20th Anniversary of the opening of Roffey Millennium Hall, Crawley Road, Horsham.

On 21st July 2000 Bryan Robinson declared Roffey Millennium Hall on Crawley Road open. The large, two-storey community hall was built on the site where previously a Renault garage owned by Harry Lines stood.

North Horsham Parish Council had been proactive in looking for land to build a community facility and worked with Horsham District Council when the site on Crawley Road became available. The magnificent hall brought new opportunities for the local community to meet in a building designed to give a choice of facilities for different requirements and events.

Roffey Millennium Hall complements the Parish Council’s other halls on North Heath Lane (North Heath Hall) and Pondtail Road (Holbrook Tythe Barn). Until Roffey Millennium Hall was built, the only community facilities in Roffey were The Roffey Institute and the church and school halls, which still provide community facilities now. Roffey Millennium Hall is a well loved and well used building and it is unfortunate that it is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic at the time of this milestone anniversary.

Cllr Peter Burgess who was Chairman of North Horsham Parish Council in 2000 at the time of the opening of the Hall offered appreciation and paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of Mr Robinson, Peter Lewis, Denny Hilliard and the clerk, John Pollard who were the main drivers in opening all 3 halls owned and managed by the Parish Council over the years.
Current Chairman Cllr Alan Britten observed that “those dedicated men and women that have gone before us have laid positive foundations for our communities and provided us with fantastic facilities. I look forward to the day when they will be fully used as they were intended”.

Cllr Peter Burgess, Bryan Robinson, Francis Maude MP and Cllr Liz Kitchen opening Roffey Millennium Hall on 21st July 2000.

The full opening speech can be found below.

Roffey Millennium Hall Opening Speech by Bryan Robinson on 21st July 2000.
“The North Horsham Parish Council is a successor to the original Horsham Rural Horsham Parish Council, which was formed after Parliament passed The Local Government Act of 1894, known as ‘The Parish Councils Act’.
This allowed the men and women of the Parish to meet in their own Village Hall or Schoolroom and elect by ‘secret ballot vote’ the Parish Councillors to represent them.
This Authority took the place of the old Parochial Council (known as the Vestry), which was dominated by Property Owners and chaired by the local Parson.
All the Vestry powers, except those that related to the Church were taken over by the Parish Council.
The first Meeting took place in Roffey in 1895 when Mr F.J. Piggott was elected Chairman.
The Horsham Rural Parish Council consisted of Parish Councillors representing Southwater; Broadbridge Heath; half of Faygate; Roffey; Pondtail Road (later Holbrook) and Doomsday Green which was a section adjacent to Heron Way.
In fact the Rural Parish Council Boundaries encircled Horsham Town, except for a break at Warnham, which is still an original Parish Council.
From that time until today Roffey has only had The Roffey Institute; Church and School Halls for any Community activities.
In 1974 as the Community infrastructure was at least 10 years after the building of new Housing Developments -the Horsham Rural Parish Council first formed a Strategic Planning Committee – where ever there was a need we acquired Land for Community use either by either Lease or Purchase; helped finance Local Community Organisations and Village Halls
But no opportunity occurred for a Hall in Roffey.
In 1984 the Roffey Ward asked the District Council to carry out a survey of possible sites for a new Community Centre – three sites were suggested but over the next 14 years for various reasons none were viable.
I despaired of ever seeing a new Community Hall when suddenly this site became available and a joint venture with the Horsham District Council has resulted in this magnificent Hall which complements the Parish Council’s Holbrook Tythe Barn and North Heath Hall.
So, on behalf of the Residents of Roffey and the many men and women over the past 105 years, who have been willing to give up their time, for no monetary reward, to represent the residents of the original Horsham Rural and the present North Horsham Parish Councils.
I am delighted to declare the Roffey Millennium Hall open.”

Mr Robinson was elected to Horsham Rural Parish Council in 1972 and was Chairman in 1976 and 1985. When the Boundary Commission reduced the number of Wards in 1987, Mr Robinson became the first Chairman of North Horsham Parish Council and was re-elected to office in 1988;1993;1995;1997 and 1998.

Pauline Whitehead BA(Hons) FSLCC
Clerk to the Council

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s