© 2024 Buckland Newton Community Website Committee Last updated 17th February 2024 11:40 Website design and update by Jeremy Collins

Parish Pavilion

The recently refurbished and re-opened Parish Pavilion (formerly The Parish Room) is located on the Parish Field at the school crossroads. It is available for hire (ideally suited to small meetings and events). For more details please contact the Parish Clerk on 01258 817288 or e-mail Parish Clerk
A hugely successful Celebratory Opening of the Parish Pavilion took place at 3pm on Sunday the 22nd September 2019. Despite a downpour, some 100 villagers turned up and crowded into the new hall and under the veranda. Nicki Barker, Chairman of the Parish Council, stood on a chair within the hall and welcomed everyone saying: “This has been a real village Project. The original ideas came from you as villagers during our 6 year long consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan , followed up by refining ideas via the village newsletter in spring a year ago. As for contractors, we were thrilled when we opened the bids to find the best ones were from 2 village companies, Nick Baker of N and J Baker for the pavilion conversion and Buckland Newton Hire Ltd. for the new running track. Both have done a fabulous job, as you can see, and it must be a rare thing to reach the end of a project saying they have both been a joy to work with. As chairman, I am hugely indebted to ‘Team Parish Council’. They have freely given their spare, and not-so-spare time, and personal skills to ensure this project is a success. I particularly want to pay tribute to Cllr John Baker who designed this building and drew up the specifications, and gained the planning permission, all in very short order to meet the grant application deadline, and to Cllr Andy Foot who was our Project Manager. And last, but certainly not least, to our “one-in-a-million” Parish Clerk, Sarah Mitchell, who has been our Finance Officer and my right hand woman. So how did we fund it? Well, we just managed to slip in at the last minute and acquire an EU grant via the “European Union Agricultural Fund for Rural Development” before this line of funding closed. It is sad that Sarah Harbige, who manages this fund in Southern Dorset, was not able to be here with us to see how well these grant funds have been used and how much benefit it will bring to the village. This EU grant covered 80% of the project costs, and we had to find the remaining 20% very rapidly in order to support our application. Hence I am equally indebted to 3 groups within the village who came forward to offer us help: The United Charities of Buckland Newton, whose roots go way back to the time when the parish was responsible for supporting their poor; Buckland Newton Community Property Trust, who most of us know as the Trust who built and looks after Lydden Meadow; and a contribution from last year’s 2018 Fete. Alongside this, we dipped heavily into the small legacy that Sir William Aykroyd left us, ring-fenced to support projects such as this. In due course this will be repaid so it can support new projects in the future.” Nicki Barker then went on to describe the fascinating history of both the Parish Field and this newly converted building. She explained: “This field was originally part of Buckland Common, a common which stretched from here across towards the Gaggle of Geese and up to the shop. There were several commons in the parish, one at Cosmore, one at Duntish and one near the top road, but this one was the most important as it was in the centre of the village. Up until the early 1700’s, parishioners had Common Law Rights on these such as grazing animals and collecting firewood. When the land was enclosed in 1734, in lieu of these lost common rights, this field was allotted to the parish for recreation and exercise. Cricket and football were very strong in the village with teams playing right through the 1800 and 1900’s. The last Gaggle of Geese home cricket match was played on the field in 2015, so it would be splendid to bring this back. This building dates to 1871. It was built as the Parish Coal Store, hence its 3-brick thick walls and these unusual buttresses along both sides. We don’t know whether it was built commercially or by the parish as there are no records, but rural villages in those days were very self-sufficient, making most of what they needed, and this crossroads area was the commercial centre in this village. It had a wheelwrights, several large carpenter shops, several stores, a shoemakers and a vet cum dentist just down the road, and of course a carrier, hence Carrier’s Cottage. Coal made that vital improvement in the lives of villagers, who up until then used wood for their cooking and heating needs, and its availability was intrinsically linked to railways. Coal here would have come from the Bristol and Somerset coalfields by goods train on the Dorchester and Sherborne lines. Both lines only became open for goods in the late 1860’s and coal would have been brought here by horse and cart for storage and onward distribution around the village. For 50 years this building served as the coal store. It was only with the coming of motorised vehicles in the 1920’s that lorries would have replaced the carrier bringing house to house deliveries and the coal store became redundant. The Parish Council took over the redundant building in the 1920’s and turned it into a Reading Room. They blocked up the big entrance on the roadside and installed a chimney and fireplace. How much actual reading took place is debatable as the room was poorly lit by a small windows at each end, but it would have served as the only meeting room in the village, a quasi-village hall, as well as a changing room for matches on the field. This continued for 30 years until 1950 when, in turn, it too became redundant with the building of a new, prefabricated village hall on the site of the current hall. Briefly during WW2 it served as a First Aid Post . From then on it was a somewhat neglected place, being dark, damp and cold. It went on being a sports pavilion, and a meeting place for the cubs and scouts and the Parish Council, and it briefly served as an Outreach Post Office. So this new revamp in 2019 brings it back into full use again in its full glory, situated as it is right on the edge of the playing field and new running track, As a small public room, it fills a valuable niche between what the Village Hall can offer and that of the Gaggle of Geese, and we are proud of its conversion.”
Parish Pavilion and Running Track   Improving sporting facilities in the Parish of Buckland Newton     P art funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development                       Support funding from the United Charities of Buckland Newton, BNCPT and the  village fete 2018.   Loan funding from the Sir William Aykroyd Legacy
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