Playschool at the Archer Hall

Memories from the early 1970s

Some of my earliest memories of living in Billericay are of going to playschool in the ‘small hall’ / annex at the Archer Hall in Laindon Road.

The small hall was at the south west corner of the main hall – the walls of the corridor to the small hall were lined with large square cupboards with coloured doors where the groups which used the halls kept their equipment etc.

I remember we had lots of activities going on in what must have been a fairly small room but seemed large to me at the time!  I can particularly remember painting and also choosing pictures from magazines to cut out with round ended safety scissors and gluing them into my scrapbook.  No nice clean glue sticks for us – we had pots of paste with a brush, so lots of fun getting messy!

On the occasions when I went into the main Archer Hall with my parents it seemed an immense space.  The parquet floor had a badminton court marked out and I can remember looking through the glass doors and seeing people playing – the shuttlecock soaring up towards the high ceiling.  Everything seems so big when you are that small!

Later I attended both Brownies and Guides in the same small hall and my Dad taught me to ride my bike in the empty car park on Sunday’s – so the Archer Hall was an important part of my life, with many happy memories.


Editors note: Can you spot anyone you know in this picture? Perhaps you know when it was taken. Add your comments ad the bottom of the page.

The Archer Hall was built in 1930 in memory of Miss Archer who had left money from Miss Archer's estate which included land on which she had wanted a church to be built. The Archer Hall was the pivotal place for all of Billericay's major functions including public meetings, sports events horticultural shows, pantomimes and wedding receptions and these children were members of the Sunday School which also met there during the 1930s. During the 1990s, Miss Archer's dream was realised when the Emmanuel Church was built.

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  • I used to help out with the pantomimes at the Archer Hall (a valuable community asset) in the early 80s

    By Ed Dixon (23/07/2015)

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