HAWK GREEN READING ROOM
UPPER HIBBERT LANE, HAWK GREEN,
MARPLE, CHESHIRE


HAWK GREEN READING ROOM - A BRIEF HISTORY

The Reading Room was originally built for the use of men working at the Goyt Mill.  It had baths at the back, and was used for reading newspapers and other recreational purposes.  It was left in a privately held trust.  None of the original trustees are extant.

By the early 1970s the Hall had become very run down.  The Mill had ceased production and no longer had any employees, and the remaining retired employees were becoming increasingly elderly, so that there were few people around to take an interest in its upkeep.

In 1979 a group of local residents got together and formed a new committee.  They put a great deal of effort into raising money for repairs, and actually carrying them out.  The kitchen was created, new lighting installed, and much other decorating and repair work done.  They decided to seek an entertainment license for the hall, so that it could become a fully fledged social club.  However they ran into difficulties because the proximity of the hall to local houses meant that they would have to install soundproofing and ventilation before they could even be considered for a license, without any guarantee that it would be granted.

At that point many of the committee resigned and handed over responsibility for the running of the hall to a committee made up of people currently using the building on a regular basis.  Unfortunately as these users ceased to run their clubs/classes etc, they also resigned, until the committee was left with only three members.  Over a number of years members of the "Ancient Order of Buffaloes" had under-taken repair work, but when they also ceased meeting, it meant that there was no one to see to the upkeep.

In 1990 the three remaining committee members sought help from the Marple Community Council, and Councillor Eric Kime called a public meeting to try and seek new committee members, and generate interest in getting the hall back on its feet again as a local facility.  He also arranged for the Council surveyors to inspect the building, and they reported that it was basically sound. New committee was formed, and several working parties held. As the hall got back on its feet again, more users became attracted to it, with the result that income increased, and money became available for further repairs and decoration. With practical help from committee members and users the hall was gradually brought up to its present condition.

Grants were received from the Council lottery fund, the Marple Carnival Charities Committee, and the Stockport Community Trust.  Repairs were undertaken to the roof, and there is an ongoing programme of re-pointing the outside.  The boundary wall in front of the hall was leaning and had become dangerous. Working parties demolished and rebuilt it, and laid additional flags at the front.

The hall floor had become exceedingly worn, and with help from the Karate Club, the present floor of chipboard was laid over the old one, giving an even surface for activities. 
The building is of lath and plaster construction, and after some repairs to ceiling plaster, the whole hall was papered with woodchip paper to prevent any further crumbling.

As use of the hall increased again, more storage space was required, and members of the committee designed and built the cupboards in front of the kitchen hatch. These are rented out to regular users of the hall. All this work has been done voluntarily by members of the community, and annual working parties continue to be held.  If anyone would be prepared to help on future working parties please contact the number below.

The policy of the current committee is to promote use of the hall so that the regular running costs and some contribution towards repairs is raised directly through lettings. Regular weekday users of the hall have a hire agreement and pay a slightly reduced rate.  At weekends priority is given to community use. In addition to the regular clubs using the hall, it is frequently booked for private parties.  Because the hall has no entertainment license it can not be used for public entertainment.

This information prepared for local history exhibition, September 1998
 

 

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