Daviot Village Hall
Daviot Village Hall shortly after its opening in 1932
Daviot Village Hall as it is today in 2004
History of Daviot Village Hall
By the nineteen twenties, communal and church congregational activities had increased considerably from what they had been prior to World War I. To the new minister, the Rev J.F. Rennie, a meeting place outside the Kirk itself seemed desirable. The Elders agreed, as did the majority of the congregation, and the project was swiftly put into motion.
In the minutes of the session for the second of March 1930, it is recorded that “the plan of the new Church Hall was submitted and passed”. Grants were successfully sought from the Kirks headquarters in Edinburgh, further session minutes of the twenty-second of May stating that “various conditions imposed by the Baird Trust and the Home Mission Committee [were] agreed to”.
Together these grants amounted to almost half the total needed for the building of the Hall which was estimated to cost between £1500 and £1600. The congregation and other well-wishers had to raise the remainder of the cash, which was at that time was not easy, for the country was experiencing the Great Depression of the Thirties. Residents of the parish raised the money by holding sales of work, weekly dances, and donations of money from residents and former residents of Daviot parish. Dances were held in the school before the hall was built. People gave generously at a time when the weekly wage was about £2. It took 2 years to raise the money needed. The money was found, however, and with a mixture of pride, relief and rejoicing, the new Daviot Kirk Hall was opened by that year’s moderator of the Church of Scotland, the very Rev Dr Andrew Bogle, in May 1932.
As time went on, the restrictions placed on the use of the hall by the terms of the two Edinburgh grants (no alcohol on the premises, raffle ticket sales, card playing etc) were found to be irksome. Also by the late 1940’s the session had come to release that ownership and management were burdens essentially outside the Kirk’s province. It was decided, therefore, to raise money and repay the Edinburgh grants. With considerable effort this was done, and the hall together with its feu, originally intended to be a tennis court (now the car park) became the property of the parish in 1949.
Adapted from "The Kirk at Daviot 1798-1998" by Jack Philip