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 Gosberton Public Hall

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The History of Gosberton Public Hall

Gosberton Public Hall was built in 1872, by the Temperance Society for £1,000 by public subscription, on ground donated by Lord Brownlow.  

All around the top of the walls inside, is the inscription: IHS Trust IHS Faith.  IHS being a Christogram for Jesus. 

The Foundation Stone was laid on June 13th 1872.

The following is a report of the occasion in the Stamford Mercury:

"Great rejoicings took place in this usually quiet village in consequence of the laying of the flag stone of the new Village Hall. The bells early pealed forth and their music, flags and banners fluttered in the breeze and everything was done to give e’clat to the eventful day. To Mr Charles Boyer of Gosberton Hall belongs the conception of the undertaking and it is principally through him, aided by the other trustees, that it will be carried to a successful issue, the public generally contributing their subscriptions in most liberal manner.

T.B. Crosby esq MD. Of London, a native of Gosberton and who by industry, energy and perseverance has raised himself to a high position in the medical profession, very kindly consented to lay the foundation stone, after he gave a most lucid and interesting address. At 6 o’clock there was a public tea in the large marquee, when nearly a thousand persons joined therein.

After tea a public meeting was held (Rev John Topham, Vicar of Gosberton, presiding) and addresses were delivered by chairman E.Morris Esq MD (grandfather of the late Dr. Pat Morris), The Rev H.Harris vicar of Horbling, Rev W . Robinson, Wesleyan, Rev George Cameron Vicar of Heckington, Mr Bower and Captain Calthrop. Both meetings were opened by prayer, singing and reading from the scriptures, Rev. A.J. Jones Baptist Minister, very feelingly officiating at the meeting in the evening. Mr Ellis presided at the harmonium and various sacred and secular songs were sweetly rendered by the Misses Boyer and Milson and Mr Boyer and his singing class of gentlemen.

It was most pleasing to witness the blending together on one platform, of Church Minsters and Dissenters and representatives of science, art and literature and temperance. It is sincerely hoped that an institution so harmoniously inaugurated will prove a great blessing to the village and neighourhood. About £76 was realised by the combined proceedings."


17 weeks later, after the celebration of laying the flag stone, there was the Grand Opening which again was recorded in the Stamford Mercury.

"One of those very exciting days which mark a new era in the history of any place occurred on Friday the 11th October, when the new Public Hall was opened for future services. The day was duly ushered in by a peal from the beautiful church bells which continued to be rung at intervals throughout the day and the brass band discoursed their sweetest music. A bazaar was opened in the hall for the sale of useful and ornamental articles, but in consequence of the stormy and threatening weather in the early part of the day the stalls had to be removed to a marquee which had been erected in the hall pasture.

As the day wore on it was found to have been a mistake as the great number of carriages and foot persons arrived during the afternoon plainly showed that the hall itself would be insufficient to tea all company, even though they submitted to relay.

The ceremonies commenced with a service in the Parish Church, prayers being said by the Rev. J. Topham, Vicar of Clerkenwell. This was followed by a public tea and although the tea-makers sat at their places for a couple of hours many persons were unable to obtain a cup.

During the interval the buzaar was re-packed and preparations made for the evening’s public meeting to be held in the marquee, the hall being totally inadequate for the occasion, The Rev. J.A. James opened the meeting and in the absence of Mr Welby M.P who had promised to preside, the Rev. J. Topham was voted to the chair, but his reverence had barely commenced to address the assembly when Mr Welby was announced and at once took his place. In the space of a newspaper paragaph it would be impossible to do justice either to the speakers or the subjects which were enunciated personages, namely W.E.Welby M.P., the Rev.J.Topham,TB Crosby M.D London, Captain Calthrop and the rev. R.Maguire,Vicar of Clerkenwell, London. It will not be surprising to learn that it was most pleasant and enjoyable meeting. Mr Boyer and his pupils and Misses Milson sang selected pieces during the evening, Mr E.T. Ellis presiding at the harmonium. The whole of the proceedings collections, etc, were most satisfactory. It is estimated that over 800 persons partook of tea and about 1200 assembled in the marquee."


