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Dersingham Folk
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The Dersingham Church Institute
Elizabeth Fiddick ©
This article relies entirely on the press of 1911 and 1912 to tell the story
MARCH 1911

In the March number of the parish magazine the vicar, Rev. R.W.M. Lewis, briefly discussing the subject of a proposed Coronation Memorial, says that personally he would “like to see a scheme started for the suppoer of a district nurse in the village”.  A suggestion in favour of the establishment of a local nursing association was thrown out in these columns when the desirability or otherwise of making a village contribution to the Norfolk Memorial for King Edward was d being discussed, and the idea of forming a village nursing association was received with much friendliness by all classes. Ultimately, however, it was decided to support the general county memorial fund, so that the local scheme stood in abeyance. With the vicar’s timely suggestion it re-enters the field of practical politics.  Moreover, it is coupled with an announcement ,which, we think, may go far towards making the adoption of a nursing scheme unanimous as a local Coronation memorial, for in the same issue of the magazine the vicar says, “I hope, in the next magazine to be able to make an announcement about the Church Hall that we all want to see, and towards the building of which we have had a most generous offer of help.”  The only articulate objection to the idea of a nursing association as a Coronation memorial has come from those who desire to see such a memorial take the form of a public institute or village hall; and the vicar’s announcement seems to promise a ready solution to this problem, leaving the parish free to embark upon the nursing scheme with united heart and hand.

April 1911
In the April number of the Parish Magazine the vicar, Rev. R.W.M. Lewis announces that Mrs. Tylden, as patron of the living, has offered to give £500 towards the cost of a Church Institute, and negotiations are now in progress for the purchase of the site.  The vicar has had an interview with Sir Wm. Carington at Buckingham Palace on the subject, and the result is anxiously awaited.  The desire is to start building as soon as possible so as to have the structure ready for use next autumn.  Mrs.Tylden’s handsome offer brings to mind previous gifts made to the parish by her family:  Dr,. Bellamy gave £4,500 towards the restoration of the church and nearly half the cost of the vicarage came from the same generous donor.

June 10th 1911

King George has approved the building of the Hall on the wash-pit pasture to the south of Mr. Jannoch’s wood close to where some cow sheds stand at present.  Messrs. Jarvis & Co. 1 of Lynn have been asked to prepare plans for the building which is to be provided by Mrs. Tylden’s generosity.
Mrs. Tylden lived in Ingoldisthorpe Manor.  She was the sister of Dr. James Bellamy who inherited the Ingoldisthorpe estate, which included much land here in Dersingham, from a relative.  He retired to the Manor shortly before he died in 1909.  Edward Bellamy was vicar here from 1840 -71 followed by William Tylden 1871-75.  The Bellamys are listed in many of the Directories as one of the principal landowners in the village.

July 1911
It was reported that it had been decided to build an additional room for the use of the men which was to be known as The Coronation Room.

August 1911
The tender of Messrs. G. Chambers & Son was accepted for the Church Hall

October 1911
Messrs. Chambers estimate for the Coronation Room accepted.  Estaimate for the whole building, hall, men’s room, two classrooms, kitchen and office, £705  3s   10d.  Architects fees about £40’.  An anonymous donation of £84 was received by the vicar so only furnishing and fencing remain. A Whist Drive is to be held to raise funds.

[Ed - Something not reported on was the laying of the foundation stone on 1st November, All Saints Day by the Vicar's wife. The stone was placed to the right of the right-hand door where it is there for all to see to this day]

