Village Hall History

Rev. Edward Palin

The  Hall was built in 1872 as the village school, thanks to the initiative of the  local Rector, the Reverend Edward Palin, great grandfather of Michael Palin  (for further information on the Palin connection see link).  In 1870, with the permission of the Bishop  and St John’s College Oxford, as patrons of the living, a piece of land  adjoining the churchyard was handed over ‘for the education of children and  adults, or children only, of the labouring, manufacturing and other poorer  classes in the parish’ and for a residence for teachers.

The  school opened in 1872, and between 1880 and 1910 there were between 80 and 90  names on the register, however by 1919 only around 30 remained.  Rural Herefordshire was said to be one of the  regions with the worst attended schools, possibly because of ‘its bad roads and  deep retentive clay soil’ that made it impossible for infants to walk to school  in bad weather.

Teachers’  pay was poor and standards of education suffered accordingly, until, in 1931,  it was taken over by a Miss Fellows who ran the school successfully until it  closed in 1958.             When  the school closed it was agreed that the building would make an excellent  Village Hall, replacing the old wooden Parish Hall, which stood where the bungalow  “Tatton” now stands.  The cost to the  village was £300 for the building plus considerable refurbishment expenses, and  the task of fundraising was enormous, and included dances and bowling for a  pig.  Ownership passed to the village in  1961 and in 1963 it reopened as Linton Village Hall, celebrated with a tea of  sandwiches, jelly and cakes.

Since  then the building has undergone very many changes and improvements.  In 1973 the old chemical toilets were  replaced by new cloakrooms.  By 1994 a  new kitchen, entrance hall and storage area had been built, the new extension  being opened by General Sir Peter de la Billière.

By  the late 90s it became clear that considerable amounts were needed to bring the  building up to standard but the National Lottery, with the help of the Eveson  Charitable Trust, The Rank Foundation, The Herefordshire Council, Linton Parish  Council and Friends of Linton Village Hall together with donations from the  local community provided sufficient funding for a complete refurbishment.  In 2000 the Hall was reopened by Sir Peter and Lady Bridget de la Billière and now  offers a spacious environment with up to date facilities, while still retaining  a wealth of original features reflecting the original school character.

A  booklet describing the journey of the building from the original founding of  the school to the year 2000, and including some fascinating photographs can be  purchased from Linton Post Office or the Village Hall Committee.

The  Reverend Edward Palin, great-grandfather of Michael Palin, was Rector of St Mary’s Linton for 38 years at the latter end of the 19  th Century. The circumstances of his appointment to the benefice were  quite extraordinary and he made a huge contribution to the Church and  Village