Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Memorial Hall

Affable Despot Jason is the caretaker of our village hall. He is away on a family jaunt, so I said I would open the hall up this morning in readiness for a " Vintage In The Vale" craft fair which runs from 10- 4.
I love our village hall. Slightly austere and proud, it was built with money donated by a village benefactor Michael Antonio Ralli  ( the Greek Consul for Liverpool no less) who lived in Mia Hall, which lies just west of Trelawnyd.
For over a hundred years it has been the centre of village life, and even today, when many in the village don't leave the security of their own houses, it still provides a stoic anchor for village activities.
The Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir practice at the hall weekly. There is a youth club, tai chi, The Friendship Group meetings,  craft fairs, The Flower Show of course and school concerts.
The church holds bingo nights and community meals there, wedding and  birthday parties are common and the hall is now famous on the national folk scene as a regular venue for " folk in the hall" nights ( see http://www.therecordjournal.co.uk)
I have helped prepare the funeral tea for the likes of  Flower Show matron Sylvia Evans in the tiny Hall kitchen, sat at barnstorming community council meetings in the meeting room with an apoplectic Red Faced Welsh Farmer in full fury and have even run an eight week " how to look after chickens course" for beginners from the hall a few winters ago.



Today, the hall is silent and empty before the craft people arrive with their over priced goods. It smells slightly musty with vauge hints of wood and polish and still looks splendid since its facelift of a few years ago.
I like being in the hall when it's empty. I love it when we have set up the flower show exhibits and everyone breaks for lunch. It's just me and one set of footsteps on the wood floor.
Happy Days


Oh...and for anyone reading the blog who wants to go to the craft fair....ITS NEXT WEEK,THE 8th!!!!!
Duh!

42 comments:

  1. The Memorial Hall sounds like a precious jewel in your community, John. Is it licensed for alcohol?

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    1. The village pub has run bars there, so I presume so Dave

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    2. Or it may be as it is here, that whoever is running the bar gets a temporary license for the venue

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  2. What a lovely hall!!

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  3. It looks very sturdy!

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  4. That's a pukka village hall.... unlike so many wood and corrugated iron jobs that one sees around.

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    1. Ralli'so objective was to give the local unemployed men a job of work in construction

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  5. solid as a rock, stately, majestic, suitable for all occasions. may it serve your community for 100+ more years!

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  6. I know that feeling, John, I love to be alone in a space like that. It is almost alive with the memories of the many, many people who have danced, laughed, argued, performed, listened, flirted, competed, judged and enjoyed it.

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    1. Maryanne, you pitched that sentence just right..... It was exactly what I was thinking

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  7. Every Community needs a place like that, and people like you

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  8. It looks very Welsh although God knows how I can say that, I have never been to Wales in my life.

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  9. When a building has been around that long it is never empty John...it is full of memories.

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  10. Lovely place for a craft show; the echoing sounds of friends and customers. I remember being a weaving "crafter" in a small venue like that. If weaving were just a generation removed from the populace, or if they did not understand how to make it themselves, it was "overpriced."

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    1. Hah! I was thinking the same thing, Joanne! I sew, and sell at a craft fair, and I cannot price what it is worth because it would stay on the table forever. Since I do it to recycle textiles, and since it is a hobby, not the way I earn my living, I am willing to do that, but honestly in our small, poor province people can't afford to pay any more anyway.

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    2. I was going to give him heck for that too... I do hooked rugs, quilts and weaving...used to do juried shows...even a hefty price tag was a pittance compared to cost of quality materials and a fraction of my time...my work is more folk art than crafts...it's okay John...you were probably talking about crafts made from cotton balls and plastic jugs...

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  11. I like the look of it - would make a nice home open like that with those big windows.

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  12. "A stoic anchor for village activities."
    What a beautiful image.

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  13. This is a very beautiful place. Actually, it reminds me of the very tiny New England town in which I was raised, with a town hall.

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  14. Unusual crenelated tower as part of the village hall.

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  15. Here in the north east of the US most small rural towns have some sort of Grange Hall, usually well over a hundred years old. The interior with the stage, the open floor and the cheap folding tables and chairs is just as your village hall, though not nearly as upscale as yours. They do also share the musty smell. Around here they tend to be used mostly for Friday night swing and square dances.

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  16. Community Halls are often the heart of small towns and even in cities, neighbourhoods centre around them. I have fond memories of several community halls over the course of my life too.

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  17. I must say your Hall is terribly grand - stage and all - ours is just rather small and not on the scale of yours at all. But then your village is probably much larger than ours.

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    1. Email me the American of your village I would like to explore it on street view pst

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    2. Would you prefer the American or the Brazilian of mine John so you can explore?

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    3. I thought I wrote " name " not american?

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  18. Ha! Well, so you opened it a little early. :) It looks like a great old village hall!

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  19. That wood floor makes me want to dance!

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  20. Here is what our version looks like.
    http://maineanencyclopedia.com/grange-the/

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  21. WEll gosh John thats why it was so empty! :) Too funny. Hugs! deb

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    1. I had to open the hall anyway there was tai chi on

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  22. It looks very smart, almost regal. Visiting is on my wish list.

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  23. Oh, that all villages and towns were so accommodating.

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  24. It is a beautiful space. In our area, community halls tend to be either converted one-room schoolhouses that were left empty when education was centralized, or newly built cement rectangles with no character and certainly no beautiful hardwood floors! Of the two, I prefer the old schoolhouses, but of course they tend to be very small.

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  25. I so enjoy reading about your village and Weavers.

    cheers, parsnip

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  26. That's a nice, solid place.

    Love,
    Janie

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  27. Did you say VINTAGE!, John?! Don't get me going!
    I spent a lot of time in my teens at our parish church hall.....for bingo, meals, concerts and teen dances. In a lot of ways it was the centre of the neighbourhood.

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  28. the hall is a treasure...reminds me of the church I grew up going too...plenty of architectural details and windows...the only buildings like that around here are in the downtown area...not a safe part of town...I live in the suburbs with no personality

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  29. It is great that your village hall is still a well-used facility and a special focal point for the community. Nowadays it can't be easy to maintain a village hall and pay the bills etc..

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  30. To stand there in the quiet and think of all the great events and memories....wonderful ghosts. We have a Memorial Hall also that used to be so lovely but they have put folding wooded seating in the center of the beautiful wooden floor that has taken the beauty out of that piece of it. If you google it (Fort Scott Kansas Memorial Hall) you will see the grand out front stairs. Senior high school group photos taken there. They now have a country music show there.

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  31. So you were opening the hall A WEEK early!!

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