Recreation Ground

Also known today as The Park;  a rather urban term.

The first meeting of the newly created Steeple Morden Parish Council was held 8 December 1894 and one of its first acts was to resolve “It is desirable to provide a Recreation Ground for the village”.

At its second meeting, 3 January 1895, a sub-committee was formed and charged with taking this proposal forward.

At its third meeting, 24 January 1895, the sub-committee reported that it had identified land owned by John Jarman of Kneesworth [in Station Road] and the Steeple Morden Benefit Society  [in Hay Street] as being potentially suitable for a Recreation Ground. Mr Hitch said that the Benefit Society would refuse to let the land.

At the first Annual Parish Meeting held 28 March 1895 the proposal to provide a Recreation Ground was put to a public vote, which was lost 15 to 14! The main concern was the cost would be borne on the rates. Not a large turn out and clearly the Council were not swayed by the negative view of the electorate and were soon back on the case.

After more investigation a plot extending to 4 acres and fronting Hay Street owned by Mrs Gordon was selected as the most suitable. However, Mrs Gordon was not a willing seller, in fact, she was dead against. After enquiries and committees, involving the County Council, this plot was eventually compulsorily purchased by the County Council on behalf of the Parish Council at a cost of £287 on 31 August 1902. It was largely financed with a mortgage loan from the Public Works Loan Board of £250 granted 12 March 1903 and charged on the rates. There were those in the village, who said I told you so!

The adjoining land owner became the County Council and in 1965 from them was acquired a first extension of 162′ east/west by 138′ north/south costing £160. A second extension 195′ east/west x 140′ north/south cost £225 in 1973.

These purchases brought the total area up to 5.140 acres.

Then the Football Club wanted another football pitch………………… Story to be expanded and continued………..

Bowling Green

The village bowling green was in Cheyney Street opposite The Bell and this was lost when the brewery sold the land for development in the mid-1960s. In June 1965 the Parish Council was granted planning permission for change of use on 0.26 acre in the south-west corner of the recreation ground to a bowling green

Reading Room

Village Hall

The first Village Hall was a post-war Nissan hut, donated by Ernie Pepper, who also organised and largely funded its erection on the Recreation Ground.

Over time the limitations and constraints of this aging structure became apparent and a movement emerged to fund the erection of a brand new Village Hall and this was finally achieved in 1973, when the the current Hall was opened.

 

Last Updated on March 10, 2021