One piece of evidence that the Parish Hall had community use prior to 1920 was an article that appeared in the Western Times on 26 October 1917 which reported that a lecture on ‘The Western Front, Food Production and War Savings’ had been given by the Rev J P Benson.
A lantern lecture on “The Western front, Food Production and War Savings” was given recently in Ye Olde Tythe Barn, by Rev. J. P. Benson. Mrs Benson operated the lantern. At the close a collection was taken on behalf of our wounded soldiers.
The Magic Lantern was a tool which served both to entertain and to educate. In many instances a lecture was read to the audience as slides were projected. Special lecturer’s lamps were employed that shone the light directly on to the text yet allowed the rest of the room to remain in darkness. Often these lamps had some sort of signalling device (usually a bell or, more discretely, a tiny flash of coloured light). This signal indicated to the lanternist to project the next slide.