ABOUT THE MMC VENUE
The old Memorial Hall had occupied this site since 1906 and has always held a prominent and established role within the local community.
In between the First and Second World Wars there had been talk in the village of replacing the Mechanics Institute that had been housed in the building originally built in 1847 at the instigation of Countess Lanesborough as an Infants School. This building had, by 1906, become the Parish Rooms and remains today, although much extended, the home of our Parish Council.
The Second World War put the idea on hold, but by 1948 and driven by the desire for a tangible commemoration of those who died in that war, the Parish Council commissioned a study for the building of a hall for the use as a social amenity for the village. The delivery of the Report in late 1950 was the spur for a group of trustees to be appointed and fundraising to begin in earnest led by a Social Organising Committee consisting of Trustees and other interested villagers. Support from local firms and businesses helped considerably but the main effort was from the community itself.
Throughout the 1950s fundraising continued as did the search for a suitable site for the hall. Various options and offers were considered including the possibility of purchasing the Rock Cinema. Eventually however the search for a site narrowed to three clear contenders, one at the back of the Parish Rooms, one on the Green and one at the bottom of the Green. The latter was considered to be the best option and in 1960 serious negotiations to secure sufficient land for the Hall.
A New Beginning
The land owner Mr Robert Dudley Parr, agreed a donation of land for the simple only condition that a plaque be erected in the hall to commemorate his relatives. Additionally he sold the remaining land and properties needed, comprising 91, 93, 95, 97, 99, 101, 103 and 105 Leicester Road for a nominal sum plus expenses. The plaque can be seen in the foyer of the hall, on the opposite wall to where the memorial plaque which bears the names of those villagers who gave their lives in the Second World War is mounted.
Changing The Landscape
Plans for the new Hall were now drawn by Mr Tickle and a local builder, F Sleath & Sons of Rothley, gave a quotation of £10,935 for construction. A 50% grant from the Ministry of Education and Science was obtained to supplement funds already raised within the village and work commenced on15th July 1964. The first meeting held in the hall took place on 8 June 1965 and the official opening ceremony was on 26 June 1965.
The following year saw new Trustee and management arrangements for the Hall being agreed and registered with the Charity Commissioners. Those initial arrangements, slightly amended through experience and time continue today with a trustee body, Mountsorrel War Memorials Trust Ltd, registered with the Charity Commissioners and day to day management devolved to a Memorial Hall Management Committee with membership drawn from various village groups.
The popularity of the Hall as a venue was immediately apparent and within two years of opening an extension was built. The Hall continues to be heavily used for the benefit of villagers and others and over the years has been the venue for amateur dramatics, dances, parties, indoor sports events, regular Keep Fit, dancing classes, playgroups and senior citizens meetings. It is the venue for the Annual Parish Meeting of the Parish Council, was the venue for the public enquiry into the then proposed By-Pass and hosts the Annual Winter Charity Fair and the village Carol Concert.
A New Era
In December 2016 work was commissioned by Mountsorrel War Memorials Trust and Mountsorrel Parish Council to construct a new multi-purpose facility following the demolition of the former Memorial Hall. The new Memorial Centre building includes a fully air conditioned theatre with seating for 204 people, a contemporary bar, modern natural light filled meeting rooms, two shop units and a café space.