During the early years, meetings and social gatherings took place in the Iron Room, a gift from Miss James in1889, which was situated in Stoney Bottom and the school room, but as the population of Grayshott increased it became apparent that these venues were inadequate for the purpose. It was therefore proposed that the village should have a Village Hall and in June 1900 an announcement was made in the Parish Magazine that an offer of £500 had been received on the condition that a suitable site was acquired and the balance of the required funds, estimated to be in the region of £2000, raised.
A meeting was held on July 18th 1900 to discuss plans for the establishment of a Village Hall and Club Room for Grayshott and its neighbourhood. It was originally planned to hold the meeting in the Iron Room but, due to the intense heat of the day, it was adjourned to “a shady glade in the fir woods of Mrs Anderson Wells”. The meeting was attended by in excess of thirty people. Mr Marshall Bulley took the Chair and explained the scope of the proposal–to combine a good hall, for lectures and public entertainment, with a club room, reading room, billiard rooms etc. and Trustees and a working Committee were appointed. The Trustees were Mr Samuel Marshall Bulley, of Westdown, Hindhead, Mr John Macmillan, of Bramshott Chase (who was to become Bishop of Guildford), Mr Alexander Ingham Whitaker, of Grayshott Hall and Mr Aneurin Williams, of Wheelside, Hindhead, plus representatives from Hampshire County Council. An appeal for donations was made and by September a further £143.8s had been raised in addition to the initial £500.
A Trust Deed dated 14th February 1901 was prepared providing that the Institute was “for material improvement social intercourse and amusement mental and moral culture literary pursuits and physical training and for such general public or philanthropic objects as the Trustee may from time to time approve” it went on to say “no person to be excluded on the grounds of class, party, sex or creed”. A restrictive covenant included in the land conveyance stated that that “no public house, beer shop or tavern may be erected, nor any band practice take place on the premises”. At this time, Grayshott was not a separate parish and the terms of the Trust Deed stated that the hall was for the use of the inhabitants of the Parishes of Headley, Bramshott, Shottermill, Frensham and Thursley “as can reasonably be construed as being in the neighbourhood of the district called Hindhead and its immediate neighbourhood”. It was therefore announced that the hall was to be known as “The Grayshott and Hindhead Institute and Village Hall”. A letter was prepared by the Committee giving full details of the overall proposal for the project and distributed throughout the area. It was also stated at this time that some £800 had now been received overall, in addition to the gift of the land, but that the latest estimated cost of the project had now risen to £3500.
In January 1901, it was announced that a conveyance of land given by Mrs Plimpton-Smith in memory of her brother Dr. Felix Plimpton, had been completed and a further area of land for the project had been purchased from Mrs Plimpton- Smith for £100.
A Conveyance dated 14th February 1901 conveys a piece of land, situated on the corner of Boundary Road and Headley Road, from Mrs Constance Eliza Smith–widow, to the Trustees of the Village Hall and Institute. An Indenture dated 20th January 1903 records the purchase of the said land, at a cost of £592. (This land had originally been the subject of a conveyance from H.J. Blake to a C.D. Alexander on 1st June 1883 and from Laura Somers to John Allen on 20th August 1890).
By the autumn of 1901, work had commenced on the laying of the foundations on the site although the funding was not yet fully in place. A letter from Mr Marshall Bulley was published in the Parish Magazine stating that the Committee “were seeking to secure a large list of small donations from the readers. Mrs Lyndon, Treasurer, would receive the donations direct on behalf of the Committee, alternatively, it is suggested that in November, small amounts of monies could also be given to the ladies who distributed the Magazine and they would pass them on to the Treasurer”. As a result, numerous donations were received in amounts from 6d to £15 with additional funds being received as a result of fund raising events.
By May 1902, the current Village Hall, excluding the Library building, a later addition in 1906, designed by architects Read & MacDonald and built by local builders Chapman, Lowry and Puttick, whose tender for the work was £3430,was complete. A notice was published in the Parish Magazine that there was to be an official opening ceremony in the evening of Thursday 23rd May 1902 and it was planned for there to be entertainment by the Grayshott Dramatic Society, the String Band, and the Choral Society.
The Hall, often known as the Institute, was soon put to good use. A public meeting was held in early June to consider a “memorial of peace” following the end of the Boer War, an entertaining evening put on by children to a packed Hall on 13th June and the village Flower Show held on 23rd July. In September 1902 an announcement was made to the effect that the autumn and winter Technical classes would be held in the Technical Room of the Village Hall, subjects to be included were Woodcarving at a fee of two shillings for twenty-four lessons, Horticulture at a fee of one shilling for five or six lessons and Nursing for Women. In October it was announced that the Village Hall Men’s Club would commence with thirty-nine members. By this time, plans were in place to use the Institute for Technical classes, Gymnasium classes, Musical drill, Choral Society, Orchestral Society and various Lectures. In November the Hall was full to overflowing when a party from Miss Weston’s “Sailors Rest,” Portsmouth, presented an evening with “The Bluejackets in the Fo’cle”, with total ticket sales amounting to £17. With all this activity the Institute soon became the centre for many organisations of the village, as well as the offices of the recently formed Parish Council.
