A Bit of History

The need for a central village meeting facility was increasingly felt in the early years of the twentieth century. In 1910 a fete and a sale of work was held at the Vicarage to raise funds towards a suitable building and £200 was duly banked. Early in 1912 the idea was given impetus and urgency: promises of financial support were given by MR H.H. Wills of Barley Wood, Wrington (of the tobacco family) and by Mrs. Richardson of Langford Court. The vicar, Prebendary Robinson, held another fete, which realised a further £250. This included £60 from sales of Yatton Kalendar (sic), a bound booklet of thoughts and mottoes for every day of the year, purchased by parishioners who then of course bought the book to see their names in print and to see what their neighbours had quoted. 

By early 1913 sufficient funds were in place to engage architects W.V. & A.R Gough of Bristol and contractor E. Waiters & Son of Montpelier, Bristol. The foundation stone was laid in April 1913 by Mrs. Richardson and construction continued apace. The total cost of the building was £2,300 and the opening ceremony, performed by Mrs. H.H. Wills, took place on Saturday October 25th 1913. The proceedings were chaired by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. The building was of course then a Church Hall, the land having been donated by the church commissioners. 

It has served the village well ever since, with many different organisations using the facilities. The room now occupied by the Social Club was for many years an overspill classroom for the Junior School across the car park and pupils' dinners were served daily in the main hall. 

In 1974 ownership passed from the church to the parish when St. Mary's Chapter House was constructed. The Hall is now a registered charity and regular users are entitled to nominate a member to the management committee. Regular users in 1974 were: 

Yatton Parish Council

Avalon Sports & Social Club 

Yatton Branch, Wrington Vale Billiards & Snooker League 

Yatton Horticultural Society

Conservative Tea Club 

Yatton Dance Club  

Wednesday Whist

Yatton Snooker Club  

Red Cross Society

Yatton Local Labour Club  

Yatton Skittles

Yatton Choral Society  

Yatton Crusaders

St. Mary's Wives Club  

Yattton Methodist Church

Yatton & Claverham Old Age Pensioners' Association Larchmount Players 

Yatton Optimists Badminton Club 

Until twenty years ago, the Hall ran the Village Social Club but, due to various legal requirements the Club is now a separate society, renting the bar and recreation areas from the Hall.  We still work in close harmony and both Club and Hall are thriving, even in these uncertain times.

The main hall, the Clifford Nicholson Hall, is dedicated to the late Clifford Nicholson (1931 - 2011) whose tireless efforts, organisational expertise and financial generosity enabled this building and it's surroundings to be revitalised for the benefit of the entire community.  The Jack Crease room is also named after one of the local benefactors of the village, Jack Crease, who did pioneering work with young peoples' rehabilitation.

If you have any special memories of the Hall, please let us know and we will do our best to add them to our archive.