Hill House

A community centre

Photo:From Wallington and Carshalton Times

From Wallington and Carshalton Times

17 September 1936

Hill House was one of the few older buildings left standing when the estate was built. It was opened officially in November 1936 by Alderman Chuter Ede, though it had begun to function as a community centre in the September of that year.

Hill House in the 1970s

There was a large hall downstairs, several rooms upstairs and large grounds so there was plenty of parking space. It was used most days - some of the things were dog training, playgroup, keep fit, whist drives, etc. Every Wednesday evening there was bingo for over 200 people. My husband John was caller and I sold the books while our sons collected the winning tickets for checking. There was also a loan club held every week in one of the rooms. We had jumble sales sometimes and of course it was a popular venue for wedding receptions. A couple of times a year we would hold a dance and had to apply to the police for a temporary licence to sell alcohol on the night. One night during a dance there was a panic when two policemen turned up, but it was my daughter's boy friend who was a bit-part actor in 'Z Cars'. During some of  the dances we would have a fancy dress competition which was always a good laugh.

 One year a festival following a carnival held on the field opposite the hospital included a pig roast. Our 'chef' for the day was Freddy Brown. John also got a New Year's Eve thing going where anyone who would only be at home could come, bringing their own food and drink, and he would supply the music. That became very popular. The big hall was eventually called The Piner Hall after Alf Piner who had been chairman for many years. (Connie Crilly)

Photo:Barn Dance at Hill House

Barn Dance at Hill House

Photo:Pig Roast in the 70s

Pig Roast in the 70s

Photo:Photos and invitation courtesy of Connie Crilly

Photos and invitation courtesy of Connie Crilly

This page was added by Cheryl Bailey on 20/09/2010.
Comments about this page

My First memory of Hill house is of the meadow which was next to it and which they eventually built Prefabs on I believe. My Mum took us there for a picnic, prior to the war, it was a lovely summers day the grass was long and there were lots of wild flowers, there was a resident horse, which made my mum a bit nervous. I remember my sisters teaching me to make daisy chains and holding big buttercups under my chin saying that I liked butter because they could see the reflection, sadly there were also lots of wasps as we were trying to eat our jam sandwiches which drove us home. Later we used to play football up there, I don't think we had proper goal posts,it was just street teams organized by our selves, it was considered by us to be Robertsbridge Rd home ground, I think their captain was Ray Archer, there were twins on his team and a kid called Eggy.Happy days.

By Ted Blowers
On 22/09/2010

I wouldn't be surprised if those twins you mention were Bob and Jim Tyler.

By Paul Tyler
On 24/08/2011

Hill House had big iron gates and was directly opposite my house in Bishopsford Road and it was after the war that my Dad used to go over there for his monthly union meetings. As a child I used to be so curious as to what went on at these meetings because Dad said I was far too young to go with him when he went. I just remember him paying a shilling for his membership and having a little card.

By Rosie Coote
On 10/09/2011

Bit faint this memory- but I think I went to some discos there in the early 70's- and of course last time was my friends wedding reception-1980, the ambulance station was next door then I think

By sue from Wiltshire
On 24/09/2011

There were some choice 'Conker' trees in the grounds of Hill House, we used to climb over the railings to get to them. A previous mention of a Christmas loan club being there I can confirm. I used it in the fifties. I think it was sixpence a share so you would buy X number of shares, the more shares you had, the larger amount you received at Christmas. Loans would be given for example if you were going on holiday or buying something or other, then you had to pay back the loan plus a percentage extra and that's where the bonus came from at Christmas....the payout day was eagerly looked forward to! It was organised by Mr Piner whose son is my brother in law. There used to be a vets in Hill House back in the late forties....I can remember accompanying my Mother there to have our dog and puppies put down, thinking about it now, my Mother must have been under a terrible strain at the time. I also recall the prefabs being built over there, German prisoners of war were building them and we used to go over there to watch during our school dinner time....No 5 school was only a few yards away......and we would chat to those Germans that could speak English.

By Ray Crawley
On 07/01/2012

I used to go tap dancing and Mum had us all paying into the loan club which was great for me as a child to have lots of money to spend at Christmas. It had more grounds before the ambulance station was built and some of us used to go scrumping in the wood there.

By Pamela Laflin (nee Tyler)
On 12/03/2012

We used to go scrumping in the walled garden as kid's (1947) only got caught once, pears used to grow around the walls and apple and pear trees were in the lawns. Is the garden still there?

P/S sorry mister gardener we wont do it again.

By Wally Chapman
On 22/02/2013

I used to go scrumping as a kid and I still have a scar on my leg where I caught it on the iron spike on top of the gate, when we were chased by the gardener. Those were the days.

By Phillipa Thomas nee Paul
On 06/04/2013

I remember those tap dancing lessons and also that the tutor cleared off with the money we had all paid in for a show we were going to do!

By Maureen Hurt
On 10/09/2013

I remember ballet lessons there in the early 1960's with Mandy Birch.

By Gaye Weller (lipscomb)
On 03/02/2016

My husband and I held our  wedding reception in the new hall at Hill house in 1973. As we were married down the road at St Teresa's RC Church my mum who had cried all through the ceremony walked up the road to Hill House to repair her make up!

As there was no license at the hall we had to provide all the drinks free to our guests.

By Maureen Mahoney nee Bertrand
On 28/09/2019

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