A potted history of the hall
Following a public meeting held in November 1944, the hall's site was bought by public subscription in 1945, as part of Winston Churchill’s postwar village hall programme.
A trust deed was drawn up in that year to define the responsibilities and constitution of the hall's management committee. In 1950 the hall and its lands were invested with the Official Trustee of Charity Lands (now known as the Official Custodian for Charities).
At first a Nissen hut was placed on the land while the villages attempted to raise funds for a permanent building, however in 1963 Paulise Lugg, the founder of the Stockwells Players (now the Blewbury Players) donated the current building. It was designed by the architect George Zukic and opened by the local MP Airey Neave in September 1964.
Hire income was augmented by an annual donation of £150 from the Paulise Lugg Endowment Trust, set up after her death. In 1976 the committee asked if this could be converted to a single payment which the committee would invest itself and use the income from for maintenance matters. This Paulise Lugg Endowment Trust fund of £2,500 is held within our reserve account.
In 1997 a Millennium project provided a furniture store room, an access toilet and ramp and a replacement shingle roof. The project was funded by grants from the National Lottery, SODC’s Community Fund, our two parish councils and a generous bequest from Barbara Engledue, who had served on the hall committee for several years. The hall was re-opened in September 2001 by Robin Sewell, long-time resident of the Aston Upthorpe and one of the original Stockwell Players.
In 2006 the kitchen was extended internally, and a staircase built to give access to the loft store room. This was funded by SODC, OCC and our parish councils, and some hall reserves.
In 2010 the hall committee joined with the Astons Online BT project to introduce a range of new equipment to the hall – a digital projector, drop down screen, large wall mounted TV, induction loop, wifi, and data power points around the hall. This was funded by SODC, BT, our parish councils and some hall reserves.
Our aim is to continually improve the hall and its facilities for the enjoyment of all users.