Careby, Aunby & Holywell Village Hall
We’ve now finished the renovations to Careby, Aunby & Holywell Village Hall and it is now ready. It is an ideal location for parties, events and clubs.
How We Help
After many years of closure, the vision is to restore the hall and bring it back into use. Long term, the aim is to create a community hub with facilities that can be used by the wider community. To prepare for this project, parish volunteers have removed a considerable amount of ancient agricultural machinery, cut down ivy growth and made the windows water tight. Water damage to the boards around the fireplace has been extensively repaired. In-kind volunteer effort so far is estimated (at 9.90 an hour) to almost £2000 and all the necessary equipment has been donated by the trustees.
Before a Village Hall Committee can be elected, the aim is to gain funding. A bank account has been established and numerous quotes have been obtained to replace the roof and windows. Recent advice shows that the upper surface of the roof is weathered and delaminating with the associated impact on the environment. So, applications are being made for funding to remove the asbestos roof, make good any timbers and replace it with insulated, box profile steel roofing sheets coloured pale green, to fit in with the landscape. Then the unsightly asbestos roof will be gone and the new roof will help with energy efficiency and look more attractive. Insulated to building regulations it will reduce heating costs.
Once the roof is replaced the next project will to gain funding for double glazed windows, paving the way for full volunteer involvement by refurbishing the interior: wider doorways for disabled access, a renovated kitchen retaining some of the features for heritage purposes, disabled toilet facilities and redecorating inside and out.
Volunteer & Donation Opportunities
One of our main causes here at Careby, Aunby & Holywell Village Hall are Volunteer Opportunities and community support, an issue that touches lives.
Careby, Aunby & Holywell Village Hall is a newly registered charity with the Charity Commission. On recovering long lost deeds it has been discovered the land and building were donated to the inhabitants of Careby Parish. At the end of WW1 farmer, Charles Creasey of the Elms gave the land and the building was donated by the rural councillor, Thomas Jackson Sharpe, owner of Careby Manor.
Before WW1 few village halls existed, and those that did were controlled by wealthy land owners, but after returning from the war in 1918 the servicemen began to demand the community facilities they’d witnessed in France and Gallipoli. Thousands of the buildings were corrugated iron or ‘tin huts’ used by the armed forces. Prefabricated, they provided a ready venue for community events, newly formed Scout and Women’s Institute groups, various meetings and social activities. Careby Village Hall became a well-known venue for weekly dances.
First community event showing support for this project
Numerous letters of support as well as donations show that the community want to see this project thrive. In September, much support was shown at the inaugural village party sponsored by the trustees and in December a Christmas party helped to add to the funding, as did the Tombola held at a local supermarket.
Progress to date
The trustees extend heartfelt thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund and South Kesteven District Council Community Fund for their generous support with funding to replace the 100 year old asbestos roof. It means that Careby, Aunby & Holywell Village Hall Community project is, at last, under way.
The Village Hall is set for a much-needed facelift. The hall, a potential heritage site, used to be an important place for dances, stage shows, school plays and meetings for the community, the church and the parish school children. It was closed in the sixties due to the lack of updated toilet facilities despite electricity being not long connected.
The Hall used to serve the three tiny villages of Careby, Aunby & Holywell. According to the Deeds, the hall was built at the end of WW1 by Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Acland Hood Reynardson of Holywell Hall to the cost of £4000 on land donated by Charles Creasey of Careby, ‘for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of Careby and Holywell-cum-Aunby aforesaid forever.’
Then because of the mechanisation of the farming sector, which made up most of the residents in these villages, the farm-working community and estate workers gradually moved away, and their tied cottages sold. As has happened in many rural villages, the village hall, primary school and then the only shop and post office in Careby were closed.
Want to make a positive impact in the Careby community? It really is as simple as making a donation. No amount of time or money is too small or too large! We appreciate all the help you can provide and guarantee that it will be put to excellent use. Contact us to learn more about what we do with the donations we receive.
Volunteers always welcome
You’ll Be Glad You Did
At the end of July the hall ceiling was taken down so that all supporting timbers could be checked. It was during this work that straw insulation was discovered and a number of hats, including a straw boater belonging to Grandma Creasey, the wife of the farmer who originally donated the land for the hall in 1920, and a single ladies shoe were retrieved from the roof space; they’d been thrown up through a small inspection hatch, according to one Careby resident who has fond memories of the dances held there in the fifties.
Beautiful glass lamps suspended on brass rods and powered by Calor gas were also been found.
What it used to look like
new roof interior with strengthened beams
The Trustees of Careby, Aunby & Holywell Village Hall would like to thank, most sincerely, South Kesteven District Council and Reaching Communities Lottery for their generous funding for the replacement insulated roof.
The project has been a challenge for the community volunteers as the removal of the original roof and its replacement fitted, coincided with continuous rain.
Working with the advice from the building inspector, timbers had already been strengthened or added. Then the volunteers became involved in the removal of rainwater and because of the urgency to get the roof in place, they also aided the roofers.
During the preparation for the roof to be installed, internal panelling was removed. A 1914 halfpenny, a Hercules matchbox, and a Lee & Greene green bottle were discovered hidden on various ledges.
A small oval rusty tin was also concealed behind the old wooden panelling. The tin was carefully prised open, and a torn off margin of newspaper was discovered inside. Pencilled in the margin was a note from the original contractor who built the hall in 1926.
W. Sharpe, C. Bytham Aug 13/ ‘26 Contractor