The Hall's History

West Wycombe Village Hall was opened in 1960. It stands on the site of B North’s Furniture Factory, which was established in 1864. North’s employed many villagers from the 1890s onwards, and during the First World War produced parts for RFC/RAF aircraft.

Newspaper small ad for B North and Sons
An 1895 advertisement for B North & Sons.
Image: from Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History

North's moved to the nearby village of Piddington in 1903, and the factory was taken over by another furniture manufacturer, Abbott's. In 1930 West Wycombe village was acquired from the Dashwood family by the Royal Society of Arts, who later passed ownership to the National Trust. In the late 1940s Abbott's decided to relocate to Piddington after they had been refused permission to install new machinery because of the noise it would have generated.

After Abbott's departure it was decided that a hall was needed to serve the needs of the village community, and local people raised money towards its construction by holding fundraising dances and other events in an old building sited on the Pedestal Field.

Sir Francis Dashwood, the 11th Baronet, ran a competition for an architect to design the hall; the winner was a resident of West Wycombe, Col Lesslie Watson MBE, an architect who went on to design ‘Silver Birches’, the house opposite the Hell-Fire Caves, and to help establish West Wycombe Parish Council.

The foundation stone was laid in 1960 by the then MP for High Wycombe, Sir John Hall, and the Hall was opened soon after.

West Wycombe Community Association was set up in order to run the hall; it owns and manages the hall and its committee members are Trustees of the Village Hall.