Brief History of Coxhoe Social and Literary Institute and Village Hall

Coxhoe Village Hall, as it is now known, began its life in 1910 when four cottages on the front street
were converted into Coxhoe Temperance Institute with two rooms for billiards and rooms for
reading and games. This soon became too small for the growing community and by 1913 plans were
being made for a new building.

These were interrupted by WW1 and the great depression afterwards but by 1932 the community
had raised funds for a new building. The site chosen was behind the cottages which were then
demolished. Early deeds show it was also named Coxhoe Temperance Institute but shortly
afterwards was renamed Coxhoe Social and Literary Institute and Village Hall.

Coxhoe had no colliery welfare scheme, similar to other villages in the district, because the
collieries in the village were exhausted towards the end of the 19th century and the men and boys
who worked as miners were employed at a number of the villages. They had to go it alone.

Miss Wood of Coxhoe Hall was president of the working committee and money was raised by whist
drives, concerts, bazaars and other popular events.

Prominent members of the community and business people formed a committee and became
Trustees. Mr T. A. Saint, manager of the Raisby Limestone Co. Ltd., was chair of the Building

Plans were developed by architect Mr W. A. Kellett and the building erected by W. Lazenby of

The first part of the building was opened in 1935 and comprised a large meeting room for women’s
meetings, etc. on the ground floor, a reading room divisible into two rooms when required by
means of a folding partition, crush hall and cloak room accommodation.

A side entrance and staircase leads to the first floor, where the accommodation comprises a billiard
room with two tables, games room, cloakrooms and buffet. The building is designed with a view
to the convenient completion of the whole scheme, which includes an assembly hall to seat 350
persons, full-sized state, ante-rooms, supper room, kitchen, etc. at a future date. Central heating
and electric light have been installed throughout.

The cost, exclusive of furnishings, was £1,750. Over £1,400 had been raised at the time it was
opened. Within a year an appeal for donations and a membership drive enabled the association to
clear the overdraft of £700.

Foundation stones were laid on behalf the Steetley Lime and Basic Works, Raisby Limestone Co. Ltd.,
Walter Scott Ltd., owners of East Hetton Colliery and the Women Workers.

Miss Maud Wood of Coxhoe Hall performed the official opening. Both Miss Wood and her brother
John were involved in village life and helped financially.

The dance hall was added in 1938. This could seat 350 persons and includes a full sized stage, ante-
rooms, supper rooms and kitchen. The spring loaded dance floor was recognised as one of the best
in the district for many years.

The Village Hall suffered a decline in the 1960s, mainly by the rising cost of administration, income
not keeping pace and the passing on of old trustees. New trustees were found, funds raised and the
Village Hall was rescued.

For many years the Hall has been the base for village social activities and services including
Women’s Institute, Over Sixties Club, Youth Club, carnival events, discos, dances, theatre visits and
pantomimes, child welfare clinic and library.

Over time services have been relocated, attendance at events, volunteers and variety of events
reduced and income has dropped accordingly. Overheads and costs of repairs have increased
leaving a gap between income and expenditure.

There have been fluctuations in performance in the past and yet again the community must muster
to refurbish and update the fabric of the building and increase the range of activities to ensure it is
restored as a vibrant and essential hub of the community.