Pettistree Village Hall

Village Hall.

The Village Hall is situated in the Conservation Area for Pettistree and therefore maintains much of its original detail in the galvanised cladding.

The Hall, however, has not always been a Village Hall. It began life as a Women’s Institute (W.I.) hut back in 1928 after members had raised funds for ten years for their own venue. Eventually they were offered a piece of land by Colonel Gilligan, a local landowner and husband of a founder member, in a corner of The Park, Pettistree Lodge, at a peppercorn rent of 1/- per year. They were not able to afford a brick building so they had what seemed possible – galvanised outside with match-boarding inside. There was a Tortoise stove for heating, a small stage and a range in the kitchen. The lavatory was outside, with a pail. There was a porch where outdoor clothes could be hung and an outside wooden building (described as a ‘hideout’ for the men’s lavatory). Mr Wightman of Wickham Market, a wheelwright, offered to build the hut for the sum of £206.

The hut was used regularly by around 27 ladies and in 1934 electric lighting was installed at a cost of £20. In July 1980 the new owners of the land demanded a payment of £400 which would include an extra piece of land for the car park. The hut continued in W.I. ownership, but by 1991 the expense of maintaining the building proved too difficult and discussions were held to consider handing the hut over to the village.

The Annual Parish Meeting of 1992 saw mixed responses to the idea, but it was eventually passed and the hut was handed over to the village in 1993.

After renovations, including the addition of extensions to house the cloakrooms, it was re-opened for public use in October 1994.

It has continued to be cared for by a Village Hall Management Committee made up of local residents and organisations that use it for a variety of purposes. More recently an extension on the eastern elevation allows storage of chairs and tables, and in 2011 insulation and a new floor were installed.