A Committee had been formed to organise the village celebrations to mark the coronation of Edward V11 on 26th June 1902. At the final meeting of the Committee held in the Iron Room on 11th July, it was agreed to donate a sum of money from the closing excess of funds to buy a clock for the Lecture Room of the new Village Hall.
In February 1903 a Library was opened in the main building with 600 books, opening times being on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Books were free to annual subscribers and at a charge of one penny per volume to all others. The Parish Magazine of December 1903 listed many of the books available from the library at the time and by 1907 it is recorded that the library, run by Mrs Marshall Bulley, contained some 1100 books.
Many well attended lectures on a wide range of subjects were held in the Hall, given by both local people and guest speakers from further afield, such as Apsley Cherry-Garrard who was a member of Scott’s team on the fateful South Pole expedition of 1912 .He gave a lecture in the Hall on 5th February1914. Many of these lectures were illustrated with the use of a borrowed limelight lantern or oil lantern. In January 1904, it was suggested that an electric lantern be purchased for the Hall at an estimated cost of £30-£40 including a screen. The first lecture using the new lantern was on 7th October 1904.
It is not clear where the bulk of the money came from to build the Hall but once it was completed, it was the intention that all ongoing costs be financed by receipts from lettings. The accounts for the year to 31st August 1904 showed a total income of £141.8s.3d. equivalent today to some £12300 (today the current figure is in the region of £38,000). Receipts for 1903/4 included:-
Men’s Club £40, Concerts & Entertainments £31.2s.9d, Schools £ 27.12s, Technical Room £10.5s and income from Village Dances, Dramatic, Orchestral & Choral Societies, Society of Artists and the Library £6.
Expenditure for 1903/4 amounted to £132.2s.7d including:-
Wages £39.4s.6d.,Coals £27.3s.3d, Electric Light £45.0s.8d. and Repairs £8.3s.1d. By the end of August 1905, income from the Library alone amounted to £59.8s.10d against expenditure of £56.5s.5d on books, magazines and shelving.
In November 1905,the Chairman of the Trustees, Mr Marshall Bulley, included a short report with the Accounts. In it he stated that the Institute was “in fair working order and it is very seldom that the hall is not used for one purpose or another, and it is not infrequent for every room in the building to be occupied on the same night”. He went on to mention the numerous village organisations which had used the hall and that it had now reached the stage of being self supporting and for the first time it had been possible to lay a small balance aside He completed his Report stating that “the work carried on favourably affects the welfare and happiness of the village which is the end and object held in view”.
By the spring of 1906, the usage of the Institute was at such a high level that consideration was given to the building of a small hall on the side of the existing building. It was estimated that the cost for this would be in the region of £500. Mr and Mrs Marshall Bulley offered £400 on the condition that the remaining £100 be raised by the community and this was quickly achieved, with a total sum of £137. 8s 0d. being received. Mr Falconer MacDonald was appointed Architect and Chapman Lowry & Puttick were again appointed builders. The work began in July on what was to become known as the Small Hall, later to become the existing Library building.
In April 1907, the Trustees wrote to Grayshott Parish Council proposing that ownership of the Institute, including the library of some 1100 books, be passed over to the Parish providing the Council continued to run it on the terms of the existing Trust Deed. At this time the land, buildings, furniture and fittings were valued at £5531.This offer was unanimously accepted at a Council meeting on 3rd May and at the Annual Parish Meeting on 14th May. The Conveyance was signed on 20th August 1907 and a Management Committee was appointed consisting of the then Parish Councillors, together with a representative each from the Higher Education Committee, the Entertainment Committee, The Friendly Society and two members of the Village Hall Men’s Club. Mr Alexander Ingham Whitaker was elected Chairman and Miss Dora Hetch was appointed Secretary.
The Trustees held the first “Annual Meeting” on 26th September 1907 at which it was confirmed a bank account had been established with the Capital & Counties Bank, Haslemere. The Parish Council Meeting on 15th October 1907 recorded that the Recreation Committee had passed over the ownership of the Lantern and gymnasium apparatus and other equipment to the Hall. It was also confirmed that the Institute was insured with Lloyds at the rate of 2s.6d. per cent with buildings insured for £4500 and Furniture & Fittings, including the caretakers furniture, at £500.
At the Annual Parish Meeting on 17th March 1908, the Chairman, Mr Whitaker confirmed that the assets had been duly transferred free from all costs and that the aim was to continue to let the halls out at as low rent as possible. The scale of charges for use of the Hall was 2s.6d. for evening meetings of Societies and Committees and 1s 6d. for afternoon meetings-“with fire”. The price for private village dances was one and a half guineas. It was further agreed “that smoking be allowed occasionally in the halls, special permission to be given by the Secretary”. In the year ending 31st August 1908, income from rental of the halls and equipment amounted to £176.12s.7d. against an overall expenditure of £175. 4s.3d.
