Village Hall History

Recounted by Stephanie Ashton during Ditsum Players Party Pieces in February 2011.

When the Village School closed in 1968 there were only 18 pupils at that time the Church continued to own and run the Hall, but the building gradually deteriorated, and by the early eighties it was very dilapidated and needed much money spent on it. A Committee was formed to take on the challenge and to arrange a lease from the Church so that it could be run by the Village for the Village. The Officers were new retirees to Ditsum and had the expertise necessary to deal with the challenge. The Chairman , Stuart Loyd Jones, had been Clerk to Plymouth City Council and had been so successfully involved with the repairs to the Guildhall, that his name appears on an Honours board in that building.

His Hon Sec, Michael Mathews, had been a Managing Director for Trust House Fortes and the Hon Treasurer had been an accountant with Shellmex dealing in millions of pounds. The Works manager, Jakey Jacobson had been supervisor of all Woolworth stores in the South West. To complete the committee they enrolled a representative from every Club, Society or Institution which functioned in the village (today there are over a dozen) and so everyone had a chance to help in some way or another; raising money by putting on events, painting , polishing, gardening. They even had some naval cadets from the St Georges division , BRNC camping in the hall one week-end to repair and paint the ceilings.( They much enjoyed the goodies provided by the WI.).

When all was ready a big party was organised to celebrate the beginning of its new life as the Village Hall. Since then it has been a wonderful venue for a wide variety of events too numerous to mention all of them but perhaps memorably as a theatre for Ditsum Players, as an art gallery, a place for weddings and parties, fundraisers auctions, and of course the weekly use for our football team, playgroup, bowling, medau and so the list goes on. Hoorah for our village hall.