#VillageHallsWeek: Mellor Brook Community Centre

As Village Halls Week continues today we’re putting the Spot Light on Mellow Brook Community Centre!

History of the Centre

In 1890, Rev. Rawstorne decided that he would do something to alleviate the problem of boredom that was prevalent among the young men of the community. At his own expense, he purchased a two-room cottage and turned it into a Reading Room. It had been intended that this room should be open for 9 months of the year, but its popularity increased and before long it had attracted a membership of 50; gambling was not allowed, and all members were expected to refrain from any form of improper conduct including swearing. the building, known locally as St Saviour’s Chapel was in the hands of Balderstone Church. The Reading Room was in need of extension due to its ever-increasing membership so Rev. Rawstorne again funded new premises to encompass both a Reading Room and Recreation Room. He also presented the now extended property with a billiard table providing that the membership would bear the cost of heating, lighting and cleaning. This new extension was opened on the 11th January 1895 and a stone over the upstairs window still bears the date 1895.

What became Mellor Brook School closed in 1962, and in October 1965 it was decided to turn the building into a Community Centre, purchased jointly by the parish councils of Balderstone and Osbaldeston and by April 1966, an agreement was reached and Mellor Brook Community Centre came into existence.

What happens in our Village Hall?

Just as in the past, the Community Centre does what it can to alleviate boredom amongst the men of the parish, but these days it goes a bit further to include the rest of the family. Groups as diverse as Toddlers, the Women’s Institute, Film Club, sequence dancers, ukelele group, whist players, yoga, baby massage, The Palatine Fiddlers and a computer club use the centre. When we can we try introduce a bit of culture by hosting Spot On Productions

How did I get involved?/ Why are Village Halls important?

I’ve been involved for about 3 years on the committee, I think I attended an event and having free time on my hands I started volunteering. Like many organisations these days we struggle to get people to come on the committee, I suspect they think that too much time is taken up by it. In reality, it’s quite a rewarding thing to do, you meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet and its part of the gel that holds the community together. As far as a time commitment, its productive time: you’re helping others, usually only a few hours a month. That’s got to be better than staring at the telly!

Spot on Events

Our audience tends to like theatre / spoken word or musical performances, especially folk-based music. For a similar standard production, we would have to travel to Manchester or beyond: at least 25 miles away. Based in the village you can enjoy a production with your friends, no-one has to drive so you can relax and have a glass or two. We’ve been hosting events for about 10 years, and we hope to continue for many years to come.


This season Mellor Brook Community Centre will be hosting Joan & Jimmy on Satudary 9th March.

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