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Victory Hall

History of Victory Hall

In the latter part of the nineteenth century the Preston family of Beeston St. Lawrence built a reading and club room in Neatishead where members would meet to chat and read a selection of daily newspapers. In 1919 the Reading Room and Social Club was purchased from Sir Edward Preston by the local population as a memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War and renamed 'the Victory Hall'. This became a popular venue for meetings, such as wedding receptions, parties, concerts, lectures and craft demonstrations and, in 1922, the Neatishead Victory Hall charity was established.

During World War Two the Victory Hall was regularly used for whist drives, dances, Red Cross meetings and other social events, and the local Woman's Voluntary Service used the hall two evenings a week so soldiers posted nearby could have hot drinks and light snacks.

The upkeep of the hall became increasingly expensive; in early 1970 an appeal was launched to raise money for alterations to the hall itself. One outcome of this appeal was the formation of NABS (Neatishead and Barton Society). In early 1981 the old kitchen was changed into a small meeting/changing room, and a toilet block and a kitchen were added.

Over time the Victory Hall became increasingly unsuitable for general use so a fundraising campaign was started in the mid to late 1990’s to build a new hall. In 2007, at the third attempt, a £177,000 grant was secured from the Big Lottery Fund. The Victory Hall was sold in November 2008 for £127,000 and this money, along with more than £100,000 raised by the local community and over £70,000 in smaller grants, financed the construction of the New Victory Hall.