The Wixford Village Hall has been integral to the community since it was built by the villagers in 1930.

The existing village hall was opened in June 1930 by Lady Helen Seymour from Ragley Hall following a decision made by Wixford residents that they would like a hall for meetings and functions. Funds were raised by collecting door to door within the village and an interest-free loan was received from an anonymous Wixford benefactor. At this time the owner of the Fish public house in the village, Mr Lowe, leased the land that the new hall would occupy for 2/6d per year. Continuing in 1930, regular organisational meetings were held at the Fish with minutes from one particular meeting described as;

‘unpleasantness from some residents who demanded to know the identity of the anonymous benefactor. 

The 40ft x 20ft building was voluntarily constructed by enthusiastic local villagers – some with building experience and some without. The cost of the building materials was approximately £70, which equates to £4693 in 2021. Many of these materials were delivered to the village via train when Wixford still had a working station, next to the river. 

During the 1930s, fifteen card tables were purchased from an upmarket furniture shop in Evesham called Hamilton and Bell, for use in the hall. One table cost 2/6d each (the same cost as the annual lease) so they were clearly of very high quality. So much so that some of the original tables are still in use in the hall today.

At this time the hall could be hired for events at 10/- with an extra charge of 5/- for use of the piano. In 1957 a record player and vinyl records were purchased so perhaps there was a lack of piano players for events. During a function in 1959 unruly behaviour was noted, with broken lightbulbs and the disappearance of the billiard table! The influence of that new-fangled record player…should have kept to the piano for light entertainment.

During a village hall committee meeting in the 1950’s it was recorded that; 

‘Mr Haynes has offered to be caretaker and it was decided he should be paid 5/- for each occasion he was required…his duties would include bringing in the coal, making the fire, ensuring drinking water was available and washing up as well as tidying the hall after each event.’ It was also decided that should any odd jobs present themselves he would be paid separately for these. Mrs Drinkwater proposed a vote of thanks.’ 

Interestingly a further Mrs Drinkwater, who has lived in the village all her life and who celebrated her 7th and 70th birthdays at the village hall undertook the role of caretaker for many years, until 2020. She was not recompensed for each occasion she was required to attend the hall. 

The hall has been used for many occasions over the years including individual parties, family celebrations, wedding receptions, quizzes, whist drives, group meetings and exercise classes. Throughout the Second World War the village hall housed three families (the Allens, Beachams and Dollys) who were victims of the Coventry Blitz and in 1959 money was received from the government for housing the families, at a total of 15/- per week for the five years they were resident at the hall.

The Wixford Village Hall has been host to many different events over the generations and seems to have encouraged lots of different dressing up!

Over the years, due to the quality of the build, issues have arisen mainly relating to the roof. Starting in 1945, the roof timbers began to rot and they had to be treated with 20 gallons of Solignum. In 1955 through to 1957 further roof repairs were undertaken, with the roof being completely re-felted in 1967. Sadly the roof has continued to leak every year since.

In 1977, Stratford District Council contacted the parish with concerns about the state of the village hall and a solicitor was instructed. No events were to be held in the hall until mains water was connected and the toilets connected to the main sewer .In 1978, Mr Lowe sold the land for £1000 and the land was then put in trust to the village to preserve the land and space for a village hall.

A year or two later, villagers demolished the old kitchen and toilet block and both were re-built with a loan and a Grand re-opening of the new facilities in 1980.

One of the regular functions of the hall over the years has been hosting elections.

The hall celebrated its 90th Birthday in 2020 but due to the Covid pandemic, this marvellous milestone had to be marked in a different way.

Wixford Village Hall 90th Celebration (