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Breamish Hall: Centre of Community Life 2022

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Breamish Hall – at the centre of community life

The village hall in Powburn has been at the heart of community life since its inception as the West Hedgeley Jubilee Hall in 1897 until the present day.

Many people have contributed to the success of the village hall. By observing the activities they have undertaken on behalf of the whole community, we have gained an insight into their personal, working, and recreational lives. Numerous people – women, men, old and young – have served tirelessly on committees, as volunteer cleaners, maintenance workers, party planners, and more. And countless people have walked through the doors of our village hall to enjoy a good meal, to meet and make friends, to teach or learn a new skill, or simply to just enjoy being a part of a caring and supportive rural community.

And, despite the many challenges faced over the years, the Breamish Hall remains the centre of community life [See Note 1].

Central activities

The following is just a sample of how the Breamish Hall continues as a relevant venue at the centre of community life for the people of Powburn, the surrounding area, and for our many friends who use the hall throughout the year.

Schools

Header image advertising Branton School Jubilee Celebration 2022
Header image with the words 'The Crafty Cookies'
Cooking classes for children of Branton School

Adult learning

Header image advertising free digital courses

Family activities

Header image with the words 'Family Pizza & Crafts Day'

Helping in times of crisis

Header image with the words 'Support Ukraine Pie and Pea Supper'

Socialising

Header image line drawing with the words 'Afternoon Tea'

Marking national events

Header image with the words 'Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations: Hedgeley Parish Council'
Stylised image of WWII soldier

Music and entertainment

Banner image with the words 'Tiny Afro'

Warm Hub lunches

Photo of cooked dinner overlaid with the words 'Warm Hub Powburn'

User groups

Graphic with WI logo and the words 'Hedgeley Women's Institute'
Photo of two spinning wheels with words 'North Northumberland Spinners'

Local government

Banner image with the words 'Hedgeley Parish Council' over a photo of crocuses

Notes

  1. We acknowledge that for many years pubs in rural England have been “important facilitators of community cohesion and ultimately well-being of residents” (Cabras et al., 2012:265). For a long time, Powburn benefitted from its own local pub: The Plough Inn. However – in-line with the UK-wide trend – owing to cost pressures, business rate increases and the changing lifestyles of (increasingly older) residents, The Plough Inn finally succumbed and closed on 14 October 2015. There was a brief attempt to rescue the pub but ultimately this failed, and the pub remains closed. The loss of a public space such as this should not be underestimated: increasing social isolation and reducing resident’s sense of well-being (Cabras and Mount, 2017). Consequently, from October 2015, the Breamish Hall became even more relevant and important as the only public (indoor) space available in Powburn for regular community activities [Written: September 2022].
Colour photo of beer garden at Plough Inn pub
The Plough Inn, Powburn 2011 [Ref: BVPC0510]

References

  • Cabras, I., Canduela, J. and Raeside, R. (2012), ‘The relation of village and rural pubs with community life and people’s well-being in Great Britain’, German Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 265-274.
  • Cabras, I. and Mount, M.P. (2017), ‘Assessing the impact of pubs on community cohesion and wellbeing in the English countryside: A longitudinal study’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 489-506.

Credits

  • Header image: consists of BVPC0329 (Jubilee Hall) Sally Tait personal collection (2022) and BVPC0511 (Breamish Hall) Graham Williamson personal collection (2019)
  • BVPC0510: Graham Williamson personal collection (2022)

Can you help?

Can you tell us more about the history of the Breamish Hall in Powburn? Spotted any errors, any missing information? Or do you know anything that we don’t? Do you have any related photos or documents? If you have information to share, please use the contact form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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