History of Balsall Common Village Hall
Balsall Common Village Hall was built in 1907,
and was funded by local residents. It was run as a Working Men's
and was called the Institute, and the committee were answerable to a
Management Committee, who had the final say on how the hall was run.
The early committees, right up to the fifties, ran it as a working men's club, and arranged different entertainments in order to raise money to cover the cost of running the hall. The earliest groups using the Village Hall were the Whist Club, the WI and the Darby and Joan. Unfortunately only the WI still use the hall today.
There has always been snooker tables at the Village Hall. Originally they were in the main hall and everyone had to work around them. The WI were fined for spilling coffee on one of the Snooker Tables in the early 20's.
The Whist Club started on a trial basis on a Wednesday evening in the 1920's as a way of raising money for the village hall, and many years later became an independent club, finally closing in 2008. Likewise, in the late 30's the management committee running the hall, organised a grand fete and flower show, in a field adjoining the hall, with side shows, clowns, Punch and Judy, children's fancy dress, bonny baby competition, ankle competition, and hidden treasure hunt. The children of Balsall Primary tended their own gardens in the school grounds which were judged on the day of the show. The Flower show was discontinued when war broke out. After the war, the Horticultural Society became an independent club using the hall for its meetings, and continues today.
In the 1940's the original regular users of the hall, the Whist Club, Darby and Joan and the Horticultural Society were joined by the Balsall Players (the drama group).
The Snooker Club room was built in 1937 for the jubilee of George V, and was originally named the Jubilee Extension.
From the late fifties up to 1966 a clinic was run from the Committee Room (now Westlake Room) at the rear of the Village Hall. In 1966 when the clinic moved out Balsall Common Library moved in for approximately 10 years.
Illuminated Address given to the Village Hall Restored
Seventy five residents of Balsall Common and Berkswell attended a social evening at Balsall Common Village Hall on Thursday 23rd. September 2010 to thank a lady from Wythall for donating a 97 year old Illuminated Address to their village hall.
Mrs. Zeta Mason found this illuminated address in the loft of the house which had belonged to her uncle, when she was clearing the house after his death twenty years ago. The picture had then lain hidden in a storage cupboard at the Balsall Common Village Hall until it was discovered in the summer of 2009. It has now been completely restored to Museum Framing Conservation standards by Acanthus Framing and was unveiled by Mrs. Mason.
The illuminated address had been presented to Mrs. Masonís great uncle, Mr. J. D. Stone in 1913 as a token of appreciation by his friends and colleagues for his efforts in organising social activities for the residents of Balsall Common, and for his three years as Chairman of The Institute, now known as Balsall Common Village Hall. Mr. J. D. Stone had lived in Balsall Common for nine years, and was leaving the area to live in Handsworth, to take up a position as Brass Foundry Manager.
Mrs. Jackie Tomnie the current chairman of Balsall Common Village Hall, presented Mrs. Mason with a basket of flowers as a token of appreciation for her efforts in bringing the picture back to Balsall Common.