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Conservative Hall

The History Of The Building We Know Today As Bumble's

The earliest record we have of this area is the 1,000 year lease at £4.00 per year to be paid quarterly for an area approximately 350 by 350 feet, [area of 2 rods]. The lease dated 31st July 1855 was between Robert Stayner Holford, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire and William Henry Tharle, [1823-1880] the land’s western boundary is shown as being owned by Wootton church. Records show that William Henry married Anne Eliza Cooper at Godshill in 1847.

Picture of the lease of 1855
The Lease of 1855

The next record we have of him is on the 27th January 1862 when he sub leases a piece of the land to James Young Groundsell, it also states the William Henry had erected two dwellings on the site which were Nos. 1 and 2 Oak Villa [42-44].

In a will dated 14th November 1874 he appoints his wife Anne Eliza Tharle and his son Maurice, [1852 -1932] together with his accountant Frederick W. Black to be his executors.

1st January 1895, accountant Frederick W. Black died

11th March 1896, Anne Eliza Tharle died

8th July 1896, Maurice Tharle, coachman of Shanklin, sells to John Cooper, mariner, of New Road, Wootton the outstanding lease for £325.00

22nd March 1902, John Cooper [mariner], 1 Solent View, New Road appointed his two sons, Charles James and Frederick Arthur Cooper his executors and trustees. He gave his wife Lucy all his household goods and furniture together with a legacy. All his real estate and personal effects not already converted into money to his sons, he also stated that his sons could postpone the sale for as long as they though fit. However his son Frederick Arthur [1868 - 1903] died during his father’s lifetime.

On the 7th February 1904 John Cooper [1835 - 1904] died, and his estate was valued at £886.11s.11d.

Picture of Plot in December, 1913
Plot in December, 1913

13th December 1913 Charles James Cooper, insurance agent, Whitepit Lane, Newport, agreed to indenture for £90.00 that part of the land as shown in the attached map in Wootton High Street together with the conditions of the lease as stated in the original contract from Robert Stayner Holford in 1855. The purchasers were to be Charles Gordon Brodie of Fernhill, FRSC [1860-1933]., Osborne Herbert Delano Osborne of Wootton, Herbert Brown of Wootton Farm, James Henry Groundsell, High Street, Wootton, Painter and glazier, William Edward Souter [1872-1948], Highbury, High Street, Wootton, Miller, and William Percy Wickenden [1866-1940], High Street, Wootton, compositor who were the present trustees of Wootton Unionist club which is held at “The Instute”, Wootton [we believe this was the “Unity Hall” in Sloop Lane]. The area in question formed part of Bridgemead.

1914. It is reported but not positively confirmed that work started on the new building but was stopped at the start of the First World War and the building was not completed until 1924. It was opened in August of that year by Mrs Morgan Hickman the wife of a former conservative candidate in the presence of several local dignitaries.

The original design was altered and a large hall 40 feet by 20 feet and capable of seating 200 people added. The cost was £380.00 and all but £80.00 raised by local conservatives. In addition to its political purposes it became the centre of village functions from around 1930 until the mid 1960s, with dances, concerts and the choral and amateur dramatic society run by Mrs. Mitchison of Wootton Rise was based there.

Below is a verse written by Ron Chiverton who was the local postman for a performance of Cinderella sung by the Ugly Sisters.

We’re going to the ball,
There’s going to be drink and all,
The Sloop is providing it most I think,
There’s coffee from Abells for those who don’t drink,
But when the wine’s ready I’ll tip you a wink.

25th January 1927 mortgage agreed with the National Provincial Bank by the trustees for the Wootton branch of the Conservative Association.

20th June 1936 saw the re-appointment of new trustees for the Conservative Hall these were James Henry Groundsell, [1870-1940], Edward Cedric Hulse and Howard Bertram Wheeldon, traveller., Glencairn, Wootton High Street.

16th April 1945 mortgage cleared by Edward Cedric Hulse, gentleman, Wootton Grange and Howard Bertram Wheeldon.

25th Novenber 1955,an agreement was reached between the Borough of Newport, Ronald Douglas Way, The Wight Cottage, Campbell Street, Leamington, New Zealand and the Isle of Wight Conservative Association. In that agreement a 67 square piece of land in front of the building would be surrendered to the council in order to make a public footpath, all expenses to be borne by the council.

29th November 1957 At a meeting in the Queens Hall, Newport an agreement was signed between the retiring trustees Edward Hulse and Howard Wheeldon [1883-1959] transferring the trusteeship to Charles Wilfred Brannon, Tenth House, Spreets Copse, Wootton, justice of the peace Mark Woodnutt, Member of Parliament, The Pines, Swains Lane, Bembridge, James Shears, Littledown, justice of the peace, Nodgham Lane, Carisbrook.

In the early 1960s the Wootton Conservative organisation applied to close the Wootton branch of the party and amalgamate with the main party in Newport.

In April 1965 Columbia Products Ltd obtained a start-up loan on the premises originally used by the conservative party in Wootton [No. 40 Wootton High Street] from Charles Bannon and Mark Woodnutt. This loan was discharged on the 6th November 1975.

It is believed the Columbia Products of Binstead used the premises as a workshop and storage facility.

11th September 1979, building sub let by Columbia Products to Peter Goodwin Fielding of Dock House, Undercliff, Niton for a period of 6 years. The rental was £1500.00 per year with and escalation figure of 10% per year.

From documentation seen, it would appear that the Rev. G. Raynor acquired the lease early 1981.

The opening of the building took place on Spring Bank holiday 1981 with the Rector’s Old English Sheepdog “Bumbles” performing the opening ceremony. Hence the name “Bumbles” still exists locally today. This was a private venture by the rector and others to encourage local business to set up; the cost was only a £1.00 per foot run of frontage. Unfortunately the venture failed due to being hit by several problems such as resistance to an enterprise apparently set up by the church and the first of many recessions.

The lease was next acquired by Alan Chaplin-Orman, who it would appear was the last sub contract tenant before the current owners took over the lease from Columbia Products on the 31st July 1987.

Since that day there have been many start-up businesses, some have gone on to make the grade but others have fallen by the wayside, but the hall continues to this today some 80 plus years old.

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:25

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