The building dates from 1864 and was built to function as both church and school for Helliﬁeld village. The schoolmaster's house was attached to the end of the building. Mrs Frances Stansﬁeld, wife of the Vicar of Coniston Cold, provided this village facility. She was a member of the Hamerton family of the original Helliﬁeld Peel.
From Monday to Friday , the building served as an Elementary School and on a Sunday it became the church and Sunday School. The Institute continued to fulﬁl these roles until the building of the present St Aiden’s Church and the primary school in the ﬁrst decade of the 20th century.
ln 1887 the ownership of the land, school and schoolhouse was transferred to the board of trustees for the sum of £500 with the site to be used for educational and charitable purposes, and ”as a school for the education of children and adults or children only of the labouring, manufacturing and other poor classes ”.
The running of the school was the responsibility of a Committee of Management. In 1972 the responsibility changed to a Committee of Trustees to run as a registered charity — the situation it is today.
After closing as a school in 1915, the Institute was used as a reading room and billiard room for men only. Later the village library was located there and in 1926 the Girls Friendly Society met in the Institute. What is now the Yorke Room, was turned into a kitchen to provide school meals for schools in the district. It was later used as a workshop by a local business.
In the 1980's the kitchen and toilets were built along with the conservatory linking all the rooms within the Institute. Major Yorke was invited to open the refurbished back room renamed the Yorke Room. It was at this time that the adjoining house was sold.
In recent years improvements have continued to be made to the building, including a new heating system, new windows, and a new roof, as well as investment in equipment and facilities to bring the Institute's facilities up to 21st century standards. As a result the building has evolved to the multi-purpose centre it is today. Still run by local people for the local community.
Race Night - Friday 25th October 2019
Following a successful Race Night two years ago, this event is being repeated in the village hall (Institute) on Friday 25th October 2019. There will be six races screened and you will be invited to place bets on the 'winner'. You will be given betting groats upon arrival as part of the ticket price, which is £10 and includes a pie and pea supper. It is a 'bring your own' alcohol/refreshments event but there will be tea/coffee available.
The doors open at 6.45 pm and bets will be taken from 7.00 pm with the first race starting at 7.30 pm. This is a great excuse to get dressed up as though visiting Ascot and there will be prizes for the best dressed. This is, of course, optional and everyone will be welcomed whatever the clothing! There will also be super raffle and race prizes.
Click on the event booking form below to obtain tickets or contact Karen Dunwoodie on Tel: 01729 851070 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Hall Decoration and new Foyer Floor
During the summer the main hall has been given a 'face lift' and it is amazing what fresh bright paint can do to bring a hall back to life, along with freshly designed flower arrangements. It is also pleasing that the flooring in the foyer has been replaced. This gets alot of wear and tear so we hope this will be long lasting and also more welcoming as people enter the building.
Coffee Mornings are held on most Saturday mornings from 10am to 11.30am, helping to raise funds for local charitable causes. Contact Sheila Swinbank on 01729 850458 if you wish to book a coffee morning during 2019/20. The only vacancy in 2019 is Saturday 28th December! Book early for 2020. The next planned coffee mornings are being run as follows:
Latest 200 Club results
1st Prize £25 - No. 94 - Patsy Mellor
2nd Prize £10 - No. 87 - Ann Hodkinson
3rd Prize £5 - No. 47 - John Pearson