Recent articles

  • Memorial Hall and COVID-19

    Following Lockdown, Village and Community Halls were able to accommodate indoor sport and exercise, dancing classes and certain other performance-related activity from 25th July 2020.The Memorial Hall Management Committee is taking a steps to qualify the hall as being COVID-19 Secure as follows: We have conducted a Memorial Hall Risk Assessment and made it available to all users. We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with UK Government guidance We have taken all reasonable steps to help hall users keep safe from COVID-19 We have taken all reasonable steps to help Hirers maintain Social Distancing when using the hall Where people cannot keep 2m apart we have advised Hirers on the mitigating actions they might take to manage transmission risk
  • VE Day 75 - Stay at Home Street Party - 8th May 2020

    Stay at Home Street Party - Decorate your House in Red, White & Blue and enjoy a picnic in your front Garden”.The village was bedecked in red, white and blue bunting (see also a short video taken by resident Charles Charlesworth on the Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall FaceBook page)Teas were prepared by the local coffee shop, Sophie's.With sandwiches, sausage roll, cream scone and Victoria sponge. One recipient later declared it to be “As good as tea at the Ritz”. A VE day quiz was also distributed with each tea.A group of volunteers distributed the teas, one came appropriately dressed in an outfit from the 1940s
  • Frank and Peggy Shuffe - Licensees at the Joiners Arms 1956-1977

    Frank Shuffe, the from 1956, was an English professional footballer who played as a right back for Bradford City and later became trainer at Valley Parade.On leaving football he became manager of the The Prospect Hotel at Ecckeshill, Bradford during October 1953 before moving on to become Landlord of the Joiner's Arms in 1956 Frank died at Harrogate Hospital on 7 February 1973 after a short illness aged 55. Peggy continued on with their son John, a keen sportsman, until she retired in 1978 and moved to live near friends in Scotland  
  • The 'Spanish Flu' - Hampsthwaite 1918

    Milly Hebblethwaite was  a delightful and diligent 14 year old pupil at Hampsthwaite school, who came from a growing family who lived in the Hollins.  The previous year the school had given her a prize for her excellent attendance.  She died of influenza on 10th November, 1918;  This was one day before the end of the ‘War to end wars,’ the first World war.[article by Angela Sansam - June 2020]
  • DTOnline

    DT Online aims to provide, free at the point of use, a substantive resource base generated by teachers and educationalists to support Design and Technology education.The project is supported by the enterprises listed below.
  • Here I Belong by Matt Hartley

    Performed by Falling Stars Theatre Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall, North Yorkshire, HG3 2EJSat 25th April 2020Travel through time from 1953 to the present day in this moving, funny and charming play about village life. Elsie has lived in the village for sixty years. She has seen elections, weddings, wars, people coming, people going. The village is where her daughter grew up, it’s where her husband died and it’s where she’s going to stay.Performed by Falling Stars Theatre. Known for their immersive style of performance they will capture your imagination and make you feel like you are living the play with the characters. Don’t miss this opportunity to see exciting, engaging theatre right on your doorstep.Tickets available via TicketSource at : https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/hollins-lane/hampsthwaite-memorial-hall/here-i-belong-by-matt-hartley-performed-by-falling-stars-theatre/2020-04-25/19:30/t-amzgoq
  • VE Day 76 – Saturday 8th May 2021

    Our Memorial Hall was built to honour the fallen in two world wars and give thanks to those who returned. It is appropriate therefore that we played our full part in the national celebrations and village activities which were planned for May Day Bank Holiday 2020 - moved to Friday 8th May for the purpose - but which had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.In its place we supported a very successful  - Decorate your House in Red, White & Blue and enjoy a picnic in your front Garden” which was organised by local volunteers and received support from the Knabs Rdge Community Fund.The intention now is to repeat this for VJ Day on August 15th 2020 and, on this occasion, funding support will be provided by the Memorial Hall
  • UCI Road World Cycling Championships Come Through Hampsthwaite 2019

    Click on the NYCC Interactive Map below to see details of all road closures, parking restrictions, diversions and race timings. Briefly for Hampsthwaite they are as follows:Tuesday 24th Sept. 2019 for High Street and Elton Lane : No Parking: 23 Sep 22:00 - 24 Sep 18:30 - Road closed:  08:30 - 17:30 Mens U23 Individual Time Trial due to come through between 10:35 and 12:18 Women Elite Individual Time Trial due to come through between15:07 and 16:35 Saturday 28th Sept. 2019 for High Street and Elton Lane : No Parking: 27 Sep 22:00 - 28 Sep 16:00 - Road closed: 28 Sep 13:40 - 15:00 Publicity Caravan - leaves Ripon at 12.34 so due here around 1.10pm Women Elite Road Race due to come through between14.29 and 14.47 Click on the FanZone image to see full details of the many attractions on Harrogate centre during race week
  • Plans, Layouts and Resources

    Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall can provide facilities and resources for most events and has a good car park with marked spaces for over 50 cars. There is a well-equipped kitchen and catering area with dishwasher, water-heater, micro-wave, Rangemaster Pro induction cooker and ample supplies of crockery, glassware and cutlery. Adjacent to the Kitchen is a Servery with hatchways through to both the Main Hall and Dining Room (or small hall) which can be used as a bar. The Memorial Hall is licenced to sell alcohol. The Main Hall includes a well-equipped stage area and Green Room at one end, with P.A. system, both rear and front projection facilities for DVD, Blu-ray or data, ample stage-lighting, star-cloth, a mirror ball, and can be rigged with a ceiling canopy if needed. The Main Hall can open out into the adjacent Sun Lounge to accommodate larger numbers or as a bar area. The Dining Room, or small hall, is used for meetings, for groups, to place a buffet for example, or as another alternative bar area. There are ample chairs to furnish each of the spaces using either rectangular or circular tables. Table cloths and chair covers are available on request.
  • George Frederick Grimshaw - biography

    George Frederick Grimshaw 20th October 1914 - 17th June 1940
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Memorial Hall

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The present Hall was built in 1967 and commemorates the lives and sacrifice of those villagers who fell in the two World Wars. They were . . .

The Hall was not the first such structure on the site - it had been preceded by a more fragile building the acquisition of which was described by the late Ralph Robinson in these words . . .

"One day after the war,I picked up the "Yorkshire Post" and read, "Canadian Camp Huts for sale; would suit village institutes , etc". We didn't have a hall then, so I rang Sir Cecil (Aykroyd) and called a meeting. Asked where I'd put it, I suggested the Feast Field, owned by John Smith the brewers. Sir Cecil agreed to look into it and we also had an offer of free transport to the site. I asked Ernest Atkinson to go with me to the camp, which lay five miles from Hereford. On arrival we consulted the auctioneer, who could give no idea of price, but said that "builders were coming down for timber alone-it being like gold-wrapped at the time". We looked around and "saw a good one, with two ends to it just what we wanted". It had been a recreation hut and we knew that we couldn't let it go, even if it cost twice the £250, which we had agreed would be our limit. Well, the sale took place under an oak tree and the price started at £250! I just kept on waving the catalogue and at £390 I got it"!

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Back at Hampsthwaite I saw Charley Haxby and Alan Powers, who agreed to help to transport the hut from Leybridge. At the camp we took the tiles off first, then dismantled it in sections, marking each one. "It was a right job". A week later we set off for home. By then Sir Cecil had purchased the Feast Field (the present Memorial Hall site) from John Smith's, so the hut was dumped in the field in heaps. Eventually it was erected by the villagers."

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The Hall was damaged in the severe spring gales of 1962 and it was necessary to repair the roof.

In 1963 the timber hall was brick cladded and other improvements carried out as these photos show:

Teas on the veranda - click for full size image
Teas on the veranda
Listening to band music - click for full size image
Listening to band music

In 1965 the main flooring, joists and parts of the timber framing were found to be seriously affected by dry rot and wet rot. Other problems followed which was hardly surprising given the materials of which the hut was formed and which had, no doubt, been first intended for the accommodation of army personnel during the duration of the war. The following photographs illustrate the extent of dilapidations before contractors took over the premises for repair on 3rd January 1966 and before the hall was destroyed by fire during the night of 10th January 1966.

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Dedication and Memorial Service

Remembrance Sunday, November 10th, 1963
W.I. presenting the Memorial Hall clock that hung in the Main Hall to Ernest Atkinson for Golden Jubilee in 1965 - click for full size image
W.I. presenting the Memorial Hall clock that hung in the Main Hall to Ernest Atkinson for Golden Jubilee in 1965

The Building of a new hall

On the 10th January 1966 disaster struck when fire destroyed the hall in the space of less than one hour! During the previous week the Hall Committee had decided to make an appeal for public funds to meet the cost of dealing with an outbreak of dry rot in the timbers of the hall. It was anticipated that the cost would amount to as much as £3000 but, confident that the necessary monies would be forthcoming, work had already begun in the removing of affected timbers and new fittings purchased. The fire broke out in the late evening of Monday the 10th January and, although quickly extinguished by the Fire Brigade, continued to smoulder the following day by which time the roof had collapsed leaving only a few charred walls standing.

