History

 

Welcome to Lomas Hall - The Heart of Stannington

LOMAS HALL IS A COMMUNITY FACILITY NESTLED IN THE HEART OF STANNINGTON, SITUATED NEXT DOOR TO THE BEAUTIFUL STANNINGTON CHRIST CHURCH, ONLY 6 MILES OUT OF SHEFFIELD.

 

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The village hall did not just appear in 1955. Its opening, like its continuing success, was the culmination of spirited teamwork and effort by local people.  Everyone should be very proud that we have our own village hall run by members of the community for the benefit of the community funded solely by the community

The story begins in 1950 when towards the end of the year a public meeting of residents was held in the Knowle Top Methodist Schoolroom to discuss arrangements for celebrating the 1951 Festival of Britain. A festival of Britain Committee was elected by the meeting and the officers appointed were :

Chairman: Councillor H.E.Wright

Secretary: John A. Maitland

Treasurer: Joseph H. Rhodes

Basil Nicholson and Miss D. Brooks were appointed auditors of the committee. During the subsequent discussions at this first meeting, Miss Flora Lomas announced her intention to provide the village with a much needed hall, in memory of her sister Harriet. Thus, there was determined, an objective for the committee, for it was decided to devote the proceeds from the events organised to celebrate the festival, to furnish the hall. Hence, the festival of Britain committee was to become the Hall Furnishing Fund Committee.

The site on which the hall now stands, was donated by Lt.Col. Revell Sutton. 

With the inspiration thus generated by the twin objectives of the 1951 festival and the furnishing of the hall to be funded, many events were organised by the committee. For example, the newly formed Stannington Players presented their first production "Quiet Weekend" in the Methodist Schoolroom in December, 1950.

A Gala was organised for the actual Festival Day with Gillian Hodgkinson being chosen as Festival Queen. Individual queens were presented by each place of worship and decorated horse-drawn vehicles were provided by Messrs. Flewitt, Hall and Waterhouse, at some considerable personal expense, to convey them. Sporting events were held in the school playing field and a Festival shield was presented by Sir Richard Hughes, as an additional trophy to be competed for at the S.V.P.A. Annual Show.

So, the Festival day passed, but the enthusiasm generated by it continued with increasing efforts to raise money for the hall furnishings. A social sub-Committee was formed to arrange dances, whist drives and other events. Messrs. J. & J. Dyson donated the whole proceeds of one of their Annual Galas to the fund and no doubt many residents may still remember the Gala being twice postponed due to heavy rainstorms, before it was held successfully.

Finally, the first 100 pounds was reached, a great occasion celebrated by the decision to obtain 100 stacking chairs, the first purchase for the new hall. 

During all this time, since late 1950, efforts by Miss Lomas, her advisors and the committee officers to obtain building permission, were meeting with little success. The limit of 100 pounds placed on all building construction or alteration without permit, effectively stopped any attempts to get the hall construction commenced. Many letters and pilgrimages to the Ministry of Works Regional Office at Leeds, had such little effect that the more pessimistic began to believe that the hall would never be built. Nevertheless, perseverance, and no doubt the relaxation of controls, improved the situation and at last a permit to spend up to 12,000 pounds to build the new hall was obtained. The long held dream began to become a reality. Controls still existed however, and these, together with lack of capital, despite the generous and princely sum allowed, prevented a wooden floor being constructed. One of rock asphalt was laid down and those first users of the hall, after its opening, will have unfortunate memories of this floor.

Finally, on 10th December, 1955 what is now known as the Lomas Hall was opened, and the long awaited facility was formally presented in trust to Stannington Village.

The generosity of Miss Flora Lomas continued as first the floor was re-laid with Japanese maple and later the Knowle Room extension was added.

Now, all these years after the opening, one wonders how the community managed without it, yet manage they did. 

There is no doubt that the generosity of Miss Lomas, coupled with the enthusiasm and dedication of those early helpers, made a historical contribution to the specialness of Stannington.

About Lomas Hall

OPENED IN 1955 AND PRESENTED TO THE VILLAGE OF STANNINGTON IN TRUST BY MISS FLORA LOMAS. TODAY THE HALL IS RUN AS A CHARITABLE ORGANISATION AND IS MANAGED BY A VOLUNTARY COMMITTEE MADE UP OF LOCAL PEOPLE. FUNDS TO KEEP THE HALL RUNNING COME SOLELY FROM THE PEOPLE OF THE STANNINGTON COMMUNITY AND THE SUPPORTERS WHO MAKE USE OF THE HALL.

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