Memorial Hall

The Parish War Memorial Hall Committee was convened after the war to provide a lasting and fitting memorial to those who lost their lives in both wars.

Opening day

Opening day

Back row (on right): A. Seldon, M. Slee, C. Short, G. Walter, E. Wade, B. Heard, C. Heard, E. Cann.

Partly hidden behind the Front Row: E. Hockridge, G. Trewin, M. Bailey, Mrs. Bailey, I. Trewin, G. Cory, E. Bromell, E. Balsdon, F. Bromell, Mrs. Ashford, G. Cole, Mrs. Beecham, H. Vanstone, J. Cleave.

Front Row: C. Hockridge, G. Edwards, V. Bailey, J. Balsdon, M. Johnson, V. Dayman, R. May, C. Bond, E. Petherick, S. Dunn, M. Harris, R. Vanstone.

A generous donation from Colonel Spread, who lost three sons in the 1939-45 War, gave the fund the boost it needed to inspire the village to complete the task.

This Committee, which had over forty members including the entire Parish Council and a representative of every village organisation, had a succession of chairmen - W.J. Cory, T.K. Fair and R.G. Pomeroy.

They set about raising funds by every available means - whist drives, gift sales, fêtes and functions. Farmers kept a flock of sheep which were sold at the local market.

Decided by a majority - Village Hall site at Bradworthy
After a keen and at times heated debate on the choice of a site for a village hall at Bradworthy, it was decided by a majority vote at a parish meeting on Friday to purchase a piece of land adjoining the village square, which had been offered to the committee for £250.

The decision was far from unanimous, for many considered that, although the site was preferable to the one available for £25 on the Tucker's Park housing estate, the purchase price was much too high. (January 1953)

Opening day

Opening day

Alan Cann, Norman Bromell, Cecil Collacott, Derrick Bond, Rodney Harris, Mary Balston, Mrs. Nancy Seldon, Mr. Beasley (representing the Minister of Education), Mrs. Rosalie Vanstone, Rev J.R. Gibby (Vicar), W.L. Wickett, Tom Prance, E.A. Hooper (RDC Surveyor), John Cann, Mr. Northcott, Sir Henry Studholme, Frank Cleave, Mrs. Ruby Pomeroy, Lady Studholme, Elam Hockridge, Richard Pomeroy, William Seldon, Alan Locke (builder), William Slade, William John Cory, Mrs. E.W. Worthy (headmistress), Mrs. Cissie Short, a.n.other.

There was even a draw with a cow as first prize.

The Committee raised a total of £5,000 which was a considerable amount in the 1950's and 60's.

This figure was augmented by a grant from the Rural Services Department of approximately £2,000.

A site was purchased, with clearing work commencing in 1955.

Tenders were invited from local builders in 1960.

dog handlers

The dog handlers are Alan Balsdon, A. Bond, Lorna Jenkins, C. Bond, L. Robbins, and G. Wonnacott.

Amazingly they all professed to be too busy to take on such a project - certainly a reflection of different times.

These setbacks were eventually overcome, and the Hall was built by Shebbear builder Alan Locke.

The Memorial Hall was opened on 15th July 1961. Opening Day will be long remembered - it saw the culmination of years of waiting, months of building, hours of meetings, and minutes by the ream.

Donkey derby

Donkey derby

Dedicated by the Reverend T.R. Gibby and opened by G.V. Northcott of Exmouth, the day was a lavish celebration enjoyed by a crowd in excess of 2,000 - a judo display, trick motorcycling, and a rodeo.



The day culminated with a dance in the Hall at which the Pearl Players Dance Band played, but very few of the 750 present danced.


A full programme was organised for the day, including a donkey derby, straw tossing and dog racing.

In 1971 the Hall was well established in village life and an extension was added, partly funded by the sale of the Men's Institute and funds from the now defunct Gymkhana Committee.

In 1989, in association with the Football Club, the extension was converted into a fully furnished Social Club. This has already proved of benefit in using its profits to support various village projects.

In 1995 a flagpole was erected for the VE Day celebrations.

Memorial Hall extension

The Memorial Hall extension was opened by Mr Townend in 1971. With him are Mr. W.J. Cory, Mr. F. Petherick, Mr. A. Cann, Mr. Denner and Mr. C. Parnell.

Large scale reconstruction on the front of the Hall began in 1998, with the addition of two more rooms, one of them to be a museum and archive.

The facade is of striking design. A foyer, roofed in copper and with other innovatory features, makes an impressive entrance to the main Hall.

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