by Nick Hollinghurst on November 27, 2012
On Sunday 25th November Hastoe celebrated the restoration of its magnificent village hall on the heights of the Chilterns.
Lord and Lady Rothschild graciously agreed to conduct the formal re-opening of the village hall that was endowed by Lord Rothschild’s ancestors and opened by Lady Emma Rothschild in the 1890s. Tring Mayor Nick and Rosemarie were very happy to have been invited to see the final result of years of restoration work.
The major restoration effected over the past year has equipped Hastoe Village Hall for the twenty-first century. With a capacity of 150 people, a stage, a professional standard kitchen, a computer-friendly meeting room, disabled facilities and parking for 60 cars, Hastoe Village Hall is now set once again to fulfil the aims that Lady Emma Rothschild envisaged eleven decades ago. It will provide not only a social centre for Hastoe and the surrounding community but also an attractive venue for receptions, parties and conferences.
Gratitude is due to the EU Leader Fund, the Big Lottery, Tring Town Council, Hertfordshire County Council and The Rothschild Foundation for their financial assistance for this important project. Thanks are equally due to the many individual supporters who have given their time and efforts to this achievement.
Nick Phillips of the Leader Fund commented: “This is a great example of a village hall that has been developed into a village asset. Rothschild architecture and great Victorian character give it more of a warm club feel than the draughty hall we saw months ago! Village life can so often be enhanced by a project such as this, first in the professional and inclusive way the funds were raised, then by its use as a focus bringing local people together”.
Tring Mayor Nick commented afterwards, “The restored hall now looks absolutely stunning and the opening ceremony was enhanced by the fine weather and sunshine streaming through the large windows that for so long had been obscured by bushes on the outside and grime on the inside. I was told that wartime blackout paper was found to be still in place on some of them, despite sporadic use over the decades.
The splendid new kitchen, the delightfully restored library and the light pastel shade decor throughout now give a bright, airy feel to the whole building.
The committee and everyone concerned with the restoration deserves high praise indeed for their effective management of this complex restoration project.”