However, it seems that there was a bit of a indiscretion as the following notice appeared in the Lincolnshire Free Press in 1877:

"We understand on good authority that the terms of the deed whereby Earl Brownlow granted a piece of land for the erection of this building having been violated at a recent Volunteer Corps dinner by the sale of intoxicating liquors in it, the good Templars took the matter up and have informed the magistrates of the deed and that for the future the magistrates have informed them that no such licence was granted.

We hope the authorities over the building did not know that application for the licence was made, though it is difficult to understand in so small a place that common gossip did not reach their ears.

We hear that other parties propose to violate another part of the conditions by having a bar there, which is contrary to the deed whereby the Earl made the grant.

We are open to contradiction and hope we are wrong, but the thin end of the wedge has been allowed to be put in.

We ask.... Who is to blame?"


One bit of good news is that the strict rules had to be changed in 1902 so that villagers could have a bit of fun and now, as long as you get a licence for alcohol, you are welcome to party away!

On the outside of the Hall, by the front door, is the first stone, which was laid by Thomas Boor Crosby, he later became Sir Thomas Boor Crosby and the stone was updated for that occasion in 1912. 

If you have ever wondered, who Thomas Boor Crosby was - well here you go:

Commemoration Stone 1872
Sir Thomas Boor Crosby - National Portrait Gallery

Sir Thomas Boor Crosby

Born at Gosberton, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, Sir Thomas Boor Crosby was the son of a farmer. 

Educated at University College School and University College, London, he received his professional training at St. Thomas's Hospital, where he was House Surgeon and Demonstrator of Anatomy in the Medical School. 

He started practice in Fenchurch Street, EC, where his partner was Charles Brodie Sewell. 

The City was at that time still somewhat of a residential quarter and Messrs Sewell and Crosby enjoyed a busy practice among City families. Later he moved to Finsbury, where he enjoyed a large practice in a recognized medical district less than fifty years ago.

His connection with municipal affairs dated from 1877, when he was elected a Common Councillor of the City for the Langbourn Ward. In 1898 he became Alderman for the same Ward. In 1906-1907 he was one of the Sheriffs and during his year of office he paid, with other representatives of the Corporation, a visit to Berlin as the guest of the Municipality of that City. 

He was knighted the same year (1906). Being the senior Alderman below the Chair in 1911, he was elected Lord Mayor of the City of London. He was then 82 years of age and the choice of the City gave him the double distinction of being the first medical man to occupy the civic chair in the metropolis and of being the oldest citizen who had ever undertaken the responsibilities of Lord Mayor of London.

He was conscientious and untiring in carrying out his official duties, his daughter assisting him as Lady Mayoress. 

On a notable occasion he dined at the Royal College of Surgeons and his Lord Mayoralty is marked by two important events - the tragedy of the sinking of the White Star passenger steamship Titanic and a coal strike, which at that time was regarded as threatening a national disaster. 

A Mansion House Fund for the sufferers by the foundering of the great ship was immediately opened and £450,000 was raised.

In a critical stage of the coal strike he convened at a few hours' notice a meeting of Lord Mayors, Mayors, and Provosts from all parts of the country and the resulting intention on the part of the municipalities to take concerted action against impending danger did much to relieve the stress of a dangerous social situation. 

On retiring from the position of Lord Mayor the vote of thanks accorded to him in Common Hall was especially cordial, as it was recognized that he had used his civic position with great promptitude in the public cause.

In private life Sir Thomas Crosby was a shrewd, witty, kind, homely man and his success was the outcome of persistent habits of hard work and self-restraint. He had no great learning, but he was an admirable magistrate, whose decisions were informed throughout with that real knowledge of the life of the people which the successful and industrious general practitioner cannot fail to possess.
(Credit: Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows)

Gosberton Public Hall is a registered charity
Charity No. 220909
The Hall is run by Trustees

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