In 1944 towards the end of the war the Fire watchers in the village would gather in the Tap room of the Britannia Inn, which belonged to Mrs. Doney. Probably some time after V.E. Day (8th May 1945) it was suggested by Mr Longhurst at one of these gatherings that sports and tea be held for the children to celebrate peace. This suggestion was taken up and a public meeting was held on the 31st August 1945 in the school room of the old school house which stood on the site of the present front garden of Rayden House and part of the road before it was widened.
It was decided that the sports should include a Punch and Judy show, games a bonfire and dancing in the garage. The sports and tea were held in the Dalditch Lane field of Lee Ford on the 8th September 1945.
As there was a balance of £30.17.2. after expenses of £14.16.8. it was decided to get together and erect a village hall. A meeting was held in the old school room by arrangement with Mr.Ashford. fifty-five people attended and Colonel Pepys was elected Chairman, Major Palairet President and Mr. Humphrey Treasurer.
As soon as the hall was opened old time dancing lessons and dances were held sometimes as often as nine times a month. There was also whist and euchre drives and square dancing. Flower shows started in July 1949. In November 1964 negotiations were started with the National Council of Social Services to buy the hall. The purchase price was £340. Permanent planning permission was obtained and the Hall at last belonged to the village.
Quote from the Exmouth Journal Dec 24th 1948
Saturday was a red-letter day for Knowle, for the opening of the village hall marked the climax of three years of strenuous effort, mental and physical, on the part of the inhabitants. The mental effort was necessitated because of the tangle of re-tape and control which had to be cut through, and the physical effort was put forth by men and women of the village, who laid out the surrounding grounds and provided entrances and carpark, and cleaned and polished the interior, making it ready for the ‘house-warming’ without a penny of cost for labour.
The hall was provided largely through the help of the National Council of Social Services as a temporary measure, and the opening ceremony was performed by Mrs Pepys, of Clyst St. George who resided at Knowle house for forty years.
Mr Tilestone, wishing them the greatest possible success in their efforts, pointed to that the hall was not a building erected for any one section of the community. It was not for the men, the women, the small children, or the old people but it was for every single one of them – it belonged to the village as a whole. In formally handing over the building he did so with the wish that it would provide them with many happy hours of recreation.
We feel that these people who put so much work into the building of the hall in 1948 would be very pleased to see how it continues to be enjoyed by so many in our community today.
Some of the improvements made to the hall over the years:
- Parquet flooring 1951 Cost £275
- Electricty 1956 Cost £87
- New Curtains 1997
- New radiators by 2004
- New Kitchen 2008
- Playground 2000
- Rear Patio, Doors & fencing 2013 Cost £12,018
- Refurbishment Gents toilets 2014 Cost £4,000