Exciting news! On July 1st, Volunteers Network (the non-profit community interest company that also produces this newspaper) took over the management of Langney Community Centre in Etchingham Rd. We have been gradually moving our office there over the last few weeks and getting organised for the official re-opening date of July 4th. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many of the groups that currently run from the hall will still be unable to operate, but most are hoping to start up again in September (or as soon as government guidance allows). There is a lot of history to this building, and as I lived next to it for many years it is very special to me personally too.
The Manor of Langney was first recorded in 1250 in the Lewes Chartulary (a book holding records of property titles) and belonged to the Priory of Lewes until its dissolution in 1537.
Jumping ahead to 1950, a severe housing shortage led the Eastbourne Corporation to buy 65 acres of land around Langney Priory through a compulsory purchase order. The aim was to build a new, self-contained community for 1400 families on 40 acres, with two schools and supporting infrastructure on the remaining 25 acres. Langney Priory, the oldest building in Eastbourne, still sits at the heart of the village close to the community centre. By 1955 most of the building work on the estate was completed, and ‘Langney Village Hall’ was opened by the Lord Mayor of London.
The hall was at the centre of Langney Village life for many years, but by 2012 it was very dilapidated and being used like more of a social club. As someone who spent a lot of their childhood living next to the hall, I can tell you nights were often rowdy! Tha centre was closed, and then eight years ago a group of residents stepped forward to form the Langney Village Hall Association and take on management of the centre, bringing it up to the excellent standard it is in today.
Moving forward, Volunteers Network aims to continue the work of the LVHA Trustees, maintaining this building for the community and ensuring it remains an important resource for local residents.
Over the next month we will be putting in a drop down screen on the stage, a high tech sound system and new stage lighting. Yes, the hall has its own stage! In the rear hall we will be establishing a new community cafe where we will host events like coffee mornings, a lunch club for senior citizens and community networking events. It will also be available to hire, as are the other two meeting rooms and the main hall. The centre is already well used. The Eastbourne and District Dog Training Club have operated from the hall since 1976, Langney Community Church holds a Sunday service there as well as a coffee morning on a Wednesday and there are also fitness and dance classes, a youth club and baby sign classes. We hope to encourage many other community organisations to work from the centre, so if you would like to know more about room rates (prices start from as little as £5 per hour for our small meeting room), then please get in touch!
Langney Community Centre, Etchingham Rd, Langney, Eastbourne, BN23 7DX
Tel. 01323 763762