Recreation Ground – 1930’s
The ground was loaned by the Rotheschilds for use by the villagers for sports etc. The Parish Council was responsible for the upkeep (fences, gates etc.). There were no games allowed after dusk or on Sundays. The local farmers would put ponies and some cattle to graze overnight in the Rec. When the Rotheschilds sold some of their farms and various meadows in around 1936, they offered to sell the recreation ground to the village for approximately £30.00, as the Parish Council did not want to buy it. The solicitors of the Rotheschilds in Tring were also Father Anthony’s solicitors and mentioned to him how surprised they were that the Parish Council was not taking up the offer. Father Anthony was furious, put a deposit down, called a public meeting and with full public support, money was raised to buy the ground for the village.
Article written by the LM & P Horticultural Society.
THE PARISH ROOM – PUTTENHAM
The Parish Room (or Mission Hall) at Puttenham is situated on land adjoining the garden of “Paston Cottage”. It is constructed of wood and corrugated iron with a pitched roof. It consists of one main room with brick fireplace, a small lobby-type room off, and an even smaller lobby leading off that. There is also an outside storage area attached.
The building started its life on the Pendley Estate, Tring, owned by Joseph Williams of Pendley Manor. Mr. Williams was a great benefactor of Puttenham and made the village a gift of the building, together with a parcel of land with an area of approximately 10 poles. An Indenture was made in 1917 to legalise this transfer, and making the Parish Vicar and the two Churchwardens (and their successors) Trustees of the building and land.
It’s original sitting on the Pendley Estate was near to Tring Station and it was arranged that two Puttenham farmers, Thomas Chapman of Grange Farm and Mr. Deverell of Potash Farm should take a horse-drawn dung cart into Tring and collect the building.
Having been erected on its new site, the hut played a considerable part in Village life. It provided a home for the village Men’s Club, local dances (with tales of the floor having to be watered to keep down the dust), and in 1931 the Churchwarden of that time, Miss Edith Chapman, held the first Puttenham Jumble Sale in the hut, raising the grand figure of £3.13s.9d! In the summer of 1935 the Hall was used for a grand party to celebrate the Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Turner of The Old Rectory, who were prominent residents and landowners of that time.
During the second World War, the Hall became the temporary local school after the Long Marston School was bombed and continued in this way until 1952 when it remained closed until 1967.
Much work was done to bring the Hall back into use; the clearance of a fox’s earth, the wilderness of overgrown weeds was hacked down, acrows were used to make it safe, electricity was re-connected and the first Puttenham Harvest Supper was held there. There was no sanitation and no running water, but people squeezed in, elbow to elbow. The old Hall had an atmosphere all of its own. The Jumble Sales and Harvest Suppers continued until 1991 when, with the opening of the new Cecilia Hall sited close to the Church, the old Parish Room became empty again, and it’s future somewhat uncertain.
Article written by Christine Rutter.