The Ems Valley Strummers who entertained visitors

Westbourne Hall holds ‘amazing’ 1940s-themed Remembrance event – in pictures

The front of Westbourne Community Club Hall was transformed into a 1940s wartime garden on Saturday for a D-Day Remembrance event.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 11:59 am

Organisers Amanda Stringer and Ruth Brewer even knitted and crocheted an entire Anderson shelter which was displayed at the hall in River Street, Westbourne. The wartime theme was evident everywhere thanks to the close attention to detail – from the corn beef sandwiches and the vintage crockery cake stands, to the 40s outfits worn by guests. Mr Stringer, an associate trustee of Westbourne Hall, said: “People really got on board and joined in.” Emsworth Museum showcased one of their displays during the event and the Westbourne History Group also attended. The Emsworth Strummers provided music while the Nautical Trainings Corps marching band escorted the vicar into the building. In the evening, a 1940s dance was held, and Mrs Stringer said: “Everybody danced the night away. It was an amazing event.” She said the event was both to raise the profile of the building and to celebrate its important wartime roles. Mrs Stringer, a sixth-generation Westbourne resident who met her husband at a dance in the hall, said it was ‘a piece of forgotten West Sussex history’. The hall was gifted to the village in 1889 and was used by soldiers as a rifle range and a gym in preparation for the First World War. During the Second World War, the building played a significant part in D-Day, as it was here in the woods that tanks were kept before being taken to Portsmouth. It was then used as a social club up until three years ago. The building has since obtained charitable status and is now a community hall, available for anyone in the parish to use and enjoy. Mrs Stringer said of the building, which retains its original character: “It’s crying out to be used again.” The event on Saturday raised £1,000 toward fixing the roof of the building, which ‘desperately’ needs restoring. Find out how you can help by following Westbourne Hall on Facebook.

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