Built on land leased from Mr Arthur Jones of Abberley Hall and opened in 1911, Pensax Village Hall has served the communities of Pensax, Menith Wood and Stockton for over a century. The hall has been the venue for community celebrations of all kinds, social events, evening classes, a youth club, a playgroup, Church and Parish Council meetings and, of course, it still hosts the local polling station.
In 1974, the then Chairman of the Parish Hall Committee Mrs Elizabeth Head had the inspired idea of opening a weekly Thrift Shop. The aim was to provide an outlet for cake-makers, needlewomen and gardeners, for anyone with unwanted/no-longer-needed items to sell, and to be a source of income for the hall (10% of the selling price of goods being retained for hall funds). Word soon spread and people from further afield would travel considerable distances to attend Thrift Shop on a Wednesday morning. The venture brought many more economic and social benefits for all its supporters than had been hoped for, and it offered a meeting place for those looking for company, fulfilling exactly the aims of many current efforts by village halls to reach out to the community.
In 1978, the Thrift Shop was able to help Pensax Parish Council to purchase the hall and since then has been responsible for paying the bills for hall maintenance, including reroofing, redecoration, funding an extension, and so on. Over the years Thrift Shop customers have also supported special charity fundraising with contributions being made to local hospitals, hospices, children’s charities, Midlands Air Ambulance, to name but a few.
More recently Thrift Shop has remained popular but with fewer customers than before – Ebay hadn’t been heard of in 1974! – and it was with a heavy heart that volunteers decided finally to close Thrift Shop this year, but not until we had celebrated 45 years of trading on 23rd October. Real friendships have been forged over the years and Wednesday mornings will not be the same without Thrift Shop to go to. Customers and volunteers alike will miss it but, sadly, all good things come to an end.