Residents of Northlew celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of Northlew Victory Hall on Saturday with an exhibition on the hall’s history.

As part of the celebrations, the hall’s committee members dressed up as characters from the television show, Dad’s Army, in deference to the hall’s history which was built to commemorate the local men lost in the First World War.

The hall opened on February 1921 but due to Covid restrictions, celebrations were unable to take place at that time and the party was moved to October.

Committee member Mark Turley, who was dressed as Sergeant Wilson, said the event was ’a celebration and a commemoration’ and that all proceeds collected would go to the charity Help for Heroes which supports servicemen and women injured in the line of duty.

The free exhibition included photographs, mementoes and artefacts from the past 100 years and guests were treated to tea and cakes. Artefacts included horseshoes, soldiers’ helmets and even an old motorbike.

Northlew Silver Band played music outside the hall’s entrance in exactly the same place that they played 100 years ago at the hall’s opening, according to committee member Colin Jarvis, dressed as Captain Mainwaring.

The hall’s committee estimate that over 100 people attended the celebration. They succcessfully raised £60 for their chosen charity and they hope to raise more at the village’s carnival later on in the year.

All past members of the management committee were personally invited to the event. Many came to share memories while newer members of the community came to join in the celebration and learn more about the building’s history.

Some residents talked of their long association with the hall. Dennis Adams, who was once one of the hall’s trustees, said his father was on one of the hall’s earliest committees.

When Mr Adams himself became a committee member, he oversaw massive restoration work on the hall which included extending the building, adding inside toilets and replacing the floor, which he said had become dangerously rotten.

The most recent work was done in 2013 and 2014 which included the installation of solar panels and the removal of the false ceiling to expose the original A-frames. At this time, insulation was also added to the walls and roof and a purpose-built bar was installed.

Field-Marshall Lord Methuen laid the foundation stone of the building on May 26 1920 and opened officially on February 7 1921.

In 1975, Northlew Victory Hall became a charity and it is now run by a voluntary management committee administered by the charity’s trustees.