all saints' church, basingstoke

Post-War Years

Into the 1950s

The future of the Church Hall (the original “Iron Church”) was the subject of discussion in 1949. To pay its way, it was recommended that “…the present lettings should continue with the exception of one, which was causing undue wear and tear to the floor”. Expert opinion gave the floor another four or five years of life, but the building should last another 75 years at least. This made it desirable to build up funds for improving the sanitary and domestic arrangements in addition to the renewal of the floor. Also in the area of repair and maintenance, in May of that year the PCC asked the All Saints’ Committee to consider the wisdom of placing a wire guard outside the east window. Approval was subsequently given for the guards and also for new bell ropes. Priority was given to the bell ropes.

All Saints' Church Hall c 1950 (date unknown)

The subject of the Church Hall was again written about by the Priest-in-charge in February 1950– “The increased use of the Hall, owing to the activities of the All Saints Social Club, and the popularity of our Socials have now made the need of improving its sanitary and domestic arrangements a matter for prompt action. (In this matter let not the Hall lag behind Church Cottage). Your General and Social Committees have jointly advised that a Ladies’ Cloakroom should be built on to the Hall and that the kitchen arrangements should be improved and extended as soon as maybe. There will be a day of straight giving on Saturday March 18th to raise the money for at least the first purpose to be realised in the summer. I will sit in the Hall for certain specified periods on that day to receive gifts from members of the congregation.”  The Gift Day raised £33, a Rummage Sale £22 and by April 13th the total had already reached £142-2-11 (£142-15p)

The task of raising money for the hall extension proceeded mainly in the shape of whist drives and rummage sales. At the July meeting of the PCC the Treasurer, Mr W G Jarvis announced that he had secured a refund of Schedule “A” tax on the property known as “Pentire”. In view of this property’s definite association with All Saints’ it was resolved that the sum of £50 should be paid to the fund for the improvement of All Saints Hall.

Plans for the hall extension had already been submitted to the Council but were rejected. A new plan was being drawn up which “would inevitably cost more.” A Gift Day took on a new urgency --  “All Saints’ people are renowned for their generosity and I know that you will give freely. At 8pm we shall take the gift envelopes into church to present them at the altar and there will be a short service of thanksgiving.”  The Gift Day raised £32-10-0d (£32-50p) and by July the revised plans had been approved. A further £20 was given to the extension fund by the PCC from the proceeds of the parish garden party. By September work had commenced although the preliminary work of putting in new drains took longer than expected, but it was expected that the extension would be ready for use by the end of that month. A further £107 was needed but nine members of the congregation offered to loan £10 each so that the bill could be paid. Another Rummage Sale and a Whist Drive were organised to try to pay off the debt. In November it was reported that the new capacious kitchen and cloakrooms were now in full use and many expressions of approval were made. The Rev. R C Wynne (Priest-in-charge 1946-1950) returned to cut the tape on the opening night. Sufficient funds to cover the debt had been raised by June 1953 although the congregation was warned that some roof repairs and re-painting were required.  

August 1955 saw the All Saints' Advisory Committee discussing repairs to the Hall roof. It was decided to put these in hand at a cost of £90. Most of this money was already in hand as a result of a variety of special efforts. The work was completed by September when it was reported that it had been disclosed as being highly needed. It had become clear, however, that work was also required on the outside walls and the window frames. The Hall Committee decided “bravely but wisely” to complete the job at a cost of a further £51.

The tuning of the All Saints’ organ was a topic addressed by the PCC in September 1956. Messrs. Walker the organ builders had increased the fee for quarterly tuning from 12 guineas (£12-60p) to 15 guineas (£15-75p) but were offering a four monthly tuning for £11-17-6d (£11-87½p). The PCC decided to retain quarterly tuning despite the increased cost in order not to risk the costly expense in organ repairs that might follow on reduced inspections.