Centenary Renovation Project  

After the Great War was over, 76 men and boys from Barrow Hill and Hollingwood never came home. They left behind 19 young widows, 34 fatherless children, 119 bereaved parents, 390 grieving brothers and sisters, and a small community where everyone had lost a relative, a sweetheart, a friend, a neighbour or a colleague. The bodies of most of those who died were never found and the bereaved had nowhere to mourn and nowhere to go to help them recover.

Widows struggled to bring up their children alone and many single women were never able to marry. Many of those who returned from the war struggled to cope with disabilities, mental health problems and unemployment. Families struggled to cope with the needs of those who returned, often on inadequate pensions which often required them to attend tribunals.

On 28th January 1920, Charles Paxton Markham offered to give the Workmen's Hall at Barrow Hill to the community as a war memorial. He said that "The memorial should incorporate something which would alleviate the lives of the wives, the sons, brothers, and husbands…..”  and that by “knocking out the ends of the building they would have a very fair-sized hall."  

The local community had rallied to raise funds for a memorial cross to be erected in Barrow Hill and the £2000 raised, plus further community efforts and a loan from the Staveley Company, was instead used to make changes to the Workmen's Hall for the benefit of everyone. Plans were made that then included  “a large concert or dance hall, library, billiards hall, slipper baths etc., and also a section for women only."  

A Deed of Trust was drawn up and approved and the Barrow Hill Memorial Hall was conveyed to the trustees on 19th September 1924

In commemoration of 50 years of community ownership, the Jubilee Year was celebrated in 1974. 

Our aim for the centenary in 2024 is: 

To renovate and modernise the Memorial Hall as a community centre while continuing to honour its legacy and its past