crutchfield, Phyllis and Albert Osborne. In this category and worthy of special mention are Gill and Dick Hancock and Elaine Youlton who were instrumental in obtaining funding from the lottery. From Darby and Joan to Miss Lanner, Judo to Gymnastics, Girl Guides to Carnival Queens, Snooker to Bingo and Brass Bands to Rock ‘n’ Roll this hall has been supported and enjoyed by a myriad of people and will continue to be so.