Hough End Hall, Hough End Hall Academy and the future of the Friends of Hough End Hall.

Our group, the Friends of Hough End Hall was established in 2013 to bring the then vacant Hough End Hall back into use, emphasising its heritage value and its potential as a hub for the local community. We did a lot of work on several fronts:

  • Getting the building listed as an “asset of community value” which meant a period during which its sale was prevented, giving the community a chance to plan and bid for it.

  • Raising awareness locally and consulting with the local community over the future use of the Hall.

  • Obtaining a small grant to help work up our proposals, which included incorporation as a charitable company, engaging an architect, developing a business plan and making further grant applications.

  • Lobbying Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) (the owner) and the Treasury (part owner of RBS) to ensure that the building did not fall into the wrong hands.

  • Applying for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to both restore the building and bring it into effective community use.

  • Conducted other fund-raising activity.

  • Carried out some of the research and the illustrations which led to the publication of our book, Hough End Hall: The Story (available from the Bookshop and the Library in Chorlton).

Our plan was for the building to be a community hub and to become self-financing after an initial restoration and start-up period. To this end we worked with a local charitable institution towards a joint project to buy the Hall and achieve this, but sadly this fell through.

In Summer, 2015, the building was sold by RBS to a local group who planned to run the Hall as Hough End Academy, for a health promotion programme orientated largely towards the South Asian community. Dr Pasha, who has led this project, first made enquiries of ourselves before approaching RBS: it was our campaign that helped raise awareness of the building among potential buyers, helping RBS (and the public purse) dispose of the building.

In October, we published the following statement on behalf of the new owners:

The building is now owned by a local charity and will be called ‘Hough End Hall Academy’. It will be used for educational purposes. The Academy will be responsible for preserving, protecting, and restoring the building and its rich history. Hough End Hall Academy are making their official website and request the community to use it for future information and suggestions. In the meanwhile, suggestions are welcome and can be given in the Suggestion Box that will be arranged to be placed outside the building. The Academy is preparing the building and will invite the community as soon as the building is in a presentable condition.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.”

In January we had a group to group meeting which was very friendly. We believe that, although it was not the project we had in mind, the Hough End Hall Academy project is a worthwhile one, well resourced and orientated to meeting a community need: one of the things we wanted to see happen.

We are less confident about the heritage dimension: it does not appear to be a major interest of the Academy, although they did express interest in co-operating with some of our members on things like a heritage display within the building. However, we do not know whether the responsibilities of the owners of owning and maintaining a Grade 2* listed building were fully understood. Since then we have had only limited contact with the group. They appear to have been faced with some challenges with the fabric of the building, so their time-scales for establishing the project will be longer than originally anticipated. So far there does not appear to be a website or other information publicly available.

We are aware that there has been some speculation in the local community about what the new users are doing, including a rumour that it is, or will be a mosque. We have been told that this is not the case: there is a prayer room within the building, but we have been informed that the function of the building is to be a health education centre.

Friends of Hough End Hall will continue to maintain a watching brief over the building. Our concern is still that this asset, with so many local memories, is made available for the benefit of the community, and that its heritage value is preserved and promoted. However, since we will not be responsible for the building ourselves, our project will run at a lower level. We are exploring the possibility of erecting a public information board as a lasting source of infomriation about the Hall. We are likely to wind up the charitable company but continue in existence as an unincorporated community association. We will also remain available to assist the current owners where possible and where this role is consistent with our “watchdog” function.

Latest news about Hough End Hall – it’s being sold.

We have just heard that RBS have placed the Hall ‘under offer’. We do not know who has made the offer but RBS have assured us they have told the buyers about us. We will have to wait until we are contacted or the information about the new owners is made public before we can open a conversation with them.   Read more in our Bulletin 11, September 2015 which also has news about the book, Hough End Hall – The Story.

CLick for the pdf

 

HOUGH END HALL: THE STORY. Exhibition, Film and Book Launch

HOUGH END HALL: THE STORY   wps_clip_image2102518862
Andrew Simpson & Peter Topping
The Exhibition, The Book, The Film,
The Walk and Talk.
Exhibition and Film at The Lloyds Hotel 15th to 24th May including.
Book Launch 7.30pm at The Lloyds Hotel 16th May.
The Walk and Talk, from Hough End Hall
starts 1.00pm 17th and 24th May.

Paintings of Hough End Hall just before the Great War

We have just received the kind gift of two watercolour paintings from Pamela Woosey, of Ramsbottom.  They were painted by her grandfather, A. Victor Strange, in 1913 and 1914.
Pamela remembers coming down to the Hall by tram from her home in Prestwich.
The paintings give an idea of the Hall in its still rural setting just before the Great War of 1914-18.
In this picture, we see the Hall from the South side, from what is now Mauldeth Road West, looking towards Chorlton Park with its trees.

