Plea to get village halls in Sheffield sign up to the Doomsday Book

Over 500 halls in England have contributed to the unique record so far, detailing their response to the pandemic and hopes for the future.

Friday, 19th February 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Friday, 19th February 2021, 9:30 am
A plea for village halls to sign the online Doomsday Book, pictured Dore Village Hall
A plea for village halls to sign the online Doomsday Book, pictured Dore Village Hall

Many of England’s 10,000 plus village halls date back to the 1920s. To celebrate the contribution they make to rural communities, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has created this virtual ‘Domesday Book’ for village halls to record the work they are doing in 2021.

The record will help make the case for sustained funding and support for village halls which will be especially important as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity) said: “Village halls have been a crucial part of rural life for the past century. They provide a space for activities and events that bring people together, create a sense of community, reduce loneliness and support local businesses.

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“At a time when many village halls are closed because of coronavirus, it is especially important to recognise and celebrate the work they do. As such, I wholeheartedly encourage anyone involved with a village hall to sign this ‘Domesday Book’ and help create a record demonstrating how important these buildings are.”

The Domesday Book is a historical record, so far featuring 500 plus village halls whose volunteer custodians have taken time to explain their charity’s history their response to the pandemic, and hopes for reopening and supporting their community in the future.

In a survey undertaken by ACRE last year, it was found that 60% of village halls provide the only meeting space in the local community. An estimated 50,000 individuals are reliant on the use of village halls to make a living.

Reflecting on the past couple of weeks, Phillip Vincent, ACRE’s Public Affairs and Communications Manager said: “The idea was simple. We wanted to find a way of making

the process interactive and engaging whilst capturing stories about the important contribution village halls make to England’s rural communities. We honestly didn’t

know how many groups would sign the record but in the end, we received so many entries it crashed the page we built."

ACRE says the Village Halls Domesday Book will remain open for a while longer in the hope that even more halls will sign. Register your village here

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