Old Hall on fire - click for full size image
Old Hall on fire

The conflagration was reported in the local newspaper under the headline "Heart-breaking blow for village as memorial hall goes up in flames" describing how the hall had been gutted in 45 minutes. It was said that the glow of the fire had been seen down a 12-mile length of Nidderdale. The renovation works had been expected to last two months and the loss of the hall left the Hampsthwaite Players with no venue for rehearsals for the Nidderdale drama festival which was about to take place. The newly acquired replacement fittings and electrical equipment acquired for the hall stage were also destroyed in the fire.

Under their chairman, Mr Ernest Atkinson, the Hall Committee announced that, despite this setback to their plans, "We will rebuild!".

Within the year work was in hand to rebuild with funds raised from the insurance payments, government grants and the result of a public appeal described in this leaflet.

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The new Hall opened in November 1967 and its continued success thereafter was recorded in a newspaper article marking, in 1987, its 20th anniversary and reporting how the present purpose-built community centre had been built from £11,400 insurance monies, grant aid and subscriptions.

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A copy of the programme for the formal stone-laying ceremony in 1967 has survived and is shown here.

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Laying of the Foundation Stone and other inscribed stones on 17th June 1967

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New Hall in winter (from west) - click for full size image
New Hall in winter (from west)
A framed picture of the Hall being presented to Ralph Robinson at the time he stepped down as chairman after many years of service. - click for full size image
A framed picture of the Hall being presented to Ralph Robinson at the time he stepped down as chairman after many years of service.
New Hall in winter (note original flat roofs) - click for full size image
New Hall in winter (note original flat roofs)

In Memoriam Panel

The unveiling and rededication ceremony of the In Memoriam panel held on the 6th March 2014 at the Village  Society's A.G.M. - click for full size image
The unveiling and rededication ceremony of the In Memoriam panel held on the 6th March 2014 at the Village Society's A.G.M.

To mark the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in 2014, Hampsthwaite Village Society commisioned work to refurbish the In Memoriam panel found inside the Memorial Hall foyer, and to add to it a biographical cameo for each of those who fell during the two world wars.

The photograph shows the panel at the time of its unveiling and
rededication ceremony held on the 6th March 2014 at the Village  Society's A.G.M. Those responsible for the project are shown, from left to right, as follows:

  • Paul Parker - researched the biographical information
  • Geoff Howard - undertook the design and production of the illustrated biographies
  • Revd. Canon Kenneth H. Cook - rededicated the completed panel
  • Stuart Jennings - Chairman of the Village Society, initiator of the panel refurbishment and project manager
  • John Exley - advised on the design and extension of the original wooden panel.
Unveiling of plaque by Jennifer Thompson and Muriel Illingworth - click for full size image
Unveiling of plaque by Jennifer Thompson and Muriel Illingworth


Official opening of the Memorial Hall after refurbishment on Feast Saturday 2014

Feast Saturday in Hampsthwaite marked the official opening of the Memorial Hall following its extensive refurbishment works to improve energy efficiency. The project included a  new roof with integrated solar panels, insulation to modern standards, LED lighting, a new zone controlled energy efficient heating system plus some improvements to its car park and general environs. The hall was also completely redecorated, now has broadband internet and boasts a fully functioning digital cinema with rear projection and dimmable cinema lighting.

The improvements were made possible as a result of major grant funding from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) plus additional support from Awards for All, the Knabs Ridge Community Fund, plus several local businesses and individual donors.
Commemorative Plaque - click for full size image
Commemorative Plaque
A plaque to commemorate the achievement and acknowledge all who contributed was unveiled by Mrs Jennifer Thompson and Mrs Muriel Illingworth - the daughters of Mr. Ernest Atkinson and Mr Ralph Robinson who in 1952, and then again in 1966, did so much to establish Hampsthwaite Memorial Hall as we see it today.

Amongst the sponsors listed are Sir James Aykroyd Bt., whose father Sir Cecil Aykroyd Bt. made available the land on which the hall stands, and Northern Energy Ltd, the M.D. of which is Howard Illingworth, grandson of Ralph Robinson, who initiated the idea of having a Memorial Hall in 1952.

See also: http://www.hampsthwaite.org.uk/memorialhall/584
Memorial Hall

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