Dersingham Institute Foundation Stone All Saints Day 1911


December 1911
Church hall and Coronation Room.- In the December number of the Parish Magazine the vicar (Rev. R.W.M. Lewis) states, " the weather has been in our favour this autumn and the walls of the institute are rapidly approaching completion. So many strange statements are being circulated about the way in which the building is to be used that we think it is best to put in print the lines on which we propose to work. The building must belong to someone, and therefore it will be vested in the vicar and churchwardens – one of that body being elected by parishioners. The hall will be used for Sunday School, band of hope, mothers meetings and other parochial purposes; it will be used for meetings, lectures, and social gatherings in connection with the Church. We do not want to put ourselves in competition with The Forester’s Hall, and so we hope that all entertainments that are not organised by Church people for Church purposes will continue to be held in the Foresters’ Hall. The Coronation Room will be for the exclusive use of the men of the village; and any man-no matter whether he is Unionist or Socialist, whether he is black or white – if he behaves himself decently will be welcomed as a member. Intoxicants will not be allowed in the building." The subscription to the Coronation Room, together with the proceeds of the whist drive recently held (£9 6s 6d) now amount to £211 17s.

1 Messrs Jarvis & Son of King’s Lynn was headed by one William Jarvis snr with his son William Jarvis jnr. In the 1904 Kelly's Trade Directory they were both living in North Wootton and their business of Appraisers, Valuers, Architects and Surveyors was loacted at Paradise Parade, King's Lynn, Norfolk

The picture above, of about 1912, shows construction of the Church Institute is still awaiting its doors but is nearing completion. Note that the original design sported dormer windows; these were removed at some time.  Judging by the bunting the photograph below is quite possibly on opening day. Note that the end of the fencing keeping the cattle in their place has been moved to encompass the right-hand door.
June 1 1912

A successful bazaar
The new Church Institute on the Sandringham Road at Dersingham was opened on Monday afternoon, in the presence of a large company, by Mrs, Richard Tylden, of Milstead, Kent, a daughter-in-law of the lady whose generous gift has done so much to make the new building possible.

At the same time Mrs. Tylden opened a sale of work in aid of the furnishing fund. [it is believed that this is at the sale reported on]

Dersingham Institute Inaugural Sale 1st June 1912

The new building was erected by Messrs. Chambers and Son of Dersingham and Snettisham to the plans of Messrs Jarvis & Son of King’s Lynn, Mr. Margretts of Snettisham being a sub contractor for the painting and Mr. Richard Green of Lynn, a sub-contractor for the plastering. The main hall of the new Institute is 60ft long by 20ft wide and the room intended for billiards 24ft by 15ft. At one end of the Institute a buffet will be provided and at the other there are cloakrooms for ladies and gentlemen, each compartment measuring 10ft by 10ft. with a kitchen 11ft. by 10ft. between them. The Institute is of Snettisham carrstone with red brick quoins and is half timbered and cemented above the plinth. The roof is covered with Broseley tiles. In the roof are dormer windows. All the ordinary windows are ventilated top and bottom (at the bottom on the hopper system) and there is a ventilator (by Messrs John King & Co. ) in the roof.

The land on which the new building has been erected is half-an acre in extent. This has been graciously given by his Majesty the King. It not only provides room for the Institute itself but there is sufficient room left for a bowling green, which in due time is to be laid out. The building itself has cost about £800. Mrs. Tylden of Ingoldisthorpe Manor has generously given £500 while there have been two anonymous contributions of £100 each and £200 has been raised locally. This of course represents £100 more than the amount required for the Institute, but this additional sum will be required for fencing off the land and making up a road leading from the Main highway to the building.

The opening of the sale of work combines with the formal opening of the Institute was marked as has been stated by a large audience. A number of stalls had been arranged and these were presided over by the following: Fancy work, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Diggle, Mrs. Davison, and Mrs. W. Mann: Plain work; Mrs. Langley and Mrs. Cole. Advertisements, Mr. &Mrs. W. T. Parker; Flowers, Mr. R.A. Wilkin; Sweets, Miss Woodward& Miss Balfour; Produce and biscuits, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Tansley; Pottery, Mrs, Ewer; Burmese articles, Miss Beckett; Sixpence-halfpenny stall, Mrs. Norman-Crosse; Refreshments, Mrs, Tingey, Mrs. Burnop, Mrs. H. Mann, Miss Langley, and various helpers. In addition there were competitions (scent, guessing at parcels, advertisements and butterfly painting ) arranged by Mrs. Wilson and Mr. H. Walden. An afternoon concert was organised by Miss Langley; a waxwork exhibition by the school children was given under the direction of the vicar (Rev. R.W.M. Lewis) and a sketch entitled, "A Quiet Morning" was given in the evening by Miss Smith, Miss Mann, Mr. W.H. Yaxley Mr. H. Walden Mr. G. Riches Mr. M. Dennis and Mr. D. Cousins. Miss Smith and Mr. Yaxley were the moving spirits in a whist drive and dance that wound up the proceedings.

