The Stuart family, who resided in Tempsford Hall, lost their only child, Esme, in the First World War. Dugald and Millicent Stuart decided to have the Hall built in his memory and in memory of the fourteen other Tempsford men killed in the Great War. Dugald Stuart died in 1922 and it is said that he never recovered from the loss of his son. It was left to Millicent to carry out their wish. The foundation stone was laid on 8th September 1924 and the Hall was presented to the village on 27th July 1925. The Hall was a state of the art building for its day. There was a Gentleman's Room with billiard table, a Ladies' Room, a lending library and a kitchen stocked with a dinner service embellished with 'Stuart Memorial Hall' and the date 1925 on each piece. There were ladies' and gentleman's toilets, which had baths installed for villagers who did not have them in their own homes. The Main Hall had a beautiful sprung maple dance floor (still in use today), together with a stage. Outside, there was a bowling green at the rear.
Tempsford Stuart Memorial Village Hall and Great War Memorial in 1929
The Hall Today
Over the years, the Hall has been updated and upgraded with new heating, double-glazing, modern kitchen, toilets and disabled toilet. The Ladies' Room (sometimes called the WI room) has become the Committee Room, the Main Hall is still very much the same and still has a dance floor and stage. The old Gentleman's Room now houses Tempsford Museum & Archives. Overall, the Hall still retains much of its 1920s character today.
The Hall is a registered charity (Reg. No. 200249) and is run by a hard working Management Committee of Trustees, who are:
Brian Harrison (Chairman)
Geoff Phipps (Deputy Chairman)
Anne Francis (Secretary)
Tracy Hirons (Treasurer)
Linda Collins (Booking's Secretary)
Lee Greene (nominated member for Tempsford Museum)