A. Victor Strange, Hough End Hall from the South, 1913.

A. Victor Strange, Hough End Hall from the South, 1913.

In the second picture, we see the garden of the Hall from the other side.  The man appears to be cutting the grass with a scythe.  The outbuildings have long disappeared, and the garden wall is now where the monstrosity of Mauldeth House stands.

A. Victor Strange, Mauldeth House from the North, 1914.

A. Victor Strange, Hough End Hall from the North, 1914.

Thank you Pamela for this interesting insight into the history of the Hall.

Get the Hough End Hall jigsaw!

Now you can make your very own Tudor manor house …. with our Hough End Hall jigsaw.   Peter Topping, who has produced it, writes:

We have produced a Jigsaw Puzzle of the Hough End Hall Painting, Large size 40cm x 30cm. 300 piece boxed for only £14.99. This will make an ideal Christmas present and all profits go to the Friends of Hough End Hall Project.

jigsaw

Copies available from Chorlton Bookshop, or contact us by email and we’ll arrange to deliver locally.

Our October bulletin: RBS, crowdfunding and spreading the word

Bulletin 8 October 2014

or read it as a pdf file HERE

Previous bulletins HERE

If you would like to get involved in any way, please get in touch. houghendhall@gmail.com or ring Carolyn Kagan (0161 881 6887)

We are pleased to bring you the latest update on the achievements (and frustrations) of the Hough End Hall project.

This month has given us a bit of a breather as we wait to hear about the grant applications we have submitted. We haven’t been sitting on our laurels though.

The continuing saga of RBS and the campaign

The upshot of our petition to RBS in the summer was that they extended the time within which they definitely will not contract with another buyer until we have heard the outcome of the Stage 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery (mid-December). If we are successful, they have said the ‘will give consideration to extending the time period’ until the decision is made about a Stage 2 Heritage Lottery bid. What exactly this means in practice, we don’t know, but we hope we don’t have to petition the CEO of RBS and Chancellor of the Exchequer again. But if this is what it takes, we will do it. Let’s hope this concession and lukewarm support will be enough for Heritage Lottery Fund to believe we are worth funding.

Crowdfunding takes off

A big thankyou to all those who have started off our crowdfunding campaign. To date 53 funders have pledged between £2 and £1000. We will need many more people to pledge if we are to meet our target of £82,270 by the end of January 2015. So, why not become one of the crowd and pledge at

https://spacehive.com/HoughEndHall_lets_make_it_ours ?

Most importantly, please encourage other people to take part as well. Pledges only turn into donations if the target is reached. There are different benefits on offer, all of which make you a part of the campaign.

The most generous donations will be recognised through the naming of rooms and spaces within the Hall, if and when we acquire it.

If you pledge…

On completion you will be entitled to…

£5

An invitation to the book launch

£10

An invitation to the opening of the Heritage Walk

£15

The ebook version of “Hough End Hall, the Story” when published.

£50

The print version of “Hough End Hall, the Story” when published.

£75

Signed and numbered Giclée prints of the painting of the Hall (limited to 200).

£100

Your name among the acknowledgments printed in the book

£250

If and when we acquire the Hall, your name will be included on the Roll of Honour to be displayed permanently.

Donations

Thank you, too to those who have made a contribution to our ongoing costs, without which we would not be able to keep up the profile of the campaign. Donations to Carolyn Kagan, 37 Chandos Road South, M21 0TH payable to Friends of Hough End Hall.

The word gets out

Twitter: We have sent out 237 Tweets, and have 170 followers . If you Tweet, please include us @ourheh

Mailings: We have a large mailing list and send regular updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/houghendhall If you are a Facebooker, do sign up.

Community events: find us at the Chorlton Art Market (in Precinct from November 1st) and at CAF Craft Fair at St Clements on December 6th

What Next?

  • Look for other sources of funding and make applications

  • Work hard to increase the number of pledges for the crowdfunding campaign and increase the number of pledges

  • Organise some fundraising events – anyone want to help?

Hough End Hall Family Fun Day – Let’s Make it Ours! 21st Sept.

IMPORTANT UPDATE

We have had to cancel the fun day until the Spring.  –  Thanks for your interest and we’ll see you then.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Hough End Hall Family Fun Day – Let’s Make it Ours!

How about putting it in your diary now?

Chorlton Park, 21st September, 2014, from 12 to 5.

 

We got listed!

We are thrilled to hear that the Council has made the decision to place Hough End Hall on the Register of Assets of Community Value. So, once the owners, (West Register, part of RBS) tell the council they are wanting to dispose of the land, and we confirm we want to bid, we should get 6 months during which they cannot conclude a sale to anyone else. The legislation lets them continue negotiating with someone else but not conclude a sale.

We will need to make sure we make a good bid!

Thanks to all who supported the nomination, especially Chorlton Civic Society.