A REMOTE but well used rural village hall above Poundsgate on Dartmoor is soon to celebrate its centenary with a range of free activities next Friday, October 20, writes Robert Steemson.
Leusdon Memorial Hall was opened on October 19, 1923 in memory of those who lost their lives from the Leusdon area during the First World War. One of those who died was Leicester Struben and his family dedicated the land upon which the hall now stands.
Over the last 100 years the hall has been the venue for many types of events including celebrations of Royal Coronations and Jubilees, baptisms, and weddings, as well as wakes, whist drives, dances, various amateur dramatic groups, Widecombe Parish Council and Commoners Association meetings.
In the late 1950s it was the home of a very successful Leusdon Youth club which was run for many years by long standing committee member Arthur Routley. From this club spawned a successful tug of war team and a bed racing group.
A ladies keep fit group transitioned into the Moorland Merrymakers amateur dramatics group which has successfully produced an annual pantomime for the last 59 years.
On October 20 there is a celebratory event which starts at 2pm with a presentation on the history of the hall and old Leusdon. Then from 4pm there will be a children’s fancy dress opportunity based on costumes from the last 100 years and a children’s entertainer.
Later there will be entertainment and singing hosted by the Moorland Merrymakers. Refreshments will be served throughout the whole event.
Current hall chairman John Southcombe said: ‘During the last 100 years Leusdon Memorial Hall has hosted, commemorated, and celebrated notable events that have sustained and reflected both national and local heritage whilst adapting to the needs of the local community, may this long continue.’