In 1908, Mr Whitaker reported that “a suitable Fire Station” had been erected on the property. It was also agreed that one fireman in uniform should be admitted free of charge to any public entertainment held at the Institute. The Grayshott & Hindhead Fire Brigade, now the Grayshott Fire Brigade, had been formed in 1906 and the wooden station building was erected on the frontage of Headley Road, in front of the Small Hall. A small extension was added to the east of this building in 1929. In 1960, the area used by the Bowling Club was sold for £950 to the Hampshire Fire Brigade in order for a new station to be built to replace the existing wooden building. In January 1971, an additional small area of land behind the Fire Station was sold to the Fire Service for £150.
Tennis Courts-Bowling Green
A large area of lawn bordered Boundary Road when the property was initially developed and this was later used as tennis courts. In April 1908, the Committee agreed hire charges of 3d per person per hour and 3d for racket hire. The Grayshott Tennis Club was officially formed in November 1911. A second tennis court was added in 1912 and the courts were enclosed with a 5ft high wire netting fence. By 1923, it was agreed that a new site be sought where hard courts could be built. Initially it was proposed to use part of Phillips Green for four hard courts, subject to Parish Council permission, but this proposal was dropped and new courts built on the present site by the recreation ground. In 1925, it was agreed to cease use of the courts on the Village Hall site and in 1926 the courts were converted to a bowling green for hire by the Bowling Club at the rate of £5 p.a. for five years. The Club continued to be based here until the site was sold in 1960, as mentioned above.
At a meeting of the Trustees in January 1910, it was recorded that a letter had been received from Mrs Marshall Bulley in which she suggested the placing of commemorative tablets in the large Hall. The proposal was agreed by the Trustees and the first such tablet, to an approved design, was erected in memory of Mr Samuel Marshall Bulley. In 1957, the tablets were removed from the Hall and refurbished before being re-hung in the their present site in the vestibule. Today, there are seventeen such tablets including those in memory of Miss Catherine I’Anson, Miss James, Rev. James Jeakes, Dr. Charles Lyndon and Mr Alexander Ingham Whitaker.
In January 1911, Dr Lyndon wrote to the Council offering to provide and erect a wooden room, with corrugated roof on a brick foundation to the rear of the premises to be used as a storeroom. The offer was duly accepted and the building completed.
In March 1912, the Men’s Club applied for permission to sell beer on the premises. In the original conveyance of the land, a covenant provided that no alcoholic sales were permitted up until 14th January 1911 and only after such date with permission of the Trustees. A resolution of the Parish Council duly granted permission provided that it was only consumed within the Clubroom. The Management Committee set the rules to state “that not more than two pints be supplied to any one member during one evening and that no beer be sold before 6pm and after 10pm”, later amended to include “before 1pm on Saturdays”. `Also “that no beer be sold to members under the age of eighteen and that no beer be taken out of the Club Room”.
Billeting of Troops
At the Parish Council meeting of 20th October 1914, mention was made of the possible billeting of troops in the Institute and use of the Institute as a Recreation Room for the soldiers of the proposed Bramshott Camp. It was agreed that Mr. Wray make the best possible arrangement with the authorities. The 7th King’s Royal Rifles Brigade, succeeded by the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade, moved into the Hall on 12th November 1914. In the event only the large hall and the library were used for actual billeting. At the Parish Meeting of 19th January 1915, Mr Wray reported to the council that all parts of the Institute with the exception of the caretakers accommodation had been let at the rate of 9d. per head per night and that £197 had been received in the first nine weeks. Tents had been erected on the tennis courts and it was confirmed that compensation would be sought for any damage caused. The troops finally vacated the premises on 9th April 1915 by which time a total of £444.8s.3d.rental had been received. The use of the hall as a Recreation Room had lasted for only five days prior to the troops moving in, but continued once again after they left. In June 1917, it was agreed that the troops be given permission to use the tennis courts.
In April 1928, the Management Committee requested that the Parish Council hold the Securities in the Trust as an Endowment Fund, the dividends of which were to be paid to the Committee’s account as part of its annual income. These Securities comprised of £400 of five percent Debenture Stock of Haslemere & District Gas Company and £20 five & three-quarters percent West Australian Stock. A Resolution to this effect was passed at the Parish Council Meeting on 17th April 1928.
Change of Name
At a meeting of the Management Committee on 11th December 1936, it was agreed that the present name of the Grayshott & Hindhead Institute and Village Hall was both cumbrous and misleading, particularly since Hindhead had had its own Village Hall for some years. It was therefore agreed to change the name to The Grayshott Village Hall. A request was sent to the Parish Council and a Resolution passed by the Council to amend the name. Such request being accepted, a Resolution was passed to this effect at a Parish Council Meeting on 12th January 1937.
