Cornhill Social History


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Hotel Lands

At one time Jean Hutchison was the tenant of the Hotel Lands Farm Steading which once stood behind the Collingwood Arms (pictures here). She farmed from her cottage, also called ‘Hotel Lands,’ to the east of the The Old School on Knowe Head

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The Village Hall

The old Cornhill village hall was erected at the end of WW1. It was known as The Hut.
In 1957 a meeting was held in The Hut to discuss the building of a new hall. A village hall committee was formed at the beginning of 1958. Money was raised for the new hall by dances, whist drives, garden fetes, special efforts and donations.

Minutes of the first Village Hall Committee meeting
April 1958

Transcript of the minutes

Cornhill Village Hall
In April 1958 a committee was formed, its aim being to raise money to build a new Village Hall which is very much needed. The estimated cost of this is three thousand pounds of which the Ministry of Education grants one third, so our target is two thousand pounds.
At the first Annual General Meeting in April 1959, the Treasurer’s report showed a balance of £488. This is the result of many fund-raising projects held throughout the year. It is thought that a public appeal may bring this work to the notice of some who would wish to help by giving donations, in order that work can be commenced as soon as possible. Some may prefer to make promises now, and make donations when the target is neared and the new project outlined.
Mr, Turnbull, Manager of the British Linen Bank, Coldstream is willing to accept donations, or they may be given to the Secretary or Treasurer, or to any member of the Hall Committee.
R. Larsen Secretary
E. Middlemiss Teasurer

The following are the only photos currently available, taken before the new hall was built.

The Hut can be seen in the background.
It was on the site of the cottages currently to the east of the present village hall

The family is standing in front of Church View cottage
which was on the site of the new village hall - 1950s
left to right - Mrs. Allan, Mr. Allan, their son Adam (chairman of the new village hall committee)
with Margaret and Max, the boxer

The new Village Hall was opened on 1st September 1961
The following photos and text were taken from newspaper cuttings:

The new Village Hall. Villagers met one third of the cost of over £6,000,
a third came from the Ministry of Education and a third from the Northumberland Education Committee
The site was given by Col. Collingwood and the architect was Mr Douglas Cunningham
whose father had been the schoolmaster in Cornhill for many years
Before the Hon. Mrs. Taylor turned the key in the door to officially open the hall,
she and Col. Collingwood were presented with chocolates and cigarettes by
13 year-old Betty Ford and 11 year-old Brian Thompson

Platform party after the opening ceremony
From left: The Rev.W.E. Hicks, vicar of Cornhill. Lt. Col. J.H.F. Collingwood, Miss Betty Ford,
Mr. G.H. Dalton, chairman of the hall committee, Master Brian Thompson, The Hon. Mrs. S. Taylor, the opener,
Mr. C.P. Reid, representative of the Ministry of Education, Mr. C.L. Mellowes. Director of Education

The Hon. Mrs. Taylor, C.P. Reid (HM Inspector of Schools) and C.L. Mellowes
reading congratulatory telegrams

Rev. Hicks of Horndean, J.F. Collingwood and G. Dalton at the opening ceremony

Over 200 villagers attended the ceremony.

Invitation to the opening of the Village Hall

A Concert in the new hall followed the opening ceremony

Jimmy Mitchell‘s Band at the opening of the Village Hall
from left to right - Alan Mitchell (accordian), Ian Wilson (drums), Roy Garland (fiddle),
Unknown (bass), Jimmy Mitchell (accordian), Ian Mathewson (piano)

Other artists in the concert:
Tommy Cunningham & Joey,
Mrs. Mounsey and John Ridpeath (songs)
Alex Elliot (guitar)
Marilyn and Doreen Anderson (piano duet)
Mrs Anderson (pianist)
Miss Elder's concert party - Misses May and June Liddle (duets)
Joyce Wilson, Prudence Beveridge, Ann Corless, Mary McGregor,
Bruce Wilkie (recitations)

Unfortunately, the concert had to be stopped halfway through because of loss of electricity caused by the storm.
Emergency lighting was erected with the assistance of Mr. T. Maxwell and the concert continued.
Afterwards 240 people joined in the dancing.

Clean-up at the Village Hall 1988?
Includes Felicity Beveridge, Duncan Bell, Rob Bell, Elspeth Bell, Adam Allan, Nancy Clark, George Forrest, David Blake, other names please

Bats in the Village Hall roof, 2019
All the ecologists that have been involved have never seen a colony this big. They think there are about 1200 bats living in the hall roof;
A large roost is normally about 250. This colony is significant therefore and is likely to be one of the largest in the UK. The size of the colony is important to the experts and they were genuinely astonished. The bats are Pipistrelles which are the most common.

The common pipistrelle is our smallest and most common bat. All UK bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echo location. Look out for common pipistrelles jerkily darting about as they hunt for insects in gardens, or around street lights at dusk. They hibernate over winter, usually between November and April, although they may come out to feed on warm days.

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