Village hall hiring
Pointing to the future
It's question time
'Sole-searching' festive tale
About Gussage Village Hall
THE village hall was built by Lord Shaftesbury and was the village school - with toilets in the shed outside - until closing in 1932 with pupils going to either Gussage St Michael or Wimborne St Giles.
The building was then offered to the villagers to be their village hall with four local trustees appointed to supervise it. The hall was subsequently sold to the village in 1950 for £20.
Since then it has had a chequered history and there was even talk of demolishing it, selling the plot for housing and siting a small Nissen hut to cater for the needs of the village to the rear of the land.
"There was quite a battle to keep it!" said Jane Fry, one of four trustees appointed in 1977 who knocked on doors throughout the village to rally support. When the trustees applied for grants to make improvements, one of the conditions was that a committee be appointed to manage the property and Jane was an original member along with Kathy Giles (still living at Harley Cottages) and the late Cissy Haskell of Club House.
New windows were installed along with a concrete floor, kitchen and drainage with the help of grant aid to go with the water supply and inside toilets.
Since then the leadership of Alice Gross, Corinne Williams, who was chairperson for 16 years until 2010, Joy Dignand and now Richard Hill has ensured the hall has been maintained to a high standard - thanks to vigorous fundraising.
These days the venue is in regular use not only by villagers but by others who can hire the facilities for a reasonable charge.