The Hall, some 100 yards to the east of Shotley St. John Church, was built in 1877 as a Church of England School together with a Headmaster's House. In 1944 a kitchen was built at the rear of the school to provide mid-day lunches for pupils. The school was closed in 1960 by Northumberland County Council Education Committee and pupils were transferred to either Shotley Bridge or Benfieldside schools.
Trustees were appointed for the School buildings and School House taking on the management of the premises. In 1967 the hall was ’modernised’ and an inscription on the South wall has the following:-
“This hall was modernised and re-dedicated in the year 1967 A.D. in honour of these men and women of this parish who serve their country during the Second World War “”Greater love hath no man”
The Headmaster’s House in 1962 became “The Larches” and was sold in 1975 by the P.C.C following approval by the Diocesan Authorities.
Further alterations have taken place over the years with support from volunteers and the Manpower Services Commission in the late 1970’s. The latter included remodelling of the interior and rewiring in addition in 1984 a new floor was laid. Over the years refurbishment of the bar and kitchen have taken place.
The Hall became a registered charity with the Charities Commission in 1998. A Millennium room was built at the rear of the hall prior to 2000 with funding and grants from a range of sources including the National Lottery Charities Board. A time capsule was inserted in the wall cavity of this room in 2000 which holds photographs of the parish and other information covered by a plaque suggesting it be opened in 2100. A school re-union was organised by the Hall Committee which took place in 2000.
In more recent years successful grant aid funding has been obtained from the Kiln Pit Hill Wind Farm supported by RWE npower renewables. Smaller grants from the National Lottery have provided stage lighting and portable staging for theatrical and entertainment performances.
Over the years a number of Groups have used the hall for meetings and activities some of which still exist whilst others have reached the end of their initial purpose. They include :-
Shotley St. John’s Cricket Club formed in 1925
Shotley Women’s Institute formed in 1927
Snods Edge Football Club formed in 1950
The Quest Club formed in 1968
Senior Youth Club formed in 1969
Junior Youth Club formed in 1975
Play Group formed in 1975
Snods Ladies Group formed in 1976
The Jubilee Friendship Club formed in 1977
Snods Edge Gardening Club formed in 1983
Some Notable Events
1981 and 1985 winner of the best Community Hall in Northumberland
1983 a Trade Fair was organised for local businesses following the closure of British Steel Works
1988 a sports field was established following the raffling of a new car by Colin Prince to raise funds
1986 – 1991 Pantomimes were staged, written by John Bright
1994 Wilf Smurthwaite awarded the M.B.E. for services to the community