It was decided in December 1939 to close the Library and the Committee placed on record its appreciation of the service rendered by Mrs Marshall Bulley, to the village of Grayshott during the many years she so unselfishly and efficiently, carried on the Library. The Minutes also recorded that the Committee was “fully aware that her decision to close the library was entirely due to the fact that, during the last year or two, in the changing world, the library was used by very few of those for whose use it was founded”. In May 1954, the Hampshire County Library confirmed that they would open a library in the hall, at a rental of £13 per annum, for one hour per week. This arrangement appears to have continued for a number of years until notice was given by the County in 1965 confirming that a mobile library would take over the library duties for the village. In 1972, the situation of raising additional funds for the operation of the Hall was helped by the letting, on an initial 7 year lease at £400 per annum, of the Small Hall to the Hampshire County Library, which also resulted in the added benefit to the village of a permanent library being established.
In 1943, the Committee agreed that the Small Hall should be made available, during the winter months, to the Home Guard for Drill practice. The Small Hall was also made available to members of H.M. Forces as a Reading and Writing room.
Following the second world war, somewhere around 1946/7, a tenancy was taken by the Education Authorities for the Technical Room to be used as an overflow for pupils from Grayshott school. This was intended to be a temporary arrangement but continued for many years. It was not until May 1962 that the Management Committee took the decision to serve notice of termination of the arrangement to the Authority. Originally it was intended for the school to vacate at the end of summer term of that year, the reasons being given that the cloakrooms were in a shocking state, urgent needs of floor repair and danger to the children resulting from the building work for the new Firestation, the adjacent car parking area being the only play area for the children. In the event, the school vacated the premises in May 1963.
In October 1963, St Luke’s Parochial Church Council, seeking a suitable venue for a Church Room, took an annual tenancy of the Technical Room at the rate of £70 per annum. They continued the tenancy until January 1968 after which, the Management Committee changed the name of the room to the Common Room.
A reference in the Minutes of the Management Committee of December 1951 refers to old papers recently found in the attic. These included “old music scores” which were sent to Churchers College, Petersfield and it was agreed that the other papers could be sent for salvage. Reference was also made to pictures donated by Mrs Ashley-Clark which, it was confirmed were in safe custody. There is no description as to what the pictures were.
For a number of years, the Management Committee was always hard put to make ends meet, mainly due to the high maintenance costs of the property although the financial problems were alleviated to some degree by the receipt of grants. The problems were also helped by an increase in income from improved lettings, which had been achieved by the formation of a Social Committee. In January 1957, it had been reported that, based on the prior three to four years, an additional £200-£250 was required per annum to meet ongoing costs. A meeting was therefore held between the Management and Social committees and representatives of local organisations. Consideration was given to leasing the Small Hall to the Fire Service on a full repairing lease for five years at £250 p.a. However, by this time the Hampshire Fire Service were indicating that they were not
prepared to continue the Grayshott Fire Service without new premises and equipment. This eventually resulted in the Parish Council entering into negotiations with the Service for the sale of land as noted above. The conveyance of this land was completed in 1960, the sale proceeds being invested for the benefit of the Hall.
In December 1962, an application was made for the Village Hall to be registered as a Charity under the Charities Act of 1962 and the registration was formalised in April 1963.
In October 1967, the Management Committee was restructured in order to meet the statutory requirements of the Department of Education and the County Council which stated that a minimum of six representatives from local organisations which used the hall should serve on the committee. Meeting these requirements enabled the Committee to obtain grants to install central heating.
On the 30th September 1971, the Men’s Club was formally wound up and what is now the Small Hall and the Reading Room, now part of the kitchens, were vacated. It was estimated that this would result in a minimum loss of £150 pa. It was reported in October 1972 that alterations to the Men’s Club and Reading rooms were complete and that the present Small Hall and the new kitchens were fully operational.
In July 1980, Mrs Nancy Littlejohn and Mr F. Len H. Harris both retired from the Committee. Mr Harris had served on the committee for some forty-three years, having joined in 1937, ten of which were as Chairman. Mrs Littlejohn had served for twenty-five years, twenty-two as Chairman. A farewell party was held to mark the occasion, attended by members of the Management Committee, Parish Councillors and representatives of local organisations. A cheque and an inscribed tray depicting village activities associated with the village hall, were presented to each in recognition of their long service. The Parish Council office is now named the Nancy Littlejohn Room.
In early 2000, a Friends of Grayshott Village Hall scheme was established to raise money for the specific purpose of keeping the Hall in good decorative order. This on-going scheme has proved to be a success and is now made up of both individual and corporate members.
On 23rd May 2002, a commemorative plaque on the front of the Hall was unveiled by Maj. Jeremy Whitaker to mark the centenary of the opening of the Village Hall in 1902.
In September an “Evening of Entertainment” to celebrate the centenary was held, at which the Grayshott Stagers and the Grayshott School provided entertainment.
In April 2002, the Grayshott Village Archive was formed to mark the centenary of both the Village Hall and the Parish Council.
