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Pagham Village Hall celebrates 20th anniversary.

Sunday, 16 September 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the formal opening of Pagham Village Hall by local racing driver, Derek Bell.

As long ago as 1952 a Trust was set up to raise funds for a village hall for Pagham. In 1989 a formal referendum of all Pagham electors voted in favour of provision of a Village Hall.

With renewed impetus, a new Pagham Village Hall Fund charity was set up in 1989 and took over the £5,000 raised by the original Trust. By 1997 it had boosted the fund to just over £40,000, through various events including welly-throwing, dances, coffee mornings and buy-a-brick. Sue Bailey (pictured) is the last remaining member of that Trust.

Meanwhile, mandated by the referendum result, Pagham Parish Council had taken on the project. The initial plan, with the vicar’s support, was to purchase and extend the Church Centre in Nyetimber Lane. However, planning permission for this was refused. Instead, the Council purchased a greenfield site at Church Barton Farm, Pagham Road, where the current Hall now stands.

In addition to the Trust Fund, the Parish Council raised money from ratepayers and also took out a loan from the Public Works Loan Board (since repaid) to fund the project, which cost £400,000. The Hall was designed by local architect, the late Geoff Evans, based upon the appearance of a traditional Sussex Barn. Two local schoolchildren laid the foundation stone in April 1998 and the new Hall opened for business in September.

A new fund-raising group, the Mulberries, continues the tradition of the previous charities and raises funds for the Village Hall and other local charities through quarterly dance events.

The Council set up the Pagham Village Hall Trust as a charity to maintain and manage the Hall. Philip Coleman (Chairman) and Ray Radmall (then Vice-Chairman, now Chairman of Pagham Parish Council) are the two original trustees still serving. (both pictured).

The bright and airy Village Hall has been a great success, and it is used by over 40 regular groups, as well as one-off events such as wedding receptions and children’s parties. It is the venue for the annual ‘Pagham on Parade’ and hosts the parish office.

The Trustees (pictured) have carried out many improvements, yet the Village Hall remains financially very healthy. The first major project was to replace the rough and pot-holed surface of the car-park with a proper tarmac surface.

In 2014, the Hall was extended by the addition of a 50-seater Small Hall and a kitchen and toilets for the Village Station Pre-School which meets in the upstairs room.

The Hall can be hired through the Trustee’s booking clerk, Terry Reed, on 01243 264028 and a list of What’s On regular bookings can be found on the Pagham Parish Council website at https://paghamparishcouncil.gov.uk/venue-hire/