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.
Christmas Event - Saturday 8th December 2019
The Christmas event will, on this occasion, form an adapted 'Murder Mystery', whereby the audience will have to guess 'Who Dunnit'. There will be a three-course meal and local favourite singing duo 'Ian and Jane' will finish off the evening in style. This is a 'bring your own nibbles and alochol' event. Tickets are £10 from Karen Dunwoodie Tel: 01729 851070, or via our:
DAMAGE TO VILLAGE HALL (INSTITUTE) BUILDING
Good news - the Village Hall (Institute) is once more open for business. Following the event of a tree falling on our roof on Friday 12th October the building has now been made completely safe and secure. Building repairs do still need to take place but at this point in time the building is back in full use. The Trustees apologise for any inconvenience to the users of this community facility, whilst the tree was removed and urgent repairs undertaken.
Coffee Mornings are held on most Saturday mornings from 10am to 11.30am, usually helping to raise funds for local charitable causes. Contact Sheila Swinbank on 01729 850458 if you wish to book a coffee morning next year. The next planned coffee mornings are being run as follows:
Latest 200 Club results
1st Prize £25 - No. 116 - Ron Wardman
2nd Prize £10 - No. 94 - Patsy Mellor
3rd Prize £5 - No. 22 - Pat Wardman