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Known by locals as the 'Pinafore factory' - The Community Centre building has an interesting history, important to the local community.
From industrial use....
....to a Community Treasure
Originally a clothing factory, it was built around1890 by George Fall who, with his wife Hannah, had previously run a draper’s shop in the High Street. The family made women’s and children’s clothes in the new building but seem to have specialised in pinafores and was often referred to as ‘the Pinafore Factory’.
The Gilbert & Sullivan operetta ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ was very popular at this time and may in turn have given rise to the garment’s popularity.
Factory staff in Station Road
Production was at its’ height just before the First World War when the factory employed over a 100 women from the village.
The 'Co-op Hall'
George Fall died in 1916 and after the war pinafores were no longer in fashion. The business closed about 1923 and the building was eventually bought by the Long Buckby Co-operative Society.
The Co-op leased the upper floor out to Frank Eyre, a shoe manufacturer who moved production to Station Road from the Market Place. The ground floor was used by the Co-op for various purposes and included a hall which could be hired for public functions.
Many older residents of the village can remember with nostalgia the dances at ‘the Co-op Hall’.
After the Second World War a shop named ‘The Pantry’ was run here by the Society in addition to their shops in Church Street.
It was acquired by the village in 1966 when the Northampton Co-op took over their smaller counterpart in Long Buckby which had been independent for over 100 years. The new owners eventually decided to dispose of the building and in the mid 1970s it was acquired for the village as a Community Centre.
Shoe making upstairs ceased and the area was rented out as a privately run licensed snooker club....but more of this under Community Use.
The Community Centre as we know it today was born.