During the volunteer day last weekend, a lady stopped me and was inquisitive about what was going on inside. She explained that she had come from Coventry with her familiy to visit her old family home on Stepcote Hill. As it turns out, Margaret was born on Stepcote Hill, Baptised and Married in St Mary's steps church and had her wedding reception in The Hall on the 6th of August 1955. She remembers sheltering from the air raids in The Hall during the war and recalls the 'thruppenny hop' a dance night with a gramophone for the cities young people on a wednesday night, an event we'd love to reincarnate. She sent me this letter these photos the following week. (click to enlarge)
Dear Alexei, this is Margaret .
I have found another couple of photos that may be of interest to you. One on my wedding day with my father at the top of Stepcote hill, walking me down the steps to the church. The other is 58 years later stood on the steps. (How time flys).
The other photo is of my brother he was married at the church also on Boxing Day 1955. He also had his wedding reception in the hall.
I was born at number 3 st Mary's steps terrace in 1936 I was one of 6 children all in a small house and was the youngest.
The steps were our playground when we were growing up and there was a real sense of community on the hill. One memory was in 1947 a real bad winter us children used to slide down the hill on bits if old carboard when it snowed.
The hall was used by many... The scouts and the cubs. The threepenny hop was held every Wednesday evening for any young people. The music was played on an old grammar phone and the piano in the hall. We used to listen and dance old time dances and a little but of modern dance. We loved this every Wednesday. Such a real community spirit. Sadly long gone.
During the war we were all under the old market when the sirens sounded, and I remember father Brown the vicar if the church on Stepcote hill came and fetched us and he opened the hall and we all spent the time during the air raid sat in the hall. Every Sunday morning and afternoon was spent in the hall for Sunday school.
I would be honoured to attend the re- opening if the hall. I am really happy that you are taking such an interest in the hall and I hope that all your hard work means the hall will continue to be a important part of the lives of exeter people. And it was lovely to be able to go inside after all these years, I thank you for showing us around. Don't hesitate to contact me if there is anything further I can help with.
Kind regards Margaret