Our Village Halls

 by Brenda Linsell

I remember the old, old Village Hall
Corrugated tin it was, painted green to gain
Some semblance of a blending in to greenery around.
Of the Cotswold vernacular there was nothing at all,
Save a natural stone wall fronting the lane.

As the weeks went by we would bring
Our babies to the Clinic there,
To be surveyed and weighed by Nurse,
And any gain in weight was good
And noted down in little book
By willing helpers who would look
Admiringly and wistfully at other little ones.

With the Village expanding,
Lots more people and housing,
A bigger and better Hall was the thing.
Minds were called upon to ponder long into the night.
Countless meetings later an exciting scheme seemed right.
A very modern Village Hall by builders who would bring
A fabricated building deemed right.
Flat all round and on top,
Of the Cotswold vernacular not a drop,
Save a natural stone wall fronting the lane.

A long life seemed sure,
For this resplendent New Hall, plenty of room for all.
Parties and clubs and meetings galore
And even a Doctor on weekly call
Would come and take a Surgery full.
Oh what a joy was our New Village Hall.
Many years on a Night of Disaster,
Smoke, flames and Crackling ended it all.
What an ignominious end for our Village Hall.

Once again minds were toying
Problems needing solving
And countless meetings and proposals
Were slowly growing more productive.
A year or two later a Bold Scheme was hatched,
A Brand New Hall could be funded from scratch,
For use by us All,
And once again Lorries came up the lane
With new walling, partitions and all that was needed
For a brilliant New Hall,
Which rose from the Ashes.

Oh what a Sight a Gleaming New Hall
So light and roomy for all to enthral.
The clubs, the Parties, the Gatherings all
Now taking place in our New Village Hall.
And of the Cotswold vernacular, nothing at all
'Cept a roof, Pitched, from which rain can fall,
And of course the Old Stone Wall fronting the lane.

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