Hall’s 10 years at heart of Sheffield village

Bradfield Village Hall
Bradfield Village Hall
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Securing a new village hall for Bradfield was a long drawn-out affair.

It was only after a 12-year fundraising odyssey by the village hall committee that construction could be completed on a gleaming new £500,000 building, which has now reached its 10th anniversary.

Since then the hall has kept its place at the heart of the rural community in Low Bradfield, and has even expanded it services to weddings and regular cinema nights.

Celebrations are taking place this weekend, including a race day for the Grand National and an evening of dancing.

Evelyn Cauwood, a member of the committee, said villagers had a ‘sentimental attachment’ to the old, pre-war hall - but a complete replacement was badly needed, she recalled.

“During the war it had been used by the soldiers looking after the dams, and a lot of people around here met at the Bradfield Hall dances.

“But it was more of a wooden hut, really. There was asbestos in it. We had to pull it down and start again.”

The hall stands at the corner of the Ibbotson Memorial Field, named after a family who have lived in Low Bradfield for several centuries.

A memorial trust is also responsible for the bowling club, cricket and tennis courts.

Residents organised many fundraisers to collect the necessary funds, said Evelyn.

The committee lost out on a bid for lottery funding, but eventually a rural grant made the dream a reality.

The new hall took a year to construct - months in which Bradfield residents realised what it would be like to be without a community building permanently.

“It gives us a venue for so many different things,” said Evelyn. “It certainly plays a big role in the village.”

Despite the new hall being used from 2006, the official reopening did not happen until the following year, when former tennis player Greg Rusedski starred at the unveiling.

“We try to do things for the community, if it doesn’t make a profit, it doesn’t matter,” said Evelyn.

“As long as we break even, we’re happy with that.”

Racing will be shown on a big screen on Saturday from 12.30pm, followed by dancing from 7pm.

Tickets for both events £10, available at www.bvh.org.uk or at the Flask End post office.