Saturday 6 February 2016

Newport [East Yorkshire] village hall

I have been asked recently about the history of Newport village hall. I have added East Yorkshire into the title of the post as there are so many Newports around! Our Newport [sometimes New Village, New Gilberdyke or River Bridge] came into existence when the Market Weighton canal was dug in the late eighteenth century [ for more history of this look at my Howdenshire history website].

The present village hall is properly the Recreation Hall or 'The Rec' and dates from 1927. I looked up the reports of its opening and also the opening of the associated playing field. Both are still in use.

The playing field or Recreation Field was opened in April 1927. Williamsons were brick makers in both Newport and Broomfleet.

Hull Daily Mail 25th April 1927


The village of Newport was en fete on Saturday afternoon for the opening the Recreation Field, presented to the village by Messrs Henry Williamson and Co., Ltd. 

Mr Alfred Williamson, of Brough, has had the field laid out with tennis court, bowling green, cricket pitch, play corner equipment with swings for children, park seats, pavilions, etc. There was a good display of bunting from many of the homes of the residents, and row of streamers from large flagstaff the entrance to the field.

 In spite of the cold and dull day, there was a large gathering. The opening ceremony was performed by Lord Deramore, of Heslington Hall (chairman of the East Riding County Council and the East Riding Playing Fields' Committee), Major W.H. Carver, M.P., J.P., presided and was supported on the platform by Lord and Lady Deramore, Mrs Carver and A. Williamson. There were also present Mr J. R. Proctor (clerk to the East Riding County Council), Mr Godfrey Macdonald (secretary of the East Riding Court of the National Playing Fields' Association), and Mr T. Clark (director of Messrs H. Williamson and Co). Major Carver said he was glad to have the honour of being chairman. A more auspicious day than St. George's Day could not have been chosen for such an event. The cross of the patron saint of England stood for religion and service, and that service for others was exemplified there by the munificent gift to the village which Mr Williamson had made.

The National Playing Fields movement had as its aim the ensuring of adequate facilities for recreation, and such provision for young people in particular was desirable. The president of the Playing Fields' Committee for the East. Riding was Lord Deramore, and they were therefore delighted to have him with them (applause). Lord Deramore said he was proud to have been asked perform this duty, but he felt Williamson was the man to do it, for it was through his munificence they had these magnificent grounds. This was just the kind of thing the National Playing Fields Association wanted. The Association's aim every village was to provide what Williamson had done Newport. He was glad say that in most places, there were cricket and football fields, but such splendid grounds as Newport now possessed, were few and far between. A great appeal was to be made, when the Duke of York returned, for money for playing fields, but they would not find many people who would give as Mr Williamson had done. He had great pleasure in declaring the recreation grounds open for ever for the inhabitants of Newport (applause). Lord Deramore then hoisted a blue flag, bearing in gold letters the words, Newport Recreation Club. As this ceremony was performed, heavy rain drove the large crowd to shelter.'

Re-assembling after a short delay, Mr Williamson, who was cordially received, moved a vote of thanks to Lord Deramore, and said that Newport felt greatly honoured by his presence. They all knew how great interest Lord Deramore took in village life, and how much he had at heart the welfare of the countryside. There had in the past been a feeling that education and recreation would not fit a man for undertaking laborious work, but happily had been demonstrated that human nature responded to the best conditions of employment and social life. Hence the movement in the country to obtain improved housing, and now strong effort to provide playing fields. It was with great sincerity he thanked Lord Deramore (applause). C. A. Carr, in seconding the vote of thanks, said Newport was very proud of its recreation field. He thought they were the pioneers the National Playing Fields movement. They were glad to have got so far with their scheme, but they were not at the end yet. He appealed every one loyally to support the scheme. They were delighted to have Lord Deramore with them (applause). The vote of thanks was carried with acclamation. Lord Deramore, responding, said should always remember this as the first playing field provided in the East Riding since the National Playing Field movement began. Moving vote of thanks to Major Carver, Mr E.  C Wright said their Member's presence showed he was heart and soul in favour of the movement  which Mr Williamson had so generously started. He would like to express the gratitude of Newport to Messrs Williamson and Co., and to Mr A. Williamson particular, for the great work they had done for the village (applause). Mr J. J. Underwood seconded in humorous vein. Mr Williamson, he said, had done his share, and it was now for the people of Newport  to work  to raise funds for the erection of the Hall. Major Carver, responding, wished the scheme every success. Lord Deramore then proceeded to the bowling green, and played the opening game.

Amongst the attractions was a friendly football match between Gilberdyke and Newport teams. The vicar kicked off.  A good game resulted in a draw, each side scoring a goal, B. Exley for the visitors and C. Haig for Newport. Messrs J. W. Benson and H. Clark had charge of the balloon bursting competition; sweet stall, Mrs J. Kirk and Miss J. Thompson; aerial flight, Messrs G. Hutchinson and A. Underwood; wireless, Mr S. Mothersdale; bowling the wicket, Mr Haigh. The prize winners in the cycle parade for 'children were: 1, Zoe Underwood; 2, Arthur Kitching; 3, Willie Kirk; 4, Norman Haigh.

 The playing ground was in charge of Messrs S. Lennon, W. Cressey, and B. Kitching;  the tennis court in charge of Mr S. Mothersdale. Capital music was played at .ntervals by Mr Harry Hotham's orchestra. Tea was provided in the schoolroom, supervised by the ladies' committee. In the evening, a whist drive and dance was held in the Council School. Messrs S. Lennon and  Mothersdale were the M.C.'s. The prize winners were: —Ladies: , Mrs F. Woodall; !, Mrs A. Wainman; 3, Mrs F. Coultires. Gentlemen: 1, Mr W. Johnson; 2, Miss A. Williamson (as gent) ; 3, Mr Oldfield. There was a crowded company at the dance. Messrs C. A. Carr and J.  Kean were the M.C.'s. The music was supplied by Harry Hotham's orchestra.

Building the hall in 1927

The hall was opened later in the same year.

Hull Daily Mail 12th December 1927

There was a large gathering at the opening of the new hall at Newport on Saturday afternoon. Major W. H. Carver, M.P., occupied the chair, and on the platform were Mrs T. C. Gurney and Miss Gurney (Hotham Hall), Mrs Carver, Mr Alfred Williamson, Mrs Mackenzie, Mr E. P. Scholfield, J.P. (Sand Hall), Miss Williamson, Mr J. J. Underwood, Mr E. C. Wright, Mr C. A. Carr, and Mrs Stevenson

 The chairman said it was far better that they should pay for such place themselves, which he understood they were doing; they would appreciate it all the more. Such Institutes made people more tolerant with their neighbours, and promoted good feeling amongst the people and the desire to help others. Wishing the hall every success, he called upon Mrs Gurney to declare it open. 

Mrs Gurney said it was the best of its kind she had ever seen, and they must be greaty indebted to Mr Williamson, who had made a scheme possible. She could not see how people of Newport could have 'lived much longer without such place. declaring the Hall open she hoped they would aek her many times in the future to help them. A bouquet of flowers was presented to Mrs Gurney by Elsie Kirk on behalf of the Recreation Club committee.

Newport Recreation Hall on the right. The Primitive Methodist chapel beyond it is no longer there.


  1. Susan, thank your for you annotations on the Newport Village Hall, excellent

  2. We've linked your blog from our website
    Thanks again