About Us & Our History
The Leigh and Bransford Memorial Hall and Recreation Ground is situated on land given to the residents of the Parish after the First World War by local landowner Frederick Paget Norbury.
The original Memorial Hall building was completed at the end of 1919. It was financed solely by public subscription to serve as a permanent memorial to all those from the Parish who served and gave their lives in the Great War. It was officially opened on 20 January 1920, which means that our lovely community venue is now 100 years old.
Seventy years later, in the 1990’s and once again using a mixture of public donations, legacies, grants and other fundraising activities the original hall (now known as The Small Hall), kitchen and toilets were upgraded and the building itself extended to create a second, larger hall (known originally as the Albert Jones Hall – because in 1987, Albert Jones, a local farmer left £11,500 to the Hall which was acted as the stimulus to build the extension), complete with stage and a further set of toilets. The extension was opened on 17 September 1994.
The Memorial Hall and Recreation Ground is now a properly constituted and registered charity (Charity Commission number 523163) and is managed on your behalf by a Board of local Trustees and still run for the benefit of the whole parish. The original purpose and aims of this much valued community resource (agreed and published by our parish ancestors 100 years’ ago) are still upheld – they state that the Hall and its grounds should be managed “in the interests of social welfare, to improve the conditions of life . . . . without distinction of political, religious or other opinions by the provision of facilities for recreation and other leisure-time occupation.”
Since inception the Memorial Hall has continues to rely on revenue generated through hire fees, fund raising activities and the occasional charitable donations and grants in order to remain financially viable. It has no other source of regular income or support.
The Trustees work hard to keep the Halls, its facilities and surroundings (including the large, adjacent recreational field) in a good state of repair and decoration. At the same time, they are always seeking out and applying for grants and awards to undertake improvements. Since 2013 we have secured funding to refurbish both sets of toilets (adding facilities both for disabled users and baby changing); create a brand new, fully fitted kitchen; install a sustainable, air-source heating system; restore the original wooden flooring in both halls; replace the curtains; completely redecorate throughout; complete much-needed improvements to the external guttering and fascia boards and, most recently, install new front doors and double glazed windows in the Large Hall and a 360 degree external CCTV system for added security.
The Memorial Hall benefits from a south facing elevation, with a truly magnificent view across to the Malvern Hills. The site has parking spaces for about eighty cars; a seating capacity across both Halls for 310 people, (160 in the Large Hall and 150 in the Small Hall); tables and chairs that are available to hirers included in the cost of the hire; a bar room that has serving hatches to both Halls; a modern, fully fitted kitchen; a curtained stage in the Large Hall and a flexible hiring format that allows us to accommodate a wide range of functions – all of which are available to hire at very competitive rates.
The spread of Covid-19 this year has meant that we were closed for almost 5 months, but after following reopening guidelines we are now open for business and look forward to welcoming you at some point in the future either as a hirer or as a guest at one of the many clubs, societies, or public and private functions that are hosted at the Hall each year.
Jon Gamble, Chair of Trustees