Grayshott and the Telephone
The first published list of Grayshott telephone numbers and subscribers was in the National Telephone Company directory of 1907. The Grayshott exchange was at the Post Office in Crossways Road where previously Flora Thompson had worked. The hours of business were 8am to 8pm on weekdays, and 8am to 10am on Sundays.
In this first telephone list there were 21 Grayshott subscribers. Numbers 13 and 22 were omitted but these were later taken up in 1908. Interestingly several of these original numbers still exist at the same premises today, albeit in modified form with prefixes, an example being Grayshott Pottery located at the former laundry, the present number being 604404; see below.
About 1930 the new telephone exchange was opened at Hindhead. Grayshott numbers were then transferred and became ‘Hindhead’ numbers. The Grayshott subscribers had by then reached 150. Various prefixes, e.g. 40, 4, 50 and 5 had been added to the numbers.
A more comprehensive list of numbers and subscribers up to 1930 will be made available on this web site in due course.
Early days of Health Care in Grayshott
At the present time there is a proposal to demolish Grayshott Clinic and to build a number of houses on the site. The clinic closed its doors when the community nursing team moved to the Grayshott Surgery, the children’s clinic moved to Grayshott School and the health visitors moved to Haslemere Hospital. The Clinic was built in the early 1920’s and has been a prominent institution in the village up until the time of its closure.
However, health care provision for the residents of the village was available long before the opening of the Clinic.
The earliest record we have comes from the Parish Magazine when in was announced, in the edition of February 1898, that Dr. Coleclough proposed to hold a series of lectures on First Aid in the iron room of the Working Men’s Club, subject to a sufficient number of women wishing to take part. The cost would be two shillings and sixpence for the total course. In March 1898, it was announced that a number of people had expressed a wish for a St. John’s Ambulance Class and after consultation with Dr. Lyndon, Mr. Lowry undertook to organise such a course. Attendance was high and a total of twenty-three out of a course of twenty-nine succeeded in qualifying. The majority of the cost of this course was met by donations, including those from Miss I’Anson, Miss James and Mr. Whitaker.
Similar courses to those referred to above took place in the village on a number of occasions in the early 1900’s, including lectures on Home Nursing, and First Aid.
An option for health care for those with the financial means, was a Medical and Surgical Nursing Home at Headley run by a Miss Calvert. The Home, for adults and children, was run under medical supervision and terms were by arrangement, starting from three guineas per week. Miss Calvert, who was assisted by other certified Nurses, was a certified Nurse and Masseuse and the daughter of Rev. W. Calvert, M.A., F.S.A., minor Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
In the Parish Magazine addition for November 1898, there is reference to the “Nellie Moir” Nursing Fund, in which it was announced that Nurse Fish was now at work in the village. Those requiring her services were asked to apply to Mrs. Jeakes, wife of Reverend Jeakes, at the Hermitage, through their doctor, or in the case of an emergency, direct to the nurse at Miss James’ Lodge. (Miss Nellie Moir was a well known resident and very active in village life). There is also a reference in this addition to the Grayshott Branch of the Shottermill Nursing Institute (the Nurse’s Home).
The “Nurse’s Home” at Shottermill was built by the Three Counties Nursing Association which had been formed to cover the nursing requirements of residents in neighbouring parishes. The Association undertook to supply. Nurses, both cottage nurses, who in the case of illness lived in the patients home, and private nurses, as and when required at a cost of fifteen shillings a week. Each parish had two representatives on the committee and paid an affiliation fee, varying according to its number of residents. Miss I’Anson was the first Grayshott representative, followed in 1913 by Mrs. Lyndon. Others throughout the years included Dr. Lyndon, Rev. Jeakes and F. H. Knight. The Association was also reliant on gifts and donations and a funding appeal was made in April 1910 in order to help stabilise its financial position.
In June 1911, the Grayshott & Hindhead Nursing Associations decided jointly to appoint a Resident District Nurse to cover the two parishes but it was agreed that the Three Counties Association would also continue to provide Nurses to the villages as required.
The first Nurse to take up the new appointment in Grayshott was Nurse Nidd who was to cover Grayshott and Hindhead, excluding the Hazel Grove area. An announcement was made that application for her services were to be made directly or between 9a.m. & 1 p.m. to either the Grayshott or Beacon Hill Post Offices, or the Hindhead Stores. Nurse Nidd continued in the appointment until December 1912, when she married a Mr. Roberts and the couple moved to India. Her successor was Nurse Evans who lived in the lodge of Mr. Grover in Tower Road.
In November 1911, the Grayshott & Hindhead District Nursing Association published Patients’ Rules as follows:-
- Application for the services of Nurses to be made directly or messages left at either of the three appointed places previously announced.
- The Nurse to collect the proper fees at each visit.
- Double fees are charged for visiting new cases on a Sunday.
- The Nurse does not attend infectious cases.
- The Nurse is not available for night work except in cases of midwifery and in special cases of urgency.
