THE HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE HALLS IN HALLEN

Hallen Village Hall and Recreation Centre, was officially opened in November 1994.

It came into being after Almondsbury Parish Council sold some Allotments to developers in Bradley Stoke a few years previously for £3.5m, and were looking for projects within the Parish to fund.

At the same time, the Smelting Company, were seeking Planning Permission from Bristol Council to develop their Sports grounds in Stoke Bishop. Planning permission was refused until they could show that they had rehoused their Sports and Social Club (SSC).

They owned the 12 acres on which the Village Hall now stands, so a deal was struck with Almonsbury Parish Council (APC).

Smelting Co. would rent the land to APC at peppercorn rate, and share some of the development costs on condition that their SSC were housed in the building, and their teams, football and cricket, had pitches to play on.

Smelting paid for the development of the Northern side, and APC paid for the building to be erected. Teams from the company used the pitches for a few seasons, before merging with Hallen. Hallen Football Club (HFC) were already playing on the site. It was condition of the new set up that HFC not be disadvantaged.

None of their Social Club, numbering 400 in its heyday, ever showed up, leaving a Village of approximately 250 souls with a huge space to fill.

A Management Committee was in place, and, in partnership with HFC, kept the place ticking over for 20+ years. However, despite the very hard work and efforts of successive Committees, it was almost impossible to generate sufficient money to fund the refurbishment and upgrading of a now ageing building.

When the Leadership of APC were made aware of the situation, they firstly so frustrated the Management Committee, that they resigned en bloc, in 2014. APC then asked HFC if they would take over the administration of the site until they (APC) appointed a new Committee, and/or took over the responsibilities of admin themselves. HFC did their part, but APC didn’t do any of theirs.

In fact in 2015, HFC were given notice to quit! Happily they didn’t and a huge row between the Village and APC. Four of the Councillors eventually resigned over the issue.

With new leadership, the long road that ended with the Official opening on Dec. 14th 2018, began.

The old Village Hall stood on Severn Rd. and was updated in the70’s. At this time, the Church was put forward as a possible replacement for a hall, but Villagers opted to refurbish instead.

Leases and some changes in the systems haven’t been completed yet, but the final layout has been. A new wall divides the internal space, the slightly smaller being the Village Hall. The other half will be leased to a Company with links to sport and leisure.