In 1924 Issette Miller, widow of Thomas Horrocks Miller, provided the land and materials to build a Parish Hall. She formed a ‘trust’ saying in a statement of intent that the hall was to be used for “social occasions, entertainment, educational and intellectual meetings”. Since 1924 the hall has provided a welcoming and accessible venue that would allow entertainment as well as social and educational activities open to every resident of Singleton and the surrounding communities. These activities or events were and are often organised by the committee or, by other organisations that used the hall.
Following Issette Miller’s death in 1941 the responsibility for the hall was passed, still “in trust”, to the Blackburn diocese. It now became the Church Hall and was known as this for many years. Many events run through the auspices of the Church were held including Mothers Union, Brownies and Guides and, the Women’s Institute.
A number of years ago it became apparent that the hall would need a substantial amount of money spending on it to bring it up to modern day standards. There was no insulation in the walls, so heating the hall to a comfortable temperature was a problem in the winter and, it became tired and tatty in spite of the committees attempts to freshen it up.
In 1999 the diocese (through the Albermarle scheme) leased the hall to a new Trust named the Singleton (Fylde) Village Hall Trust. It was registered as a charity so now the committee, with guidance from the Trustees, had the responsibility for the care and running of the hall.
In 2011 Bob Gallagher and Maxine Chew got together to make an application to the Big Lottery for a grant to enable the full refurbishment of the village hall. With help from Kriss Wilson and the support of the committee and local residents they were successful at both stages one and two in the application process. After a tense wait for the Big Lottery to evaluate their stage three application, in November 2012 the committee heard that they had once again been successful and a full refurbishment grant was awarded.
The hall closed on the 28th February 2013 and work started to complete the work within a six month period. The contractors worked extremely hard to complete the work and on September 15th 2013 a grand opening ceremony was held. The Mayor of Fylde, Cllr. Mrs Linda Nulty accompanied by the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Cllrs. Ms Elaine Silverwood and Kath Harper officially opened the new building. A hog roast was held for the 150 people who attended.
The hall is a wonderful facility for the residents of Singleton and all the communities surrounding the parish. Many events are planned and the hall is available for private hire.
Singleton (Fylde) Village Hall is a registered Charity, number 1080019. The four Trustees are: Mathew Lee, Michael Smith, Yvonne Coop and Janet Pawson.
The committee is: Janet Pawson (Chairman), Sally Coop (Vice Chairman), Yvonne Coop (Treasurer), Sallyanne Davies Ward (Secretary). Stacy Barber, Sue Robertson and Maxine Chew.
The auditor of accounts is Mrs Rachel Haines.
We are a vibrant and active committee with enthusiastic members that are working very hard to ensure the longevity of our Village Hall. We communicate regularly through our ‘group’ email to ensure all our members are involved with the ongoing work. Full minutes are recorded at each session and are available for inspection.
Currently there are seven members on the Village Hall committee. Many of the committee members are directors or owners of businesses and have solid experience of running or working within, a successful business. Others have customer service experience and a background in service delivery.
All have a wide range of practical experience of business or voluntary organisations. We have actively encouraged a younger, diverse range of people to join our committee to ensure we have a vast range of skills and experience available.
We hold monthly ‘committee meetings’ that are attended by the whole committee. The committee uses a set format for the monthly agenda. This ensures that we cover all the ‘ongoing’ topics and give regular progress reports to the group. Following our monthly meetings the information is disseminated to the volunteers via personal contact.
We have a section on the agenda for ‘urgent’ and ‘any other business’ that allows members to introduce new topics as and when they arise. Where a discussion can’t wait for the meeting we utilise the ‘group’ email to discuss topics and make decisions. If there is an urgent ‘financial’ discussion needed we would call an ‘extraordinary’ committee meeting.
Whichever process we use we ensure that all opinions are heard and considered until a group consensus is achieved. We have found that this method ensures that any decisions are them fully endorsed by the committee members and fully supported by each individual. This keeps us working as a unified team.