- Scale of fee to be as under, according to amount of wage earned per week by the head of the family:
WagePer DayPer VisitMidwifery
Under 20/-shillings1 shilling2d.7/6d. From 20/- to 25/-1/3d.3d.10/6d. 25/- to 30/-1/6d.4d.10/6d. 30/- to 35/-1/9d.5d.15/- 35/- to 40/-2 shillings6d.15/-
- The above charges for midwifery are made where families consist of two children only. In families consisting of more than two children, the fees shall be made in the scale arrived at by deducting from the total wage, 2/6d. for each child more than two in number, and under the age of 14 years.
- Midwifery cases must be booked two months in advance, and fees paid beforehand. Nurse attends twice daily for four days after the confinement, and then once daily until the tenth day.
- Any complaints are to be made to the secretary, Miss I’Anson, Pinewood, Grayshott, or to Mrs. Jenkins, Whinside, Hindhead.
Committee: Mrs. I’Anson, Mrs. Simms, Mrs. Vertue, Mrs. Ingham Whitaker, Mrs. Jenkins, Mrs. Summerhill, Mrs. Gilbert Smith, Mrs. Trevelyan.
The Peace Memorial Grayshott Clinic
In January 1919 a meeting was held in the ‘Technical Room’, Grayshott, to discuss a way in which to express the admiration of the residents of the village for the men who gave their lives in the First World War. A proposal had been approved by the parish of Hindhead to erect a Cottage Hospital in the area, providing Grayshott would unite for this purpose. Dr. Lyndon put this proposal before the meeting. A committee was appointed to investigate how such a project could be funded and also to consider a smaller and exclusively local memorial. Following this, in April 1919, a public meeting was held in the Village Hall. At this meeting it was announced that a decision had yet to be made concerning the provision of a War Memorial but it was felt a stone cross would be appropriate. In addition, it had been decided that the project to build a Cottage Hospital should go ahead and that efforts should be made to raise some £8,200, of which £4,200 had already been promised.
In May 1919 it was noted that following the closure of the Grayshott Military Hospital, a large quantity of Hospital fittings and bedding had been retained for the use of the proposed War Memorial Cottage Hospital.
In October 1919 it was announced that the proposed building of a Cottage Hospital had met strong opposition and the scheme had therefore been abandoned. However, it was decided that Grayshott would go ahead with a scheme without Hindhead, and a proposal was to be put before a public meeting to:-
erect a cottage as a residence for the District Nurse, which would include a room to serve as a maternity ward.
the erection of a Cross at the junction of the four (five-ways) cross roads, on which will be inscribed the names of the fallen.
This proposal was adopted at a second public meeting later in the month. It was further agreed that there would be a school clinic where a travelling dentist, a new innovation within elementary schools, would attend to schoolchildren.
(Also in this addition of the Parish Magazine, it was recorded that Nurse Evans had met with a very severe accident resulting from a collision with a motor cycle and that her recovery would take some considerable time).
A “very pretty design of a commodious cottage for the purposes mentioned” was submitted by the architect Mr. Read and approved. The estimated sum required was £2,500–£3,000. Appeals for funding were made, together with arrangements for a house to house collection.
The site for the Cottage in School Road was given by Mr. Ingham Whitaker and conveyed to the trustees on behalf of the Grayshott Nursing Association . In July 1920 Dr. & Mrs. Lyndon purchased for the village, the wooden building which had been Lloyds Bank at Bramshott Camp during the war and it was agreed that this would be erected and adapted as the school clinic.
Also in July 1920, a Charitable Trust was established and the property site was transferred to the Trust to permit the land and buildings erected thereon “to be used as a residence for the District Nurse and School Clinic and for the assistance and relief in sickness of poor persons living in the Parish of Grayshott under regulations to be made by the Committee of the Grayshott Nursing Association”.
Messrs Chapman, Lowry and Puttock commenced the building of the Cottage and Mrs. Ingham Whitaker laid the foundation stone on 27th October 1920. The silver trowel used was that which Miss I’Anson had used to lay the foundation stone for St. Luke’s Church. Within was laid a copy of the days ‘Times’ newspaper and some coins. The vicar, Rev. A.E.N. Simms, conducted a short service, with two hymns. By April 1921, the building was complete at an overall cost of £1,790 and Nurse Brown, who had replaced Nurse Evans as District Nurse, took up residence.
A report for 1922 of the District Nursing Committee stated that Nurse Brown had paid 495 visits in the district and that nine patients had been nursed in the Cottage–six maternity, one convalescent, and two babies requiring special care. Cases in the district included five midwifery and five maternity in addition to which she had attended the Baby Welfare Centre each week. A Miss Punter assisted her. The Treasurer’s Report for the year stated that total receipts from donations and subscriptions amounted to £85.19.10d against an expenditure of £119.3s.
Nurse Brown retired from her post and attended her final Baby Welfare Centre visit on 30th January 1925, at which she was presented with a gold wristwatch and a gold thimble from her former patients and colleagues. Successors to Nurse Brown were Nurse Moorey and Nurse Jones who carried on the splendid work of their predecessors.