The vicar presided over the double opening ceremony. He was supported by Mrs. R. Tylden, Mr. Ingleby M.P. Capt. J. Brown, Messrs E. Tingey, W.W.Langley, W.T.Parker, W.Tansley, W.H.Yaxley, H.Walden, A. Firth, W.H.Smith, W.A.Davidson, and J.W.W.Chambers. Others present included Mrs, Tylden (Ingoldisthorpe Manor) Messrs. Norman-Crosse, C. Bartlett, J. Burnop, Gunn sen. (London) Gunn jun. W.H.Mann, G. Chambers (Snettisham) C.Davidson, A.J. Chilvers, W.J.Ewer, Prior, G. Charlett (Ingoldisthorpe) and L.W.Wells Mrs. Hallard (Shernbourne Hall) Miss Matthews (Shernbourne) Mrs. Tansley, Mrs, Firth, Mrs. Dodman, Mrs. A. Garry Copeman (Ingoldisthorpe) Mrs. Chilvers, and Mrs. R. Stanton (West Newton).

At the outset the company joined in singing the National Anthem at which they were led by the Sandringham Band of the 5th B.N.R. (Bandmaster G. Riches) The vicar then offered prayers for a blessing on the new Institute after which (the band again accompanying) the hymn, "O God our Help" was sung.

The vicar said the sun was shining upon them that afternoon and that he thought was typical of what had happened all through the endeavour that was being crowned with success that day. The sun had shone upon them ever since they took in hand the idea of building that Institute and they had been favoured in a way they would hardly have expected. Various endeavours in that direction had been made: it had been in the hearts of many for years to have an Institute at Dersingham where the various works connected with the Church could be carried on and educational and social meetings held for the benefit of


But there had been difficulties in the way. Dr. Bellamy would ever be remembered with deep gratitude for the great work he did for the benefit of the church and the village, spending a large sum of money in restoring the church from the ruinous condition into which it had fallen and giving benefactions to improve the value of the living. Deep down in Dr. Bellamy’s heart was a desire for an Institute for the benefit of the parish but there were difficulties in the way. However these had been overcome and there the Institute was that day. (applause) When a year ago the idea was revived he did not think they could have accomplished the task had it not been for the generous and handsome gift of Mrs. Tylden. (applause) After this was promised the committee set to work to collect funds and one evening when about a dozen of the business men of the place met with him to consider whether they could not supplement her gift by raising money to build a room to the Institute as a memento of the Coronation-for which £100 was required- £50 was subscribed or promised in ten minutes. (applause) Then the suggestion that help was wanted was thrown out far and wide. Not one person had been asked to give a single penny. People were simply told what it was intended to do and helpers came forward in a


Indeed. They had large and small contributions from rich and poor, from the landowner and the labourer on the land: all classes had joined in the undertaking. During the past year £120 had been raised –(applause)- and now Mrs. R. Tylden was there to declare the building open -and open free from debt (hear hear) All the bills sent in had been met and there were sufficient funds to meet what had to come against the Institute as well as pay for the fencing of the land and now they asked for the co-operation of those present to provide the lighting and furnishing of that splendid building. After thanking all who had helped provide the material for the stalls. Mr. Lewis proceeded to remark that the building was now the property of the church and would remain so for ever, The land was given by the King-)loud applause)- and he was sure that as they looked around the village they could not find another spot where they would have preferred to build the Institute (hear hear) By the time the road to it was made and a bowling green provided it would be a pleasant spot and in the centre of the village and they were most grateful to his Majesty for the gift of land Not only had the King shown his interest in that way but a few weeks ago


