Rocklands, Norfolk

The Villages of Rockland All Saints and Rockland St Peter

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The opening of the Village Hall
March 6th 1954

From The Norfolk News, Friday March 12th,1954

HALL ON SHILLING SITE

A scheme which originated during the last year of the war resulted on Saturday in the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk (Sir Edmund Bacon) opening an 1800 village hall at Rocklands.

It was the local unit of the Home Guard who decided that they would pool their Service gratuities in order to start a village hall fund. They contributed just over 100. By 1946 the sum of 828 had been gathered by such events as sports meetings and fetes arranged by various committees. Progress was rather slow until 1951 when the present Village Hall Committee took over, and have to date brought the total of 1354.

YEARS OF ENDEAVOUR

A brick building, the hall has a temporary back wall which can be pulled out when expansion is needed. The site on which it stands is a piece of old "clay land". This was used for people of the parish to dig clay for repairing their houses and patching roads many years ago. The Trustees (the Parish Council) bought the land for 1s.

Sir Edmund said the importance of a building was not necessarily gauged by the sum of money spent on it. "In my opinion the value is entirely in proportion to the service it renders to the community" he said.

He knew only too well the years of endeavour which it took in a small communityto gain the wherewithal to erect such a building. They could have great satisfaction in having attained that which at one time looked so far off. The hall would be a place where the people could provide their own entertainment.

Mr Stanley Ransome,chairman of the Village Hall Committee said it was "V-Day" for the committee. They had achieved their aim after all the pessimistic remarks they had heard from certain people who had avowed the hall would never be built in their lifetime. "I am pleased to say that they are all alive today and they can see a hall which will last many lifetimes."

MUST NOT RELAX EFFORTS

There was still money to be paid off to people who had lent the balance to pay the bills. They must not relax their efforts now they had the hall, but increase them.

Sir Edmund was introduced on the platform inside the hall by the REctor (the REv B. Sapwell). Also on the platform were the secretary of the committee (Miss B. Webster), the treasurer of the committee and chairman of the Parish Council (Mrs R. Allen), Mrs Sapwell and Mr H. Rix sen. and Mr H. Rix jun, the builder and architect of the hall respectively.

In the evening there was a children's party followed by an adults social at the hall. On Sunday a plaque bearing the names of the six Rocklands men who fell in the last war was unveiled by Lord Walsingham.