Funding of the Nurses Cottage continued to be a problem and appeals for donations and gifts were frequently made throughout the 1920’s. Gifts received included linen, carpets, baby scales, a dustpan and brush etc. and funding was received from various events held in the village.
In July 1928, it was recorded that the Nurse had made a total of 107 visits in the month and that there were three patients in the Cottage. Sixty-eight visits were made in August, fifty-nine in September and two babies ere being cared for in the Cottage.
The Annual Report for 1933 included items as follows:-
- Total cases attended by District Nurse 83.
- Thirty-three Maternity cases of which,15 were in the Cottage.
- Total visits 892 including 113 AnteNatal, 24 Midwifery.
- Infant welfare visits 49.
- The Nurse took four weeks holiday and Nurse Holmes of Shottermill covered.
- A Mrs. Meacham was appointed as Housekeeper.
In 1934 Nurse Margaret Cuff took up the appointment and continued as District Nurse and Midwife in Grayshott until her retirement in 1969. During her thirty-five years of nursing in Grayshott, Nurse Cuff attended midwifery cases in the Cottage, in private residences and Nursing Homes throughout the area, of which, twenty-five births were in the Nurses Cottage–five in 1934, fourteen in 1935, four in 1936 and two in 1937. We have no records of births in the Cottage after 1937 and assume the maternity unit was closed at this time.
In all, she attended a total of 536 deliveries, a number of which took place without a doctor in attendance. However, records reveal that twelve births during this period were attended by Dr. Hodgkinson, two by Dr. Jenkins and two by Dr. Fergus.
There was a large gathering of her friends, colleagues, and former patients at a special presentation in the Village Hall to mark the occasion of her retirement in 1969 and to pay tribute to her very long period of service to the community. Nurse Cuff was succeeded by Nurse Lloyd.
Grayshott Nursing Association Charity
In July 1948 the National Health Service Act 1946 came into effect and the County Council of Southampton, as it was at that time, took over the responsibility of providing District Nursing, including the employment of the District Nurse employed by the Grayshott Nursing Association. In November 1949 it was agreed by the Trustees of the Grayshott Nursing Association Charity that the Cottage and Children’s Clinic be sold for not less than £1850, plus legal costs and the proceeds be invested in the Charity in stocks, funds or securities. The property was duly sold and conveyed to the County Council of Southampton for £1850 on 25th March 1950.
In May 1950, a new Charitable Trust was established with the proceeds of the sale and named The Grayshott Nursing Association Charity, a Charity still in existence today. The Trust stated at the time that the dividends arising from the investment were to be applied by the Trustees to the following purposes:
- for the benefit of the sick poor residents in the Parish at the discretion of the Trustees in ways to supplement the National Health Service.
- in making money grants to sick and poor persons to obtain food and special medicines, medical comforts, bedding, food, medical and surgical appliances and domestic help.
- To pay the expenses of convalescence or of domestic help during convalescence.
Recently the services the Cottage, or Clinic as it has become known, such as the provision of community nursing teams and the child health clinic, were moved elsewhere and with other factors regarding ongoing financial restraints and changes to legislation playing a part, the Cottage is no longer required and it will soon give way to residential housing.
Researched & Written by Brian Tapp — Grayshott Village Archive November 2008
Acknowledgment: Grayshott Parish Magazine: Grayshott Parish Council Record
Discussions regarding the provision of public toilets in Grayshott started with the Parish Council in 1922 but with no positive outcome. By 1924 the People’s Refreshment House Association provided ‘accommodation’ for ladies behind the ‘Fox and the Pelican’. This ‘accommodation’ was apparently improved but during world war two problems arose with the large influx of troops and these facilities were then only made available during opening hours. Further indecision continued between Parish and District councils etc. until finally the building which has served the village well until recently was built in 1955. It is worth noting that main drainage did not come to the village until 1958.
The toilet shown below was demolished in June 2007 and replaced with a larger building situated at the rear of the car park incorporating a toilet block and a police office.
The Drinking Fountain
This public fresh water drinking fountain was situated on the corner of Hill Road and Headley Road and stood some 6 feet high and about 3 feet square ( 1.83 x 0.92 x 0.92m) and was finished in blue glazed tile work all somewhat typical of the Edwardian period. It is assumed it was constructed about 1904 when a supply of mains water arrived in Grayshott.
Sadly the fountain was demolished in 1960 when various road improvements were carried out at the corner.
A large open ditch on Headley Road which latterly had white painted concrete posts and iron railings around it was filled in and now forms part of the parking area opposite St. Luke’s church.
Grayshott Village Archive, November 2007
Photographs: Photographs of the old and new toilet blocks specially taken for GVA by Ken Drake and David Barrett
Reference: Grayshott Village Archive
The ‘temporary’ iron building was a popular structure of the late Victorian and Edwardian era. Although usually described as ‘temporary’, many of these structures survived for 50 years or more. The Boulton and Paul catalogue of 1890 offered a range of buildings from the smallest of sheds to the largest of churches and even railway stations, all with steel framework bolted together and clad in corrugated iron sheeting. An equally impressive range of timber buildings was also available.
