“ I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.

Leusdon Memorial Hall Centenary celebrations

After reflecting on the importance of Armistice Day and as reported in October a remote but well used rural village hall above Poundsgate on Dartmoor celebrated its centenary with a successful range of activities last month.

Leusdon Memorial Hall was opened in October 1923 in memory of those who lost their lives from the Leusdon area during the First World War. One of those who died was Leicester Struben and his family dedicated the land upon which the hall now stands.

The celebrations started with Patrick Simpson, the owner of Spitchwick Manor giving an interesting talk about the history of the Struben family, the hall, and Spitchwick  Commons. This was followed by a fascinating presentation about Leusdon and the Poundsgate area by local historian Geoff Bamsey.

Utilising the skills of a children’s entertainer and providing refreshments helped to facilitate time for adult attendee`s to relax and talk. This was followed later by children`s fancy dress competition which reflected costumes from the last 100 years.

The day finished with more refreshments with entertainment and singing led by the Moorland Merrymakers, who use the hall for their annual pantomime.

Throughout the event just over 160 people attended, which included a family from Birmingham on holiday in Dawlish. The father said, “I have been trying to trace a remote village hall on Dartmoor for ages and after seeing the picture of it in the Mid Devon Advertiser we came up”. He continued “ This is definitely the hall I stayed in on a Dartmoor  adventure trip 50 years ago as I remember the picture of Leicester Struben that is still on the wall above the door”.

Current hall chair John Southcombe said, “The event was organised by the hall committee and has been a great success with amazing community attendance and wider support which bodes well for the halls future”.