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EMBSAY WITH EASTBYvillage instituteEmbsay and Eastby's village hall
  • Embsay's original Village Institute, 1988 Image from the Embsay with Eastby WI's History Project
  • Foundations for the new building, 1998 Image from Embsay with Eastby WI's Local History Project
  • The new building under construction, 1998 Image from the Embsay with Eastby WI's History Project
  • The new building under construction, 1998 Image from the Embsay with Eastby WI's History Project
  • The new building is opened Image © Embsay with Eastby Village Institute

The history of the Village Institute

The Village Institute was presented to Embsay with Eastby Parish Council by Mr W Brooksbank in 1920 as part of a memorial to the men killed in the First World War. It comprised of a hut which had previously been part of the prisoner of war camp at the Raikes in Skipton.

The hall became the centre of village life and served the village for almost 70 years. During this time it was altered and improved. A kitchen was added and the Playgroup and County Library had permanent rooms there.

In 1984 a public meeting called by the Parish Council, a Fundraising Committee was formed to raise money for the construction of a new 'Embsay with Eastby Village Institute'. The appeal fund had a marvellous response in the first year and nearly £45,000 was raised through many different activities, from Cake Stalls to Ceilidhs and Whist Drives. The cost of the new building was estimated at £150,000 plus various fees.

It was decided to demolish the old Institute and rebuild on the same site as the cost of acquiring new land would be prohibitive. Plans were drawn up and planning permission obtained. The Parish Council finalised freehold ownership of the present hall and the land on which it stands.

The proposed construction would be traditional throughout with stone faced cavity walling, natural slate or good quality synthetic tile roof and timber floor. The emphasis was on providing a multi-functional building to accommodate as many different activities as possible.

The Fundraising Committee worked very hard to reach their target and were wholeheartedly supported by the residents of the two villages. Building started in 1988. In January 1989, the new Embsay with Eastby Village Institute was officially opened by the Marquess of Hartington.

The Supper Room extension was added in 1997 providing an extra room for catering or for the use of groups for meetings or classes.

It is thanks to the hard work of so many people in the past that we now have the excellent facility for our villages. We are fortunate to live in an area where so many people give up their time and effort for the community.

More information about the Embsay with Eastby Village Institute can be found in the Local Resources section of the Embsay with Eastby Community Library, located within the Village Institute.

  • The main entrance Image © Embsay with Eastby Village Institute
  • Waiting for the bus Image © Embsay with Eastby Village Institute
  • Dancing the night away Image provided by Embsay-with-Eastby News
  • Decorated for a wedding breakfast Image © Rachel Gee; used with kind permission
  • Serving afternoon tea Image kindly provided by Barbara Kipling