A Potted History of Mundford Village Hall and Playing Fields

Issued by the Village Hall Committee April 1981.

The present Village Hall situated in St. Leonard’s Street is approximately 80 years old. [This was the site where the butchers/supermarket now stands.]

In the early days of this century Lynford estate encompassed practically all the land and property of Mundford with the residents employed in some capacity by the Lord of the Manor.

According to Mr. Jack Chapman, of West Hall Road, a life long resident and one of the oldest, the Village Hall was built in 1902 by the estate at no cost to the village. It was known as ‘The Institute’ and provided a meeting place for events in Mundford.

In 1924 the Lynford Estate was split up, with the properties, farms, etc. coming on the market. The Village Hall was included and was purchased by the Oddfellows for use as a headquarters. The Hall served the people of Mundford as previously. By the mid 60’s the Oddfellows had been reduced in membership and they in turn put the Hall up for sale.

Mundford was growing quite rapidly with the Fir Close estate in being and the Brecklands nearing completion.

The Parish Council was alerted to the fact that Mundford could not be without a Hall. A loan of £1,000 to buy the Hall was raised from the Norfolk County Council with a further loan of £800 for improvements to the structure, and heating. The interest rate at the time was between 6 and 7 per cent.

It was decided that the loans should not be funded from the rates and a Village Hall Committee was formed to raise funds for repayment of the loan.

The Hall received a facelift and an opening ceremony was held on 26th October 1967.

The Village Hall Committee set about raising funds, mainly by regular whist drives and bingo sessions and by 1975 had reduced the loan to £578.69, The Parish Council now stepped in and the balance was cleared on 12th May that year.

Since that time, the Parish Council has contributed the product of a half-penny rate, up to the limit of £500 annually to the running costs of the Hall. The balance held by the present Village Hall Committee is nearly £9000.

Prior to 1951 football and cricket had been played seasonally on the site of the present cricket pitch. This was by kind permission of the incumbent who had the jurisdiction of the land.

Money had been raised by the Home Guard for a home-coming welcome for members of the Forces from the war. This had not been used and together with other funds raised locally, the Playing Field Association, on behalf of the village, purchased, developed and fenced the site for a total of £750, The Mundford Playing Field Association was formed to carry out this transaction and to administer the Charitable Trust set up under the terms stipulated by the Charity Commissioners.

Mundford Playing Field Association is composed of a member from each organisation which make up the social and sporting life of the village,

The newly acquired land [now the Adeane Meadow housing estate] was not large enough for a full size football pitch. There was ample room on the Glebe.

The Parish Council endeavoured to pave the way to the acquisition of the Glebe, but it was not until reorganisation of Local Government in 1973 and the production of the Mundford Village Plan that the Diocesan Board of Finance indicated its willingness to sell the land.

By now, the Cricket Club had become firmly established n the Glebe with admirable pavilion and club facilities. They decided to act independently and purchased that part which is the present cricket ground.

There remained an ‘L’ shaped portion with room for two football pitches, Village Hall, Childrens Playground, Car Park and other facilities yet to be decided.

Planning for Residential Development was granted on the A134 site, access being through the Lammas, but no direct outlet on to the A134.

Access via the Lammas proved to be fraught with difficulties. The route necessitated a road together with drainage and sewage connections through land owned by a neighbouring factory. Negotiations over this, together with a planning application for access on to the A134 and the unsuccessful appeal against the refusal, put back the sale of the field for at least two years.

The resolution of the difficulties of the terms for the sake was not concluded until December, 1980. This meant that the money for the purchase of the Glebe as locked up in the delayed sale of the A134 site.

Fortunately the Parish Council had £12,000 available and this together with £1,000 borrowed from the Village Hall Committee enabled the Glebe to be purchased. Both these sums have now been repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the A134 site.

The football club prepared a pitch on the Glebe and have been using it since the commencement of the 1980/81 season.

To-date outline planning permission has been granted for a new Village Hall on the Glebe and consideration of the layout of this and other facilities are going forward.

It does not appear that grants from the District or County Council will be available in the next two to five years.

It is considered that it is now financially possible to build a new Village Hall on the Glebe as under:-

  • Sale of the present Village Hall site
  • Kit Lawrence bequest
  • Village Hall Committee Funds
  • Part of the proceeds form the sale of the A134 site