came to view the building inspecting it most thoroughly and feeling satisfied it ought to meet the requirements for which it was built. Queen Mary had also sent two pedestals to the pottery stall for sale and had bought some of the needlework made for sale; Queen Alexandra had sent £5; and Princess Mary had sent a half-dozen prize rabbits for sale. (applause) So that in their effort they had the interest and co-operation of their Majesties and other members of the Royal Family. (applause)

Mrs. R. Tylden on behalf of Mrs,Tylden of Ingoldisthorpe then declared the building and the sale of work open. "It gives me great pleasure," she remarked. "to welcome you here on behalf of my dear mother. I am but a poor substitute for her, whom you all know and respect, but I am speaking for her when I say that the completion of this building gives her the greatest satisfaction; and I hope that for many years to come it will fulfil its function as a place of recreation, amusement and at times instruction to the inhabitants of the parish and to their friends and neighbours. It is a pleasure to be associated in whatever way with the King in one of the innumerable acts in which he shows his
The land is the gift of King George V and everyone who sees the place will have his pleasure enhanced by that fact. (hear, hear) Whether you work with your head or your hands, or, as we women in the homes do, with both, let us emulate his thoughtful care for others and we shall settle the dissensions in the country that are so sore a trouble" (loud applause)

On the call of the chairman Mrs. Tylden was thanked with rousing cheers for her services.
Mr. W. T. Parker expressed the thanks of those present to the architects for the excellent plan to which the building had been erected and the builders for the admirable way in which they had carried out the design.

This sentiment, warmly endorsed by the Chairman was carried with heartiness and the sales were then commenced.

The bazaar on the second day was opened by Mrs. Godfrey Faussett, who was introduced by the vicar, and in a short speech expressed her earnest hope that the bazaar would achieve the objects for which it had been arranged. Mr. A. Firth moved a vote of thanks to her for her kindness in performing the opening ceremony.

It may be added that the Building Committee consisted of the vicar, and churchwardens, together with Captai Brown, Messrs. Davidson, Firth, Langley, Smith, Tansley, H. Walden, Wilkin and Yaxley; while Mrs. Diggle, Mrs. Wilson, Miss Langley, Miss Smith, Mr. G. Riches, Lieutenant Wilson, Mr. H. Walden and Mr. Yaxley formed the Entertainments Committee.

Some possible identifications
Mr. & Mrs. W.W. Langley: lived at The Oaks,
W.T.Parker: Parker’s Stores.
Mr. & Mrs. Ewer: ran the shop next to the Post Office, now Estate Agents. He is listed as music seller and stationer.
Mr. & Mrs. Tingey: lived and farmed At The Manor House.
Miss Beckett (Alice Maud Beckett): ran the Post Office.
A Firth: Headmaster of the village school.
W.H.Mann: Proprietor of The Feathers.
Mr. Dodman (George William) : Blacksmith
Mr. A. Chilvers: Station Master.
William Tansley: Butcher
Captain Brown: Lived at Coronation Villa?
W.H. Yaxley: Agent for Prudential Assurance Co. and took leading role in village affairs.
W.H. Smith: Farmer at Hill House.
W.A.Davidson: Lived at Maryville?
J.W.W. Chambers (James Ward William) : Temperance Hotel.
H. Mann: farmer Heath House.
George Henry Riches: Lived at Summerdale?
Mr.& Mrs Diggle: lived at Worthams?
Here are two pictures of the completed building and in the context of the Church.
Now in 2017, Dersingham village has decided that we need  a building that is able to cater for today's needs so demolition has started in preparation for finer things to come.  More on this in due course but for now here are two photographs I took on 27th October then two on 3rd November.