In 1871 St. Johns Mission Room, or Chapel of Ease, was built on a site given by Frederick Cowper across the road from the Mansion House in what had been the garden.
The Chapel of Ease was built from wood and corrugated iron consisting of only a nave at a cost of £360, was held by the payment of one shilling a year to the Vicar of Barton. It remained in use until 1932, the year of the union of the parishes of Brougham and Eamont Bridge, the vicar was Rev. Hudson.
In 1923/4 villagers decided it was time they had a village hall so they set up a committee and started to raise funds. They soon realised there was no suitable site for it and the plans were shelved.
In 1932 the idea surfaced again and the plan was to build it on the site of the Mission Hall which was owned by the Church Commissioners and the land on which it stood was owned by Major Geoffrey Carleton Cowper, both were offered to the village and accepted.
The plans were for a timber-framed and weather boarded building with a roof of felt slates. The building was soon completed by Sarginson’s joiners and the total cost including the plans, the building, lighting, heating, plumbing, billiard table, chairs, tables and piano came to £771.67.
The Village Hall was officially opened by the Earl of Londsdale on the 5th October 1933 and was used extensively in those days for dances, whist drives, children’s parties, concerts and many other activities.
A view of the village hall with Mayburgh henge in the background
For many years the village had a football team called the Eamont Rovers. The football field was over the Lowther Bridge on the left of the road to Brougham Hall–the field was known locally as Busky–which could mean an abundance of trees?.
In 1877 Lord Brougham made the field into a cricket pitch. When the “dig for victory” slogans were brought in during the war the grounds at either side of the hall were dug up and let out to people to use as vegetable gardens.
A Committee for the Playing Field was formed in the 50’s Left to Right – Mr W. Ware, Vera Horn, Eddie Nicholson, Tommy Raffle, Mr and Mrs Ike Sarginson, Jimmy Eland, Walter Jackson, Arthur Steel.
The village hall has been used for many events over the recent years the photo below shows the 1977 Jubilee Concert party. From left to right – Carol Walker, Gail Horn (main organiser), Robert Walker, Linda Walker, Adrian Ware, Judith Wills, Maxine Simpson, Mark Gregain, Tony Newton.
Many ladies groups, a badminton club that was very successful in the local league, a kick boxing club and a crèche are some of the uses the Hall has been put to, it has also been a venue for many attic sales that have raised money for worthwhile causes.
W.I. dinner in january 1967 at the Crown hotel
back row-may nicholson-betty grainger-ethel ware-kath hall-jean platt-betty platt-margaret ware-mrs faby 2nd row-mrs ware-audrey ewbank-mrs shaw-shirley maclaine-elsie rebanks-nora hall-molly warwick-valerie ? front row- ———- -judy rebanks- ————- -eileen blenkarn
A Youth Club was based in the Village Hall for 20 years, over that period many village children and a number from Penrith were introduced to new interests and challenging pastimes, which included fell walking, gill scrambling, climbing, abseiling, canoeing, raft races, discos and indoor hockey at which the teams won several prizes at national level and untold competitions at other local clubs.
Indoor hockey team with Chris Battersby (youth leader) on the left.
The photo to the left shows Darren and Nikki Richardson receiving a prize for winning a pool competition
The Village Hall has been used by 4 different Archery Clubs over the past years (several of their members have represented the County) it is also used for meetings, parties and several different clubs which includes Scottish dancing run by Brian Oliver.