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The Village Hall and the WI

A Short History of the Village Hall and the W.I. in Torver.
by the late Mrs. Barbara Dickenson in 1993  for inclusion in ‘The W.I. Scrapbook’ 

After a break of a few years the ‘Torver Women’s Institute’ was restarted in 1953 by Mrs. Whitfield who lived at Bracken Barrow Farm.  We held our monthly meetings in the ‘Village Hall’ (hereafter to be called the ‘Schoolroom’ throughout this article) which was built in 1873 to replace the old school formally at ‘The Rectory’. 

During his long ministry at St. Luke’s Church, Torver, the Rev. Thomas Ellwood, with local support, was the driving force behind the building of the ‘new’ St. Luke’s Church, the Rectory and finally the new School.  In 1914 an extension was added to the School and school life continued there until 1927 when the pupils were transferred to Coniston to continue their education.
Adult education classes were held at the Schoolroom until 1970.  Since then it has continued to be used for public events connected with Torver and the Church of St. Luke.

Youth Organisations etc. also had use of the Room during our (W.I.s) 40 years of existence.  There were two periods when our meetings at the Schoolroom were interrupted.  The Ordinance Survey people hired the room for a number of months while they drew up new maps for the area.  During this time our member Mrs. Bibby and her husband who now lived at Bracken Barrow Farm kindly allowed us to use their very attractive house for our meetings, and very happy ones they were too!  The other break from our occupation of the room was when the Parochial Church Committee was doing a lot of improvements and re-decoration.  At this time another member Mrs. Frances Mayvers and her husband kindly stepped into the breach and placed their Guest House at our disposal for our meetings each month while the work went on.  This Guest House is now a thriving hotel run by the same industrious young couple.  Their help was much appreciated by all our members who enjoyed their hospitality. 
When alterations and decorations were completed we resumed use of the Schoolroom and its very attractive facilities where members and meetings continue happily with our varied W.I. activities once more.
Written by the late Mrs. Barbara Dickenson in 1993  for inclusion in ‘The W.I. Scrapbook’ 

Post Script from Pat Barr, Torver W.I. President.
The W.I. thrives and still meets in ‘The Schoolroom’. Full details of Dates, Times, Events and Speakers are on the WI page under Village Organisation.  All ladies are welcome and we would not turn away gentlemen if they wish to hear a specific Speaker’s subject.