Grayshott did not miss out and at least four of these iron structures have existed in the village each serving an important part of village social life.
The earliest recorded example known as the ‘Iron Room’ or ‘Institute’ was situated in Stoney Bottom. The exact location has yet to be determined but from the maps I have examined it would appear this structure was situated in the bottom of the garden known as ‘Moss Know’ and subsequently re-named ‘Ensleigh’. It was erected in 1889 as a gift of Miss James. Church services were then held there until the iron church was erected in 1891. The services had previously been held at Grayshott School from 1873 onwards. The Grayshott Magazine of December 1899 reports on a lantern lecture held there and remarks ‘A wetter night could not have been. Rain was pouring literally in rivers down the steep approach to the Iron Room. The audience, we thought, was remarkable good, considering the difficulties.’ On Wednesday evenings from November 1899 ‘Boys’ Gymnasium Classes’ were held there. Various functions and lectures etc. continued to be held there with apparent great success until the much larger and permanent Village Hall was opened in May 1902. The official name for the ‘Village Hall’ located next to fire station includes to this day the term ‘institute’, i.e. the ‘Grayshott and Hindhead Institute and Village Hall’.
A final reference appears in the Grayshott Magazine of September 1909 – ‘The Tower and Spire Fund stands now at £650. Messrs. Chapman, Lowry and Puttick have purchased the iron room, standing in School Lane for £17. 10s, and this sum has been added to the fund.’ How it came to be in School Lane and its subsequent fate are unknown.
The next mention of an ‘Iron Room’ is stated to be in use as the Working Men’s Club. This was owned and let by Mr. Moore (he also owned stables) on a site in Grayshott Road (now Headley Road) almost opposite the ‘Fox and Pelican. This has been now redeveloped and today is the site of the Tesco Express store and surrounding buildings. The Grayshott Magazine of November 1898 quotes – ‘The Working Men’s Club is now open every week night, except Saturday, and arrangements have been made by its Committee, that members may be able to depend on finding there a supply of tea and coffee and other light refreshments. We hope that this will be appreciated, as the want of it was expressed last year. Especially to single men and those lodging in the village; for them the Club ought to be a boom.’ Contemporary literature uses the term ‘Iron Room’ for both the Moss Know and the Moores buildings and on occasions this has made it difficult to distinguish between these structures.
In the October 1899 edition of the Grayshott Magazine the following quote appeared – ‘The Iron Room, in the Grayshott Road, is the only building generally available for the meetings of the various clubs and societies growing up among us, as well as for lectures, entertainments, etc. It will be remembered that during the past winters the room, for at any rate five nights in the week, it has been put to the disposal of the Working Men’s Club who have ungrudgingly given it their services. We say that our experiences of the last two winters do not entitle the Club to the almost exclusive use of the room which hitherto it has been given. It is the wish of the owner of the Iron Room that it should be made as useful to the village as it possibly can be. The difficulty will be to fit in the various interests that can fairly put in the claim to the use of it. To meet this difficulty we suggest that those who are especially interested should meet at ‘The Hermitage’ on Monday, October 2nd at 6 p.m.”
Use of this Iron Room for the Working Men’s club in Grayshott Road would seem to have continued until a permanent building for Working Men was built in Hill Road in 1904.
In 1891 an iron church was erected on ground now to the north of the present St. Luke’s church. The building was a gift of Mr. Whitaker and the land that of Miss I’Anson. This building then served the local community as the ‘temporary’ church until the present St. Luke’s church was built and opened in September 1899. Following this the building became redundant and was sold for further use at Liphook for £87 and remained as such until the early 1950’s.
The fourth iron building in Grayshott was the church in Headley Road (opposite Wood’s restaurant). It was built in 1901 and opened in November of that year being described as a temporary corrugated tin sheet clad building and supplied and erected for the cost of £170 by Messrs. Humphreys of Knightsbridge. It served under various guises of Wesleyan Mission Chapel and Grayshott Methodist Church until finally demolished in the late 1970’s.
Author: Richard Peskett (2007)
Grayshott Village Archive
Reference: Bolton Paul Company Catalogue (1890), Grayshott Magazine (November 1898), Grayshott Magazine (November 1899), Grayshott Magazine (September 1909)
Perambulations – Boundary Walk
With the forthcoming perambulation of the Parish Boundary taking place on Sunday September 28th we have found in the Parish Council archive, copies of the reports of various perambulations that have taken place in the earlier years.
By courtesy of the Parish Council we are able to reproduce copies of these here. The first dates from 1895 and still at that time Grayshott was part of the parish of Headley hence the walk was of a considerable distance.
The next report is of the perambulation which took place in 1906.
The third report is combined for the 1919 with additional notes from July and August 1926.
Grayshott Village Archive